A Survey of Ergonomics Education Opportunities Available to Dental Hygienists in Ontario.
Dental hygienists (DH) are exposed to many potentially injurious physical demands, such as prolonged exposure to awkward neck, trunk, and shoulder postures. The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in this group is alarmingly high (62-93%). DH would benefit from ergonomics-specific workplace safety education, but it is unknown what sort of instruction, if any, is currently offered within the DH curriculum or for continuing education credit. Evaluation of existing educational opportunities will be conducted using a web-based survey of DH across Ontario. The surveys will also include questions regarding the mode of continuing education the DH would find most accessible (e.g. online or night courses, workshops, etc.). The results of the survey will guide ergonomists at the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. in updating existing and/or creating new educational resources for registered DH and DH programs, in order to promote proactive injury prevention in this occupational group across the Province.