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J Dent Hyg. 2018 Aug;92(4):43-50.

Assessment of Michigan Dentists' and Dental Hygienists' Perceptions Toward Obtaining Continuing Education Credits for Volunteering in Community-Based Clinics.

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess dentists' and dental hygienists' current motivation, attitudes, and knowledge regarding volunteering in a non-profit dental setting and the opportunity for earning continuing education (CE) credits.Methods: This cross-sectional study surveyed a convenience sample of dental and dental hygiene professionals from the state of Michigan. A 20-question paper survey was developed and pilot tested. The survey was disseminated to attendees at various component meetings of the dental and dental hygienists' associations in southeastern Michigan.Results: Out of the 274 surveys that were distributed, 182 (n=182) were completed, yielding a 66% response rate. Eighty percent of the participants were unaware of the opportunity for earning CE by volunteering and 79% were unaware of the volunteering site approval requirement by the Michigan Board of Dentistry. Thirty percent of participants were unable to determine how many unpaid days per year they were willing to volunteer and a similar percentage, (28%), were unable to determine how many paid days. The most common motivating factor to volunteer was to give back to the community (60%) while the greatest barrier was lack of time (62%).Conclusion: The opportunity to earn CE credit for volunteerism is seen as a benefit, however, it needs to be better promoted to potential volunteers, through dissemination of information by professional associations and in educational settings. Community-based clinics also need to be made aware of how to become a CE provider. Further research on the longitudinal impact of CE for volunteerism in community-based clinics is warranted.

KEYWORDS:

access to care; community clinics; continuing education; dental hygienists; dentists; volunteering

PMID:
30143549

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