Perceptions of continuing education in dental hygiene :
Baggarley, Eva R.
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Health care providers should be prepared to meet the demand of health care consumers for more and better treatment. Health care consumers see themselves as purchasers of services not simply as passively treated patients. As health care consumers, people expect to be treated with the most up-to-date means available. Continuing education is thought to be one way in which the health care provider can maintain and up-date his/her practice. This study focuses on continuing education in the allied health field of dental hygiene. In the realm of dental hygiene, a limited amount of research has been conducted pertaining to material relevance, knowledge retention, and quality assurance implications. In this study, these factors were compared in relation to the course content/mode of learning and the course method of presentation. Continuing education courses from the 1982 continuing education program of the Yankee Dental Congress, and the January and February 1982 continuing education program of the Forsyth School for Dental Hygienists were monitored and evaluated. The method of course presentation was either clinical or didactic. The course content/modes of learning were classified as reinforcing previous knowledge and skills, or introducing new knowledge and skills. The participants perceptions of material relevance, knowledge retention, and quality implications were analyzed in relation to the method of presentation and content/mode of learning. The instruments used to gather information were individual participant pretests, post-tests, immediate course, and one month post-course evaluations. Prior to the beginning of each course, randomly selected participants were given information packets which included the instruments listed above. Of the ninety-one participants completing the pre- tests, post-tests, and immediate course evaluation, eighty two returned the one month post-course evaluations for a response rate of ninety percent. Upon analysis of the data several interesting trends were found. These trends pertained to the shift in participants perceptions as recorded on the one month post-course evaluations. Due to the subjective nature of the study, only a couple of significant differences were produced. These significant differences related to the participants' perceptions of knowledge retention in clinical and didactic courses. This descriptive study of dental hygiene continuing education compared participants' perceptions of material relevance, knowledge retention, and quality assurance implications for future continuing education courses. The results of the study indicated that most participants of continuing education perceive the material relevant enough to apply to their daily practice. It also indicates that knowledge retention is influenced by the method of presentation and by the participants' level of interest. The participants perceived their level of interest to be influenced by the quality of the presention. Further objective research needs to be conducted to support the indications of this study.
PLEASE NOTE: This work is protected by copyright. Downloading is restricted to the BU community: please click Download and log in with a valid BU account to access. If you are the author of this work and would like to make it publicly available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.Thesis (M.Sc.)--Boston University. Henry M. Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry, 1982 (Dental Public Health).Includes bibliographical references (leaves 31-33).
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