OUR Professional Identity

Is dental hygiene a profession?

Who decides whether it is or is not?

What does professional status (or lack thereof) mean for dental hygienists today and in the future?

What can individual dental hygienists, associations and regulatory colleges do to foster greater professionalism?

Find answers to these questions by reviewing the presentation "Are We a Profession? The Professional Status of Dental Hygiene and Its Impact on Your Career", given by Bernard Gauthier, PhD from the 2013 Educators' Workshop.

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In Search of Our Identity...

After collecting submissions, conducting voting, amalgamating the top-ranked statements, and seeking focus group comments that resulted in a great deal of positive membership engagement, we are pleased to present the new professional identity statement for CDHA members:

I AM A DENTAL HYGIENIST. I EDUCATE AND EMPOWER CANADIANS TO EMBRACE THEIR ORAL HEALTH FOR BETTER OVERALL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.

This declaration is designed to unite and inspire the profession and express the essence and value of who we are and what we do. We hope you will take great pride in it.

Self-perception of a profession, especially one as large and diverse as ours, can be nebulous, sometimes elusive, and ever evolving. Professional identity formation and development are individual maturation processes that begin during one's training for the profession, evolve during entry into the profession, and continue to develop as the practitioner identifies with the profession.

For more background on development of the image statement and some thoughts on the "cleaning" issue, please read the article published in Spring 2014 Oh Canada!

We encourage you to embrace your profession, embrace your identity, and join CDHA in using this statement to elevate the profession of dental hygiene and promote dental hygienists as valued primary oral health care providers. Download the design in the download box to the right and share on social media, post on your website or email signature block, print as a poster, on a t-shirt or anything else you can think of to promote your pride in the profession.