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BDH survey: How has your degree affected your career?

Posted by Cheryl Bell on November 3, 2021 in News
Michaela Dederich, Rachael Dvorski, and Megan Hynes graduated with BDH degrees in 2021


If you hold a Bachelor of Dental Hygiene degree from Dalhousie University, the School of Dental Hygiene would like to hear from you. A pan-Canadian study is taking place this November into dental hygiene degree programs and their educational outcomes. The other participating universities are UBC, the University of Alberta, and the University of Manitoba.

Two big questions
"The two big questions the study asks," says Rock, "are what motivates diploma graduates to study for a degree in dental hygiene and what difference does it make to their careers?"

The answers are important. Studies on Canadian dental hygienists with degrees are limited, and the studies that do exist focus primarily on the graduates’ satisfaction with the program’s curriculum.

This study, Rock explains, will look at how dental hygiene degree graduates are using their degree in professional practice. It covers their employment status, the type of practice they work in, the location of their practice, and how they are applying the skills and knowledge they gained during their BDH education.

"The results should show us whether there are significant differences between dental hygienists who have earned a dental hygiene degree compared to those who have a diploma,” she says. “Here at Dal, the information will underpin the development of future dental hygiene-specific graduate programs."

How to participate
All Dal BDH alumni are encouraged to participate. The online Opinio survey will take 15-20 minutes to complete. All eligible participants will be entered into a draw for one of eight $50 Amazon gift cards.

The survey will be emailed to Dalhousie BDH alumni on Monday, November 1, 2021 and close at midnight on December 1, 2021.

"Participation in the survey is completely voluntary,” says Rock, “but the information we receive will help to guide our work here at Dal and tell us how dental hygiene degree-holders across the country are using their education."

Using the information
It is anticipated that the data collected will be used in educational seminars, reports, conference presentations, and journal publications, in addition to the paper on the study’s results. The Dal-specific analysis will also contribute to the Faculty of Dentistry’s own program evaluation and future developments.

"Our Faculty’s participation rate in studies is always high,” says Rock. “I think our alumni appreciate how much these studies help us to learn more – plus there is a great culture of staying involved and staying engaged. I have great confidence that our BDH alumni will want to help us with this study."