School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
Transition, Dental Hygienist, Dental Hygiene Education, Mentorship
Curriculum and Instruction
Porter, Kay, "Transitioning From Clinical Practitioner to Educator Within The Field of Dental Hygiene: A Phenomenological Study" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3188.
This qualitative transcendental phenomenological study describes the lived experiences of clinical dental hygienists transitioning from clinical practitioners to dental hygiene educators. The theory guiding this study is Schlossberg’s (1981, 2011) transition theory as it relates to career transition. The focus of this study was based upon the central research question, “How do clinical dental hygienists describe their transition into dental hygiene education?” Educators reflected on the essence of their transition, including preparational methods, pedagogical practices, orientation, mentoring programs utilized during their transition, and staff development since becoming dental hygiene educators. This study took place in the School of Health Sciences at Cobb County Community College, located in the central piedmont region of North Carolina. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit dental hygiene educators with a minimum of two years of clinical experience and a minimum of six months in a teaching role who practice in the state of North Carolina. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews using open-ended questions, virtual focus groups, and a hypothetical letter from participants to dental hygienists considering transitioning from clinical dental hygiene explaining their lived experiences. Data were analyzed to determine emerging themes that explored the essence of the phenomenon. This qualitative transcendental phenomenological study sought to describe the lived experiences of clinical dental hygienists transitioning from clinical practitioners to dental hygiene educators. Themes resulting from data analysis include motivational factors, preparatory process, instructor learning needs and processes, and educational methodology development.