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Coastal Bend College
Dental Hygiene Program
The goal of the Coastal Bend College Dental Hygiene Program is to prepare students for a career in the clinical practice of dental hygiene. These future dental hygienists should be prepared to serve the public and do so by adhering to the highest standards of professional conduct and behavior. No person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Dental Hygiene Program on any basis prohibited by applicable law, including, but not limited to race, color, nationality, religion, disability or sex.
For purposes of this policy, the term "blood borne infectious disease(s) (BBIDs)" includes, but is not limited to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and Hepatitis B Virus infection (HBV).
ADMISSION OF DENTAL HYGIENE STUDENTS
WITH BLOOD BORNE INFECTIOUS DISEASE(S)
The CBC Dental Hygiene Program shall not inquire about the BBID status of any applicant for admission to the program unless it has been determined that the condition of being infected is grounds for denial of admission to the program.
The admission of an applicant with a BBID can only be denied on the basis of such infection if an appointed group consisting of the Dean of Student Services, the student, the student's physician and/or the State Health Department determines that the student might pose a risk of transmission to others in the classroom and the college program. The student may also be denied admission to the Dental Hygiene Program if the applicant's infectious status would prevent him/her from completing essential degree requirements and that a reasonable accommodation could not be made to enable the applicant to do so.
SCREENING FOR BBIDs
The Dental Hygiene Program will not initiate mandatory BBID screening of students, faculty, and staff unless justified by evidence of significant risk to patients. If screening becomes necessary, care will be taken to assure confidentiality and preservation of rights.
The Dental Hygiene Program shall provide information regarding on-campus counseling to students, faculty and staff who believe they are at risk for a BBID. The College shall be prepared to refer students to sources of competent and confidential testing and qualified counseling for BBIDs upon request for such screening. All testing and counseling shall be at the individual student's expense.
MANAGEMENT OF STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF WITH BBID(S)
The Dental Hygiene Program encourages students, faculty and staff with a BBID to discuss their situation with a designated official. The designated officials shall be the Dean of Student Services for students and for faculty and staff the Dean of Instructional Services.
Modification of the clinical training or working conditions of students, faculty and staff with a BBID shall be determined on a case-by-case basis. The clinical activity, technical expertise of the infected person, risks posed by the BBID, and the transmissibility of other carried infections shall be taken into account. The Dental Hygiene Program may legitimately monitor the clinical activities of students, faculty and staff who are believed to pose an unwarranted risk to patients. The Dental Hygiene Program will cooperate with the individual who has a BBID, his or her physician, and/or other medical experts in order to appropriately identify and implement special precautions and program modifications to safeguard the personal health and safety of the BBID affected individual.
The Dental Hygiene Program adheres to the Universal/Standard Precautions established by the Centers for Disease Control and the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standards. Students, faculty and staff with a BBID shall be provided counseling about access to expert medical care and prevention or further spread of infection. The Dental Hygiene Program does not pay for health care for BBID affected persons. Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to obtain adequate health care insurance coverage during their association with the Dental Hygiene Program.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND BBIDs
It is expected that all students, faculty and staff will be bound to the principle of strict confidentiality in all student, faculty and staff records.
Individuals seeking care within the local health care facilities should be aware that all BBID related data becomes a part of the individual's medical record.
STUDENT, FACULTY AND STAFF INTERACTION
WITH PATIENTS WITH BBIDs
Students, faculty and staff have a responsibility to provide reasonable care to all appointed patients, regardless of any existing medical condition. Failure to accept this responsibility violates a basic tenet of the dental profession; that is, to place the patient's interests and welfare first.
Individuals who feel their activities within the Dental Hygiene Program pose a special risk to their health because of the presence of BBIDs in the individual him/herself, or because of working conditions which present a risk of exposure to BBIDs, should seek the assistance of the Program Director. The Program Director will confer with the Dean of Student Services to advise and provide recommendations for resolving the risk.
EDUCATION OF STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF
ABOUT BBID(S) AND THEIR PREVENTION
The Dental Hygiene Program adheres to the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and the Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings – 2003 published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The student is trained in preclinic about the various diseases and their transmission, particularly HIV, AIDS and HBV, and the prevention of exposure to infectious organisms in professional and personal situations which apply to patients and the health care worker through the use of universal/standard precautions.