pierce college dental hygiene clinic

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


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)

A one-step TB test 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.


One of the following:

  • Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax: two doses with last dose complete a minimum of two weeks prior to the start of the on-site class.
  • Johnson & Johnson: one dose, a minimum of two weeks prior to the start of the on-site class.

If eligible for the booster doses prior to on-site course offerings, this too must be completed. This vaccine may be updated in real time dependent on CDC recommendations.


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?

You must have a computer with Wi-Fi/internet access to support Canvas, our learning management system.

Minimum Configuration and Program Recommendations

  • CPU: 2GHz processor
  • Memory: Minimum 8GB RAM, recommended 16 GB RAM
  • Hard drive: 80GB
  • CD-ROM drive (optional)
  • Webcam and microphone
  • Operating System: Version cannot be more than five years old

Browser Information

Chrome is the recommended browser for Canvas 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.

Are the courses rigorous?

Yes, the course(s) are a "compacted" version of the entry-level Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene curriculum at Pierce College. 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.
  • Failure 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.