The prevalence of mentoring programs in the transition from student to practitioner among U.S. dental hygiene programs.

Steven B. Blanchard, Jane S. Blanchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Mentoring of students to assist them in the transition to clinical practice has been utilized in a number of health professions but has only been recently introduced in dental and dental hygiene education. A survey was sent to all U.S. dental hygiene program directors to determine the prevalence of mentoring programs in the dental hygiene curriculum that utilize practicing dental hygienists as mentors to facilitate the transition from student to practitioner. Results showed that less than 30 percent of dental hygiene programs are using this type of student mentoring. Dental hygiene program directors reported that the main benefit mentoring provided was "real world" experiences to their students. Lack of formal structure to the mentoring program was the most frequently cited weakness of existing programs. Programs not utilizing mentoring programs listed inadequate time in the existing dental hygiene curriculum as the main obstacle for not implementing a mentoring program. Student mentorship in other health professions has been shown to not only enhance personal and professional growth, but also to increase job satisfaction and retention. Further research, however, is needed on student mentoring programs in the dental and allied dental fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-535
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dental education.
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)

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