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Utilize Dental Hygienists as Allied Healthcare Providers in Relief Support Efforts

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The California Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) is requesting Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to execute an inclusion of registered dental hygienists (RDHs) to provide relief support for the healthcare workers on the frontline of our current statewide crisis, COVID-19. Our hospital workers are inundated with triaging and treating the influx of people seeking testing or in need of care, while having little to no time to pause for their own health and safety, due to the shortage of available personnel or volunteer support. By including RDHs to be called upon to provide relief support for our hospital workers, the State of California and hospital personnel will have access to more than 17,000 qualified and readily available RDHs.

We at CDHA support you and want our State to know we are ready to be called upon! Sign this petition and show Governor Newsom and CDPH that we are CDHA strong!

Governor Gavin Newsom and Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell,

As a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), I’m bringing it to your attention the continuously overlooked healthcare provider, the RDH. For one to become an RDH, we must graduate from an accredited program, pass a national written board exam, a state board exam, and the California’s jurisprudence exam. RDHs hold degrees ranging from an Associates of Science to a Masters of Science in Dental Hygiene [completing the same prerequisites as a nurse, doctor or any other allied healthcare provider]. To maintain our California license to practice as a provider, we have to complete a minimum of 25 continuing education units (CEUs). Of these CEUs, 2 units of infection control and 4 units of basic life support (BLS) are mandated courses. In addition, we are also trained and knowledgeable in occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) protocols. RDHs are more than capable of providing relief support for our hospital workers, who can be better utilized in other high level care areas. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) must be made aware of our ability to provide the same standard of care services as our allied healthcare providers who have been asked to assist in this pandemic.

I am writing to inform you that we have more than 17,000 RDHs who are currently being excluded from a pool of allied healthcare providers that CDPH could utilize during our COVID-19 crisis and any future state of emergency crisis we may encounter.

Thank you for your leadership.

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