The American Dental Hygienists’ Association Code of Ethics for Dental Hygienists is the foundation upon which our career as hygienists is built. Without the Code, we would not have a resource to provide guidance through the difficult dilemmas we face.
The preamble of the Code is important to hygienists because of its clear explanation of our priorities. We want to make it distinct to the public that we are here for their health, and to teach them how to maintain their oral health for a lifetime! We want patients to know that we love what we do, and that by making their life better through improving their overall health, we are fulfilling our own lives.
The purpose of the ADHA Code of Ethics is to give hygienists a lasting source to align our own personal ethical standards with. We use the objectives outlined here to guide our everyday decision making. The purpose also reminds us that we are to be lifelong learners, we are pledging to seek the best counsel when making decisions and to uphold the expectations of the public.
The third section of the Code contains the key concepts which are Our beliefs, principles, values, and ethics(Beemsterboer 47). These are vital to the dental hygienist because they are the concepts that we hold paramount. Our beliefs and principles are based in science and research that we want the patient to understand for the betterment of their oral health. A hygienist’s values and ethics are practiced daily and form their reputation.
Section four of the Code is the basic beliefs of the dental hygienist. I really like this section because it helps us realize how important each of our patients are as an individual. We have to give each patient personalized care and equal respect. Our beliefs should oblige us to provide care for those who can’t afford it and to spread knowledge to those who could benefit from it.
In the Fifth section of the Code, the fundamental principles are introduced. These five principles are important to the hygienist because they expand on how we can give our patients the best possible treatment. We utilize these principles to engage our community, demonstrate our responsibility to provide quality care, and build our ethical position.
The dental hygienist’s core values are explained in section six of the Code. These values are ethical theories that we practice. They are important because they ensure that the patient’s rights are protected, and that we are doing everything in our power to maintain their trust and respect. We need these values, because without them, there would be no standard of honest and quality care for patients oral health needs.
Finally, section seven of the Code addresses the dental hygienist’s standards of professional responsibility. This section is a solemn commitment to be the very best versions of ourselves. We intend to uphold all the laws and regulations that we have learned and will continue to learn. We are to be honest and professional with patients, and to treat each of them to the best of our ability. Additionally, we have to consider how important it is for our career that we strive to be great co-workers and employees.
The most beneficial thing we can do for ourselves and our patients is to uphold these standards to be constantly evolving to be better providers. It should be each dental hygienist’s goal to live by the Code of Ethics because it contains the entire basis of our profession, and will guide us to make the best decisions.