Elements of Prescribing for Dental Hygiene 2023

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Elements of Prescribing - A Pharmacy Course for Dental Hygienists

Prescribing is another milestone in your professional career as a dental hygienist. As a professional, you have the skills and knowledge to manage your clients' dental care. The ability to prescribe will allow you to continue this care with greater efficiency than before. 

Using drug therapy, or more specifically issuing prescriptions, requires an understanding of the processes that contribute to drug use (such as pharmacology and human physiology) as well as acquisition of the essential competencies (knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgments) that are required for safe and effective prescribing. This course is designed to help you, the dental hygienist, ensure that you have acquired the necessary skill sets prior to receiving your prescriber's ID number.

This program is a Six Month fully online with the eClass platform as well as seven mandatory live zoom sessions (1 monthly Thursday session).

Winter 2023 Course Dates:


*dates subject to change* final dates to be determined.
  • Thursday, January 12 2023 6:30 PM MST (Welcome Session) 
  • Thursday, February 9, 2023 6:30 PM MST (submit questions by February 6) 
  • Thursday, March 9, 2023 6:30 PM MST(submit questions by Mar 6)
  • Thursday, April 6, 2023 6:30 PM MST(submit questions by April 3) 
  • Thursday, May 4, 2023 6:30 PM MST(submit questions by May 2)
  • Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:30 PM MST (submit questions by May 29 ) 
  • Thursday, July 6 2023 6:30 PM MST (submit questions by July 3) 
**These will all be recorded and to be made available permanently

Participants must pre-register for a final exam date no later than May 12th, 2023 (2 months in advance) including those taking the exam at a test center.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Course Objectives

Following completion of this course, the dental hygienist will be able to:
• Describe the meaning of professional accountability and identify the mechanisms of
effective collaboration and communication with clients and other health care professionals.
• Apply the Dental Hygiene Process of Care and use deductive reasoning to obtain
and update a client’s complete comprehensive health history.
• Describe the basic principles of drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
• Research the mechanisms of actions, indications for use, potential actions, and
contraindications of specific drugs, and use this information to make decisions about
the care plan.
• Implement risk reduction strategies to increase client safety.
• Issue prescriptions that are accurate, clear, and complete by incorporating the principles of prescribing.
• Comply with drug storage, disposal, and labelling requirements to ensure safe handling of drugs and to protect clients and the environment.

Required Texts

The following Textbook is a requirement for the course and is not included in tuition. It is an additional cost and responsibility of the participant to acquire:

Drug Information Handbook for Dentistry and Oral Soft Tissue Diseases.

Optional textbook:

Canadian Pharmacists Association Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties 


Module 1 Professional Accountability, Collaboration, and Communication

Describes the meaning of professional accountability and the mechanisms for effective collaboration and communication with other health care professionals and with clients, including clients with drug-seeking and drug-abuse behaviour. The College-specific Standards of Practice (CRDHA) are also referenced. 

Module 2 Decision Making Related to Medication Use

Details the Dental Hygiene Process of Care and documentation requirements. Eight fundamental questions, relevant to decision making and medication use, are incorporated into this Process of Care to guide you as you create a care plan for clients. 

Module 3 Principles of Pharmacology

Explains the routes of drug administration, drug pharmacokinetics, drug pharmacodynamics, and adverse drug reactions. Also discussed are therapeutic effect and index, and special prescribing considerations for pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, and older adults.

Module 4 Drugs Used in Dental Hygiene

Describes the side effects associated with medication use, including both common systemic and common oral side effects. Lists many of the drugs used to help treat oral conditions and specifically highlights problems or risks with the drug, medications that cause the condition, signs, and treatment. Useful information that will enable the dental hygienist to make appropriate and safe decisions regarding medication use is incorporated. The major focus of this module is the drugs that dental hygienist prescribers will be authorized to prescribe.

Module 5 Risk Management, Drug Errors, and Medical Emergencies

Describes how to assess risk for the client, for the dental hygienist, and within the practice environment. Risk management strategies are introduced to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes and include how to manage drug errors. The pharmacotherapeutics and pharmacokinetics of five drugs used to manage medical emergencies are examined.

Module 6 Issuing a Prescription

Covers the principles of prescribing, the requirements for providing accurate and legal prescriptions, and the methods for preventing and reducing medication errors. Sample prescriptions are shown.

Module 7 Storage, Disposal, and Labelling

Describes the storage and disposal requirements for prescription and non-prescription drugs, and outlines the lab

96 CE | $3250

Equal Split Payments available (4 payments of $812.50).

Email dentce@ualberta.ca for more information.

Please note tuition may be subject to an increase for future course offerings.