The Dental Hygienist provides direct patient care under the general supervision of the dentist and performs other clinical and clerical functions independently of direct supervision. It is expected that they provide direct patient care and receive guidance from higher-level or supervisory staff members for only the most complex patients. At the full performance level GS-09 level the staff dental hygienists performs the following duties assigned but not limited to: Patient medical assessment (e.g. medical/dental history, social history, vital signs, full periodontal assessment and charting), disease and treatment management recommendations, denture care, scaling and root planning, radiographs/image interpretation, patient education (e.g. post-procedure, tobacco cessation, caries and perio-disease prevention), behavior management, management of stable medically compromised patients (including risk factors), instrument sharpening, inter-service communication. a. Customer Service/Veteran Centered Care Shows courtesy, respect, and a positive attitude for patients, co-workers and the public. Provides assistance to customers with questions or concerns, provides service recovery. Delivers care that reflects the Veteran's and the family's personal goals, personal preferences, and freedom of choice. Demonstrates knowledge and application of patient and family centered care in written care plans, instructions to patients, and in observation of the actual care provided. Demonstrates non-judgmental understanding of the Veteran's and family's knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. Demonstrates collaborative orientation to working with patients and families. b. Patient Care Sets up operatory for planned dental procedure and cleans dental unit for timely turnover. Handles instruments safely, accurately, and efficiently. Assesses patient's medical, dental, anxiety/phobias, medications and comorbidities. Assesses the impact of patient's medical and dental condition on maintaining oral health Recognize age-related changes in individual patients, adapt patient environment, and maximize patient's physical comfort. Provides routine oral prophylactic care to include application of appropriate fluoride solutions. Provides gross debridement, scaling and root planning procedures. Cleans dental prostheses, fixed and removable. Manages dental recall system, referring patients to the doctor for additional care when needed. Makes impressions for fluoride carrier trays. Administers topical anesthetic agents. Accomplishes all procedures within standard infection control protocols. c. Patient Education Provides patient education appropriate to the Veteran's needs and oral condition. Explains hygiene procedures, indications, complications and expected outcomes to individual patient and caregiver. Prepares and provides education on periodontal disease, wellness, health maintenance, oral hygiene practices, parafunctional habits, and effect of illness, addictions, medications and tobacco on the oral cavity. d. Dental Imaging Images are characterized by diagnostic quality, accurately oriented and exposed. Dental imaging safety techniques are utilized, and retakes are minimized. e. Infection Control and Equipment Sterilization Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in setting up and cleaning up operatory. Instruments are properly prepared for sterilization by SPS standards. Instruments are prepared in a manner that does not delay clinical care. Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in exposing images. f. other duties as assigned Work Schedule: M-F 8:00am-4:30pm Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.