Each licensed dental hygienist applying for license renewal shall earn a minimum of sixteen hours of continuing education within the preceding twenty-four-month period.
For registration periods beginning on and after October 1, 2016, each dental hygieniest must complete at least one hour of training or education in infection control in a dental setting and for registration periods beginning on and after October 1, 2017, one contact hour in cultural competency.
The subject matter for continuing education shall reflect the professional needs of the licensee in order to meet the health care needs of the public. Continuing education activities shall provide significant theoretical or practical content directly related to clinical or scientific aspects of dental hygiene.
Qualifying Continuing Education
Qualifying continuing education activities include, but are not limited to, courses, including on-line courses, that are offered or approved by dental schools and other institutions of higher education that are accredited or recognized by the Council on Dental Accreditation, a regional accrediting organization, the American Dental Association, a state, district or local dental association or society affiliated with the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association, the American Dental Hygienists Association or a state, district or local dental hygiene association or society affiliated with the American Dental Hygienists Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Academy of Dental Hygiene, the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association when sponsoring programs in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or cardiac life support, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and armed forces of the United States when conducting programs at United States governmental facilities, a hospital or other health care institution, agencies or businesses whose programs are accredited or recognized by the Council on Dental Accreditation, local, state or national medical associations, or a state or local health department. Eight hours of volunteer dental practice at a public health facility may be substituted for one hour of continuing education, up to a maximum of five hours in one two-year period.
Activities that do not qualify toward meeting these requirements include professional organizational business meetings, speeches delivered at luncheons or banquets, and the reading of books, articles, or professional journals. Not more than four hours of continuing education may be earned through an on-line or other distance learning program.
Documentation Requirements/Record Retention
Each licensee applying for license renewal pursuant to section 19a-88, except a licensee applying for a license renewal for the first time, shall sign a statement attesting that he or she has satisfied the continuing education requirements described in subsection (g) of this section on a form prescribed by the department. Each licensee shall retain records of attendance or certificates of completion that demonstrate compliance with the continuing education requirements described in subsection (g) of this section for not less than three years following the date on which the continuing education was completed or the license was renewed. Each licensee shall submit such records to the department for inspection not later than forty-five days after a request by the department for such records. A licensee who fails to comply with the provisions of this section may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 20-126o, as amended by this act.
In individual cases involving medical disability or illness, the Commissioner of Public Health may grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements or an extension of time within which to fulfill the requirements of this subsection to any licensee, provided the licensee submits to the Department of Public Health an application for waiver or extension of time on a form prescribed by the commissioner, along with a certification by a licensed physician of the disability or illness and such other documentation as may be required by the commissioner. The commissioner may grant a waiver or extension for a period not to exceed one registration period, except the commissioner may grant additional waivers or extensions if the medical disability or illness upon which a waiver or extension is granted continues beyond the period of the waiver or extension and the licensee applies for an additional waiver or extension.
A licensee who is not engaged in active professional practice, in any form, during a registration period shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements, provided the licensee submits a notarized application for exemption on a form prescribed by the commissioner prior to the end of the registration period. A licensee who is exempt under the provisions of this subsection may not engage in professional practice until the licensee has met the continuing education requirements of this section.
Reinstatement of a Lapsed License
A licensee whose license has become void and who applies to the department for reinstatement of such license, shall: (1) For a license that has been void for two years or less, submit evidence of completion of a minimum of twenty-four contact hours of qualifying continued education during the two-year period immediately preceding the application for reinstatement; or (2) for a license that has been void for more than two years, submit evidence of successful completion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination or the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners Examination in Dental Hygiene during the year immediately preceding the application.