A dental professional’s value system is personal, and it can be influenced by cultural values. The standards state, “Dental hygienists are responsible and accountable for their dental hygiene practice, conduct, and decision making. She also understands that the patient is trying to comply and is concerned he would be upset if she mentioned that his periodontal status was declining. American Dental Hygienists’ Association. But the excellent ethical codes for our profession can provide guidance. The patient feels awful, and the dentist feels terrible for the patient, but he does not see that this as a case of supervised neglect. The three ethical dilemmas most frequently encountered in dental hygiene practice are (1) observation of behavior in conflict with standard infection control procedures (66%); (2) failure to refer patients to a specialist such as a periodontist (60%); and (3) nondiagnosis of dental disease (58%). She is the current vice president of education for Camelback Toastmasters in Glendale, Ariz. and recently awarded 2010-11 Outstanding Area Y7 Toastmaster of the year. There are several things that dental hygienists can do to help their patients who gag, including sprinkling with salt. 2 College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario Besides having a Code of Ethics, the dental hygienist must possess and continue to develop professional traits that are paramount (central) to ethical behaviour, ethical decision-making and the maintenance of ethical standards. Here is an example of paternalism. J Am Dent Educ., 74(11):1120-1229.5. Wentworth R. (Sept. 2010). The patient is given a treatment plan of extracting a painful tooth and fabricating a three-unit bridge for tooth replacement. Identify the problem. Updated 2016. Doing the right thing when confronted with a difficult circumstance is one way to define ethical behavior. They demonstrate how clinicians can work through the six decision-making steps. Apply the ethical principle to the options, Includes “Self-determination, the right to decide what happens or does not happen to us”5, Knowledge of all information regarding treatment, risk, and benefits, Patients make their own decisions, the right to say yes or no to treatment, Patients have a right to confidentiality and privacy regarding their health care, Promote good for the patient; protect the patient from harm, Acting in the best interest of the patient, Do not undertake a procedure without the patient’s consent (informed consent) or do a procedure for which you are not adequately trained, Do not discriminate any patient seeking a dental diagnosis or treatment. 2. One way to improve our ethics is to example arguments on both sides of common ethical dilemmas.. “Beneficence and nonmaleficence are often linked because both are found in the Hippocratic tradition, which requires the physician [dentist or hygienist] to do what will best benefit the patient.”1 It is important for the dental hygienist to consider all four ethical principles when weighing a moral dilemma regarding patients. Cell phones are here to stay. 2) Radiographic refusal is a huge problem in many practices due to the economy and lack of insurance. Ethics Definition. Ethical Challenges—Real-World Examples The following examples of ethical challenges in dentistry are taken from my own experience with the exception of the last example. Different ethical decisions can be made regarding the same ethical dilemma, resulting in no right or wrong conclusion. Establish a standard of professional judgment and conduct. The doctor merely picked a course of treatment he or she thought was best for the patient. Not surprisingly, this patient did not want to lose his teeth and agreed to see the periodontist for further treatment (informed consent in action). But I suspect that`s wishing for too much. Test your oral pathology and dental hygiene knowledge against these cases. Standards for Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice. The medically challenging patient needs compassion and education: A case study. In most dental hygiene programs, the dental hygiene oath is either recited during a matriculation ceremony, graduation ceremony, or both. During an ethical dilemma, we can find ourselves in a tough situation on whether to treat a patient. Critical Issues in Dental Hygiene. Available at: adha.org/resources-docs/7611_Bylaws_and_Code_of_Ethics.pdf. Retreived online Dec. 9, 2011 from http://jada.ada.org/content/141/9/1125.full8. Troubleshoot as many options and their full consequences before proceeding to the next step. Brondani MA, Rossoff LP. Because dental hygienists are health care professionals, they have a professional responsibility to practice in an ethical manner. . The patient is exercising his or her autonomy. When tough decisions need to be made on behalf of our patients, we need the tools to do it. Dental hygienists will face ethical dilemmas at some point in their careers. Larson J. Due to the patient’s age, the dentist feels this is the easiest approach so the tooth will not give the patient any problems in the future. Vital [serial online] 7(2): 37-39. Wentworth R. (June 2010). Inform the patient of his change in periodontal status or complete the maintenance appointment without discussing the periodontal findings. Identify the six steps in applying an ethical decision-making model. Pain can have a substantial effect on the treatment options patients consider. The specific case examples that follow relate to the ethical principles presented in chart 1, and values that correspond to these principles in our profession. Ethical violations:when dental hygienists fail to meet or neglect their specific ethical responsibilities as expressed in the Code’s standards. However, tooth No. Many different styles of meditation are available. However, allowing students a personal experience via instruction and role-playing engages students in realistic ethical discernment, which gives them the “tools necessary to deconstruct an ethical dilemma.”4 Continuing and broadening school-setting ethical training instruction is necessary to increase hygienists’ awareness in solving ethical conflicts. Gaston MA, Brown DM, Waring MB. Identify the problem and individuals involved. Years ago the “doctor knows best” approach regarding treatment was common. With changes in dental hygiene curricula and added questions on the NBDHE, dental hygiene graduates should have sufficient training in ethics to handle dilemmas they may encounter in their professional careers. American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Ethical challenges or problems faced by practising dental hygienists tend to fall into the categories of ethical violations, ethical dilemmas, and ethical distress. During one prophylaxis recall, he stated he could not receive X-rays because he just paid for his rental car to the Bahamas, and besides, he did not have insurance! The three ethical dilemmas most frequently encountered in dental hygiene practice are (1) observation of behavior in conflict with standard infection control procedures (66%); (2) failure to refer patients to a specialist such as a periodontist (60%); and (3) nondiagnosis of dental disease (58%). Nonetheless, patients do have an involvement in their care, and if the provider feels a patient’s refusal of X-rays is limiting diagnostic capabilities, a dentist “may consider discussing with the patient options regarding consultation with or treatment by another dentist.”8, These ethical dilemmas, though typical, are still difficult to work through in each situation. Ethical Decision Making Essay 834 Words | 4 Pages. Then hygienists can address, analyze, and solve ethical dilemmas properly using their ethical training within the “context of clinical, workplace, and professional situation[s].”4 RDH. The emphasis on ethics in dental hygiene education resulted from the growing body of evidence demonstrating that ethical issues were occurring in the profession and better preparation to address these issues was needed. Knowing the major principles of health-care ethics and how to use a model to solve an ethical conflict is the best way to solve a dilemma. (2009) Ethics, professionalism and fitness to practice: three concepts, not one. List alternatives. An example of a true ethical dilemma is when the principle of nonmaleficence is in conflict with the principle of autonomy in a specific situation. For example, if you are asked about a patient with dental decay who refuses to use fluoride toothpaste you could discuss what your understanding is of both dental decay and the use of fluoride. 1 100 Years of Dental Hygiene. Select the course of action. The agreement may even state estimates relating to each treatment option. 141 (10): 718-720. Review diabetic history and treatment with physician. The dental hygienist chooses to inform the patient as she realizes several core values are evident. Increase dental hygienists’ professional and ethical consciousness and sense of ethical responsibility. Marcy Ortiz, RDH, BA, is a practicing dental hygienist for 25 years, the last 16 years in a geriatric dental practice in Sun City West, Ariz. She is a 2010 Arizona State University alumna graduating summa cum laude and a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Hopefully, we all follow it to the best of our ability. In this example, nonmaleficence is the primary ethical principle at issue. The first step is to identify what the ethical question is, being aware of … The first step, identify the ethical dilemma, is to pinpoint the ethical problem. Tips and tricks: Preventing activation of gag reflex when exposing radiographs. Nicole Giesey, RDH, MSPTE, enjoys researching, writing, and educating on topics related to dental hygiene. 8,10,11. Consequentialism looks at the end results of any particular act. 31 is not so lucky. To illustrate supervised neglect, two case examples show common dental care dilemmas hygienists experience — periodontal disease treated conservatively in high-risk patients, and radiographic refusal. Dental Hygiene; Career Development; Ethics in dental hygiene. Ethical dilemmas in dental assisting. Ethical dilemmas occur all too frequently in everyday life. Scenario #1. While dental hygienists make decisions every day, ethical decision making can be more complex. Beneficence now becomes a concern. The dental hygienist is torn between informing the patient of his periodontal status and potentially upsetting him by recommending more advanced periodontal therapy. The patient’s periodontal status is declining. Identify the problem. The CDHA Code of Ethics sets out the ethical principles and responsibilities which apply to all members of the dental hygiene profession across all practice areas including clinical care, education, research, administration and any other role related to the profession of dental hygiene. Dental hygienists interested in an intriguing side job might want to look into becoming trained in dental forensics. A 43-year-old male visited a dentist for an initial examination and checkup.