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The Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) has determined that the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the state will be served by requiring all dentists, licensed under chapter 18.32 RCW, to continue their professional development via continuing education after receiving such licenses.
Effective Date – The effective date for the continuing education requirement for dentists is July 1, 2001. The first reporting cycle for verifying completion of continuing education hours will begin with renewals due July 1, 2002, and each renewal date thereafter. Every licensed dentist will be required to sign an affidavit attesting to the completion of the required number of hours as a part of his or her annual renewal requirement.
Requirements – Licensed dentists must complete twenty-one (21) clock hours of continuing education, each year, in conjunction with their annual renewal date. DQAC may randomly audit up to twenty-five percent of practitioners for compliance after the credential is renewed as allowed by chapter 246-12 WAC, part 7.
Acceptable continuing education – Qualification of courses for continuing education credit:
DQAC will not authorize or approve specific continuing education courses. Continuing education course work must contribute to the professional knowledge and development of the practitioner, or enhance services provided to patients. For the purposes of this chapter, acceptable continuing education shall be defined as courses offered or authorized by industry recognized state, private, national and international organizations, agencies or institutions of higher learning. Examples of sponsors, or types of continuing education courses may include, but are not limited to:
(a) The American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, National Dental Association, American Dental Hygienists' Association, National Dental Hygienists' Association, American Dental Association specialty organizations, including the constituent and component branch dental societies.
(b) Basic first aid, CPR, BLS, ACLS, OSHA/WISHA, or emergency related training; such as courses offered or authorized by the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society; or any other organizations or agencies.
(c) Educational audio or videotapes, films, slides, Internet, or independent reading, where an assessment tool is required upon completion are acceptable but may not exceed three (3) hours per year.
(d) Teaching a seminar or clinical course for the first time is acceptable but may not exceed ten (10) hours per year.
(e) Non-clinical courses relating to dental practice organization and management, patient management, or methods of health delivery may not exceed seven hours (7) per year. Estate planning, financial planning, investments, and personal health courses are not acceptable.
(f) Dental examination standardization and calibration workshops.
(g) Provision of clinical dental services in a formal volunteer capacity may be considered for continuing education credits when preceded by an educational/instructional training prior to provision of services. Continuing education credits in this area shall not exceed seven (7) hours per renewal cycle.
Refer to chapter 246-12 WAC, Part 7, administrative procedures and requirements for credentialed health care providers for further information regarding compliance with the continuing education requirements for health care providers including:
(a) When is continuing education required?
(b) How to prove compliance.
(c) Auditing for compliance.
(d) What is acceptable audit documentation?
(e) When is a practitioner exempt from continuing education?
(f) How credit hours for continuing education courses are determined.
(g) Carrying over continuing education credits.
(h) Taking the same course more than once during a reporting cycle.
(1) Training requirements: To administer "minimal sedation," including:
(a) A single oral agent, a dentist must have completed a course containing a minimum of fourteen hours of a predoctoral dental school, postgraduate instruction, or continuing education (as defined in WAC 246-817-440) in the use of oral agents;
(b) Any oral agent in combination with a different agent or multiple agents other than nitrous oxide or injectable agents, a dentist must have completed a course containing a minimum of twenty-one hours of either predoctoral dental school or postgraduate instruction.
(2) Procedures for administration:
(a) Oral sedative agents can be administered in the treatment setting or prescribed for patient dosage prior to the appointment;
(b) A second individual must be on the office premises and able to immediately respond to any request from the person administering the drug;
(c) The patient shall be continuously observed while in the office under the influence of the drug;
(d) Any adverse reactions must be documented in the records;
(e) If a patient unintentionally enters into a moderate level of sedation, the patient must be returned to a level of minimal sedation as quickly as possible. While returning the patient to the minimal sedation level, periodic monitoring of pulse, respiration, and blood pressure must be maintained. In such cases, these same parameters must be taken and recorded at appropriate intervals throughout the procedure and vital signs and level of consciousness must be recorded during the sedation and prior to dismissal of the patient.
(3) Dental records must contain documentation in the chart of all agents administered and dosage for minimal sedation. In the case of nitrous oxide sedation only "N2O used" is required. Other inhalation agents require a dose record noting the time each concentration and agent was used.
(4) Continuing education: A dentist who administers minimal sedation to patients must participate in seven hours of continuing education or equivalent every five years.
(a) The education must include instruction in one or more of the following areas:
(iv) Nitrous oxide analgesia;
(v) Patient evaluation;
(vi) Patient monitoring; and
(vii) Medical emergencies;
(b) Health care provider basic life support (BLS) or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) must be taken in addition to the continuing education requirement; however, these continuing education credit hours may be used to meet the renewal requirements for the dental license.
(5) A permit of authorization is not required.