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Jong-Hwa Jang 1 Article
Level of professional ethics awareness and medical ethics competency of dental hygienists and dental hygiene students: the need to add ethics items to the Korean Dental Hygienist Licensing Examination  
Yoon-Sook Hwang, Jong-Hwa Jang, Kyung-Hee Kang, Minji Kim, Jeong-Ran Park, Sohyun Son, Sun-Mi Lee, Da-Yee Jeung, Jung-Eun Ha, Su-Min Hong, Young-Eun Jang
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2020;17:34.   Published online November 17, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2020.17.34
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Purpose
This study aimed to evaluate the level of professional ethics awareness and medical ethics competency in order to assess the potential need for ethics items to be included on the Korean Dental Hygienist Licensing Examination.
Methods
In total, 358 clinical dental hygienists and dental hygiene students completed a structured questionnaire to evaluate their level of ethical awareness and medical ethics competency. The sub-factors of medical ethics were classified into relationships with patients, medical and social relations, and individual specialized fields.
Results
Only 32.1% of participants indicated that they had taken a course on professional ethics in the university curriculum, but 95.2% of respondents considered professional ethics to be important. The overall score for medical ethics competency was average (3.37 out of 5). The score for relationships with patients was 3.75 points, followed by medical and social relations (3.19 points) and individual specialized fields (3.16 points). The level of professional ethics awareness was higher among participants who had taken a course on professional ethics than among those who had not done so or who did not remember whether they had done so.
Conclusion
Dental hygienists were aware of the importance of professional ethics, but their medical ethics competency was moderate. Therefore, medical ethics should be treated as a required subject in the university curriculum, and medical ethics competency evaluations should be strengthened by adding ethics items to the Korean Dental Hygienist Licensing Examination.

JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions