The secretary is authorized to create a school sealant endorsement program for dental hygienists and dental assistants. The secretary of health, in consultation with the dental quality assurance commission and the dental hygiene examining committee, shall adopt rules to implement this section.
(1) A dental hygienist licensed in this state after April 19, 2001, is eligible to apply for endorsement by the department of health as a school sealant dental hygienist upon completion of the Washington state school sealant endorsement program. While otherwise authorized to act, currently licensed hygienists may still elect to apply for the endorsement.
(2) A dental assistant employed after April 19, 2001, by a dentist licensed in this state, who has worked under dental supervision for at least two hundred hours, is eligible to apply for endorsement by the department of health as a school sealant dental assistant upon completion of the Washington state school sealant endorsement program. While otherwise authorized to act, currently employed dental assistants may still elect to apply for the endorsement.
(3) The department may impose a fee for implementation of this section.
(4) The secretary shall provide a report to the legislature by December 1, 2005, evaluating the outcome of chapter 93, Laws of 2001.
[2001 c 93 § 2.]
Findings—Intent—2001 c 93: "The legislature finds that access to preventive and restorative oral health services by low-income children is currently restricted by complex regulatory, financial, cultural, and geographic barriers that have resulted in a large number of children suffering unnecessarily from dental disease. The legislature also finds that very early exposure to oral health care can reverse this disease in many cases, thereby significantly reducing costs of providing dental services to low-income populations.
It is the intent of the legislature to address the problem of poor access to oral health care by providing for school-based sealant programs through the endorsement of dental hygienists." [2001 c 93 § 1.]
Effective date—2001 c 93: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [April 19, 2001]." [2001 c 93 § 5.]