The complexity of decision-making in dental hygienists’ practice requires critical thinking skills. Interest in raising educational standards for entry into the dental hygiene profession is a response to the demand for enhanced professional skills, including critical thinking skills. No studies found in the course of literature review compared dental hygienists or dental hygiene students’ critical thinking skills among different educational levels. The purpose of this comparative, quantitative study was to determine how critical thinking skills differ among three levels of dental hygiene educational programs within the United States, measured by scores on the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) attained by students in their final year and the interaction of management experience and age. There was no significant difference in critical thinking skills of United States dental hygiene students among Associate, Baccalaureate, or Master level or interaction of management experience or age with a difference among those program levels. Statistically significant findings were a relationship of the CCTST subscale score inference to management experience, p = .04, and a relationship of management experience to age, p < .01. Implications for dental hygiene professional education and recommendations for further research were discussed.
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational tests & measurements, Adult education, Dentistry, Health education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Clinical competence, Critical thinking, Dental hygiene, Diagnostic skills, Intellectual autonomy, Professional education|
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