Building on our foundational certificate program, Oral Systemic Educator, this Oncology Certificate Program will provide a registered dental hygienist with an in-depth review of the most thorough cancer screening techniques available, implications cancer treatment can have on the oral cavity and how to serve as an oral health advocate on multidisciplinary oncology teams. Cancer care requires a multi-faceted approach to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, yet oral health assessments, follow up and treatment are typically lacking in most oncology settings. Students will be able to learn from interprofessional instructors who specialize in different realms of oncology care. Upon completion of this program, students will be more confident screening for cancer, caring for oncology patients, speaking to and educating oncology providers, and working within integrated care teams, helping them rise as much needed oral health experts in oncology.
The modules provide a comprehensive review of content concerning:
A general review of the biology of cancer and pharmacology specific to the oncology patient
Key lab markers in oncology patients to participate in conversations with other medical professionals and assist with dental treatment guidance
Components of a comprehensive oral health protocol to implement in an oncology practice during every stage of cancer treatment
Secondary complications associated with cancer treatment specific to the oral cavity
Pain and product management that includes education on laser therapy treatment
Comprehensive head, neck, oral & oropharyngeal cancer screenings based on the pillars of The Cotten Method
Auxiliary care in oncology, including nutrition and providing care for patients with laryngectomies, tracheostomies, and ventilator-associated pneumonia
Key points to educate medical professionals on the importance of oral care in cancer treatment
Additional bonus material regarding “a day in the life of” dental hygienists who are integrating oral care in oncology departments
Meet Your Instructors
These experts have been handpicked by our Board of Directors and Advisory Board for their dedication to integrating oral health and oncology, their expertise and/or experience in oncology, and their commitment to multidisciplinary care. They are thought leaders and award winners in their fields.
Click the arrow to the right of the drop down box to view their bio, course description, and objectives
BIOLOGY OF CANCER REVIEW Dr. Karen Clark, DC
UNDERSTANDING LAB WORK & INTERPROFESSIONAL ASPECTS Katie Charles, BSN, RN
PHARMACOLOGY FOR THE ONCOLOGY PATIENT Elizabeth Jinks, RDH, BS
NUTRITION FOR THE ONCOLOGY PATIENT Zak Kaesberg MS, RDN, LDN
CONDUCTING A THOROUGH HEAD, NECK, ORAL & OROPHARYNGEAL SCREENING WITH THE "COTTEN METHOD" Susan Cotten BSDH, RDH, OMT
THE INTIAL ASSESSMENT OF AN ONCOLOGY PATIENT Jennifer Brown, RDH, TSS, COSE
SECONDARY COMPLICATIONS & INTERPROFESSIONAL ASPECTS Dr. Megan Reutter, RDH, DHSc
SECONDARY COMPLICATIONS & ORAL HYGIENE MODIFICATIONS AND PRODUCT CONSIDERATIONS DURING ONCOLOGY TREATMENT Jill Meyer-Lippert, RDH
PHOTOBIOMODULATION FOR THE ONCOLOGY PATIENT Sara Jane Snyder RDH, MBA
ORAL CARE BEYOND CANCER THERAPY Roxanne M. Dsouza-Norwood, RDH, MS
Capstone Project (required)
Choose ONE applied learning project to deepen and implement your understanding of the material and receive your certificate of completion:
- Develop and present an oral health module to oncology providers of at least 30 minutes in length.
- Donate 4-8 hours to educate patients and/or providers in an oncology setting.
- Procure and run a booth at a community health fair offering The Cotten Method of screening.
- Write and submit an article for publication to a peer-reviewed digest with an oncology focus.
- Create an education video or handout on oral manifestations and oral hygiene for oncology patients.
Complete an internship to earn "Practicum Level" status
- Can be paid or unpaid
- Minimum of 6 week presence in the oncology setting
- Minimum of 4 hours each week
- Help the system integrate oral health assessments, protocols, instructions and referrals on an ongoing basis
- Develop or share provider and patient education components for specific use in that setting (eg: recorded presentation or education, brochures, handouts, etc)
We met MANY hygienists working in oncology while building this program
Hygienists like Katharine
Katharine Martinez, RDH, MPH
ORAL HEALTH EDUCATOR IN ONCOLOGY
PHOENIX CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
"There is a sense of gratitude among nurses and doctors for the expertise that I bring to the hospital. For many of these providers, their education only touched briefly upon the oral cavity, and they rely heavily on an otolaryngologist for help with conditions of the mouth. Now that my role exists, I help these providers navigate and educate patients on oral conditions. I work very closely with medical residents to educate them on performing assessments and how to classify a patient’s oral status. These residents will take that education with them to other hospitals and hopefully provide better overall care for their future patients."