Ethical behavior refers to general standards upon which the concepts of rights and wrongs are hinged within the society. These standards can in turn be evaluated by by their ability to inculcate good and abate harm. Likewise, these standards in turn help in entrenching the promotion of health and disease prevention. The purpose of a professional code of ethics is to bring in large scale ethical consciousness, quality professional decision making and performance by the members of a certain profession.
The specific aims of professional ethical behavior is to instill professional and value consciousness and responsibility, to help in the understanding of ethical matters and to guide the professional bodies to make more informed choices, to set up standards for professional evaluation, and to read out the professional code of ethical behavior that should be expected by the general public of a certain professional body. Ethical working relationships with the peer dental hygiene is very important since it contains fundamental principles that is needed to drive the dental health care providers into the right working attitude.
Under this fundamental principles exist the working ethics which basically portend the concept of virtues and vices. Ethics therefore gear health care givers and health hygienists towards doing the right thing to the society such as the prevention of diseases and being at the disposal of the society to offer treatment to the sick. In a nutshell, ethics inculcates the right professional conduct among dental health care givers as a body of professionals (Wilkins, 2004). It is also within the concept of fundamental principles that the concept of universality comes in.
The concept of universality has it that if an action is considered good or evil by one party (a group or an individual), then the concept becomes equally good or evil, respectively. This makes it incumbent upon the dental hygienists to ensure that their practices become conformant with the surrounding societal expectations The concept of complementarity also falling under this rubric, assumes the presence of duties or obligations to justice and the basic human rights. This concept does ensure that the rights (such as the rights to access treatment) of the patients are catered for fully.
To this end, the dental hygienists and dental health care providers must ensure acting towards patients in a manner concomitant with the way they would also prefer in reverse roles. Ethical working relationships gears towards the fulfillment of the needs of the community. This does not only require of dental health care providers to be more sensitive to the needs of the society around them, but also demand of the same to exhibit concern for the needs of the global environment surrounding them and the needs to preserve the resources around them.
This calls for responsible action from the dental health care fraternity to form and maintain proper disposal habits to avoid pollution (Gorlin, 1999). Conversely, the concept of both individual and collective responsibility provides guidelines that are needed in making the right choices, accept the responsibility for having knowledge and applying them for the beneficence of the society. Herein, it is required of the dental health care givers fraternity to exercise their knowledge and essence to better the society.
There are also core values that also shape the dental hygiene students’ professionalism. This is because the these core values dictate the choices and actions towards the dental health care profession. Some of these core values stress the need for autonomy among individuals and the need for respect to others. These concepts require that the patient be deemed by the dental hygienists as being unique and hence needing to be treated with respect.
For instance, it is on this backdrop that it is almost common sense that the dental health care provider must not mock the status or the appearance of the patient. The value of confidentiality also demands that the dental hygienist must hold as confidential the medical or personal details of the patient. To this effect, the dental health care provider is always to refrain from engaging in unwarranted dissemination of a patient’s personal details to the non medical or medical body.
The concept of societal trust also posits that the dental fraternity can only earn public trust in direct proportion to the rightness of the dental health care hygienists’ behavior. This holds that the dental health practitioners behave in a way that suggest the highest possible case of social refinement ever. After all, medical practitioners with vast dental health knowledge but without proper behavioral ethics always end up being considered quacks.
Closely related to the above fact, the value of non maleficence demands that the dental hygienists and the dental health care providers engage in practices that will not harm people. This advocates for the fact that the practitioners be well versed in the field of dentistry since it involves humans, and that extra care be taken when handling the patients. In addition to this, the justice and fairness values require of the dental health care practitioners being honest when exacting fee from the patients.
Ethical working relationships demand that not only dental hygienists refrain from exploiting financially the patients, but that all medical practitioners do so. In conclusion, it must be seen that the concept of working ethics among the dental practitioners is so important a concept to be ignored.
This is underscored by the fact that it was found through research that in the US, 64% of dental health colleges offered ethics in dental hygiene as a separate course, while 82% were found to have incorporated ethics studies into one or multiple dental health care courses.In addition to this, 98% were found to be using the dental health care and hygiene facilities to offer instructions (Colgate, 1982).
Colgate, C. and Russel, J. J. (1982). National dentistry and professional association. US: Columbia Books. Gorlin, A. R. (1999). Professional responsibility code: Ethics and standards in business. US: BNA Books. Wilkins, M. E. (2004). Dental hygienists: A clinical practice. US: Lippincott Williams Wilkins.
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