pierce college dental hygiene clinic

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to take one of the PNWDHI courses?

PNWDHI courses are currently offered only to licensed dental hygienists or dental hygiene students expecting to graduate from an accredited (U.S. or Canadian) dental hygiene school by June in the same year of the course.

  • Expanded functions dental auxiliaries or dental assistants are not eligible.

What are the required vaccinations/immunization and CPR certification?

Hepatitis B

Give three-dose series (first dose now, second in one month, third approximately 5 months after second dose). Give IM. Obtain anti-HBs serologic testing 1-2 months after third dose.


For healthcare personnel (HCP) born in 1957 or later without serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination, give two doses of MMR, four weeks apart. For HCP born prior to 1957, see below. Give SC.

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis

Give all HCP a Td booster dose every 10 years, following the completion of the primary three-dose series. Give a one-time dose of Tdap to all HCP younger than age 65 years with direct patient contact. Give IM.

Tuberculosis Skin Test (PPD)

Tested within the past six (6) months, or if the Tuberculosis (TB) Skin Test is positive, a physician letter indicating the student’s TB status. You may not have active TB during course attendance.

Influenza — Recommended, not Required

Give one dose of TIV or LAIV annually. Give TIV intramuscularly or LAIV intranasally.

Please refer to the current CDC Guidelines for Immunizations for Healthcare Providers.

Current CPR Health Provider Certification

Must be current at time of on-site attendance.

What are the technical requirements?

We use an online, internet-based Learning Management System (LMS) for all our courses. You must have a computer with Wi-Fi/internet access to support our LMS.

PC Minimum Configuration and Program Recommendations

  • New within the last two years
  • CPU: 2GHz processor
  • Memory: Minimum 8GB RAM
  • Hard drive: 80GB
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Operating System: Windows XP or Windows 7

Macintosh Minimum Configuration and Program Recommendations

  • New within the last two years
  • CPU: 2GHz processor
  • Memory: Minimum 8GB RAM
  • Hard drive: 80GB
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Operating System: OSX (10.2) or above

Browser Information

Chrome or Firefox are the recommended browsers for LMS interactions. Downloads, pop-up blockers, virus protection, etc. are recommended.

Minimum Software Requirements

  • Adobe Reader
  • Java
  • Microsoft Office for Students: Includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint

What are the prior academic requirements?

The course offered by PNWDHI is a combination of online pre-study, lecture, lab and clinical application. To succeed in these courses, you must have adequate pre-knowledge in basic computer skills (email, file management and downloads) and the following dental hygiene subject areas:

  • Pharmacology
  • Head and neck anatomy
  • Dental anatomy and dental materials
  • Dental hygiene skills

Current USA or Canadian Licensed Dental Hygienist Eligibility Requirements

  • Graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program in the United States or Canada
  • Currently hold a license (in good standing) in the United States or Canada.

Current Dental Hygiene Student Eligibility Documentation Requirement

Recent Dental Hygiene graduates (U.S. and Canadian) must be able to provide documentation of their dental hygiene or dental degree from an accredited (Commission on Dental Accreditation in the USA or equivalent international credentials) dental hygiene or dental program. If you will not have this documentation by June of the year you plan to take courses, then please contact us at: 253-964-6248.

If you are currently an international student enrolled in a U.S. or Canadian accredited dental hygiene program, we will accept you as a student in the PNWDHI based on your currently approved international student status at the other institution.

Is this a rigorous program?

Yes, The course is a “compacted” version of the regular dental hygiene program curriculum. It is fast paced and intense. You must come prepared to the onsite attendance having completed all assigned  online assignments, reading, and other preparation to be successful in the onsite portion.

To successfully complete the course and receive certificates, clinical and didactic competence is required as per our criteria.

What would cause a forfeit of attendance of the course(s)?

  • Failure to meet eligibility criteria.
  • Failure to register and pay for the respective course(s) by the required date sent to you via email.
    • There are no exceptions to this rule as the courses are highly sought after and we have many students wanting a seat. Our board exam success rates are consistently high.
  • We reserve the right to deny the onsite attendance portion of the course should you fail to comply with any of the course requirements (online assignments, purchase of books/materials/instruments, proper clinic attire, etc.).
  • Failure to show up for the course(s) on the designated day and time.
  • We reserve the right to deny the onsite attendance portion of the course should you fail to pay for any additional fees, in full, the first day of the course.