Legislative Advocacy

 

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What Is Legislative Advocacy?

 

Advocacy is the deliberate process of influencing legislators who make decisions on issues that affect you, your family and your profession.  If NCDHA members spend time introducing themselves to their local Representative and Senator, the strength of the profession would grow significantly! 

Now is the time to speak up about the benefits and needs of our profession! 

 

Tips on Preparing for a Visit with Your Legislator

Identify your legislators

Go to North Carolina legislation website to “Find Your Representative”. Enter your address in the space provided and click on “Find Your Elected Officials”. The contact information for your Representative and Senator will be provided.

Contact the Local Office of each Legislator to Request an Appointment

· Most legislative staff receive meeting requests by email. You can also call for an appointment.
· Introduce yourself, shake hands, make eye contact, and smile!
· Explain who you are (RDH and a constituent), Describe the responsibilities of your job and the profession .

Key points to Consider Mentioning:

  • Dental hygienists are many times the first contact a person has for dental issues.
    · Good oral health is important to total overall health. 
    · Share a personal story – about someone you provided care to, a need in the community, or the reason you wanted to be a hygienist.
     
    · Be concise and to the point; 2 – 3 minutes total. 
    · Offer yourself as a resource to them and their staff on dental issues. 

    Rules of Conduct :
    · Remain positive even if you receive negative feedback. Be positive and persuasive.
    · Dress for success; or wear your lab coat
    · Always thank the legislator and/or their staff for meeting with you and for their service to the state in general .

Sommer Wisher, Oral Health Day, June 2019

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North Carolina Licensure Information

FAQ Regarding Dental Hygiene Licensure

The following provides reference information about requirements and procedures related to obtaining a dental hygiene license in North Carolina.

Application Forms and Information: Application Forms and Information

Fees for License: Fees for License

Under North Carolina Law, § 90-233, A dental hygienist may practice only under the supervision of one or more licensed dentists.

Eligibility to Practice Dental Hygiene Outside Direct Supervision: Eligibility to Practice Dental Hygiene Outside Direct Supervision

Continuing Education 

Dental hygienists are required to complete 6 hours of continuing education every year. In addition, dental hygienists area required to maintain current CPR certification received from a “hands on” course.

Dental hygienists may obtain any or all of their required hours through correspondence or online courses which have post-tests and issue certificates of completion.

Dental hygienists with a limited supervision license must complete 6 hours of continuing education every year in dental office medical emergencies, in addition to the minimum 6 hours of continuing education as required for license renewal.

Appropriate course subjects: Courses must be related to patient care. Courses stressing practice management or self-improvement, for example, could not count, while courses in sterilization and infection control, pharmacology, dental materials and dental procedures are acceptable. The Board will accept some risk management courses.

Approved Sponsors for CE Hours: providers who are recognized by the American Dental Association’s Continuing Education Recognition Program, courses sponsored the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental or American Dental Hygienists’ Association, or components of such organizations, the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers, educational institutions with dental or dental hygiene schools or departments, and national, state, or local societies or associations. (Study clubs are considered “associations”.)

Reporting CE Hours: The number of hours completed each year is reported on the license renewal form and no documentation of course work should be sent to the Board’s office. Each person is responsible for maintaining his/her own documentation for at least two years of CE courses completed and must show evidence of completing CE when requested by the Board.

License Renewal

The online renewal system is open from November 1 to March 31 each year. A $50 late penalty will be assessed to those renewing after January 31. Licensees may use the online system to update their address and phone information throughout the year.

All licenses that are not renewed by March 31 become void and continuing to practice without a valid renewal certificate is a Class I misdemeanor. Each day’s violation is a separate offense.

Licenses not renewed by March 31 must be reinstated by the Board. Reinstatement involves submitting an application and paying a reinstatement fee ($225 for dentists; $60 for dental hygienists) along with the current year’s renewal fee.

North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners

The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners is responsible for the professions of dental hygienists, dentists and dental assistants. The purpose of the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners is to ensure that the dental profession merit and receive the confidence of the public and that only qualified persons be permitted to practice dentistry and dental hygiene in the state of North Carolina. The board members include 6 dentists, 1 dental hygienist and 1 consumer member.

North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative

The North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC) convenes diverse stakeholders to identify and resolve consumer-level and systemic barriers to good oral health and to accelerate implementation of policies and practices that reduce oral health disparities and promote improved oral health for all North Carolinians.