UW School of Dentistry

Faculty Supervision of Students

Subject:                       Faculty Supervision of Students
Effective Date
:           November 1993
Revision Dates:         August 2002, September 2016


To define the specific duties required of clinical faculty during the supervision of students engaged in patient care.

General Policy

Supervision of students of the University of Washington School of Dentistry during patient care is required by state law.  Specific duties of the faculty engaged in this function are defined in this policy, including the essential documentation of that supervision.


I. State Law

The following are relevant portions of Washington State Law relating to Dental Practice which establishes the legal basis for the supervision of unlicensed dental students engaged in patient care. The statue explains the requirement for faculty supervision of dental students. See: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=18.32.020

Practice of dentistry defined. (RCW 18.32.020)

Exemptions from statute.  (RCW 18.32.030)   NOTE section 3: Dental schools or colleges approved under RCW 18.32.040

II.   Duties of Supervising Faculty

A faculty member who supervises a student during patient care must hold a current dental license (or a dental hygiene license, in cases where a faculty member is teaching within the scope of practice of a dental hygienist.) The faculty member must also be in compliance with School of Dentistry and WA State requirements, such as, but not limited to, HIPAA, BBP standards, OSHA/WISHA standards, etc.

A. Location

The supervising faculty member must be punctual for clinic start times, maintain a physical presence in the clinic when predoctoral students are being supervised and remain until patients under their supervision are dismissed.  Faculty supervising postdoctoral students must remain on call in the building during patient care.

B. Permission to Proceed

Predoctoral students must be granted formal permission to proceed with planned care by the faculty supervisor after completion of the following mental checklist:

  1. Review health status.
  2. Verify appropriateness of proposed procedure.
  3. Verify accuracy of the radiographs.
  4. Verify existence of the treatment plan and patient consent

C. Teaching Standards

Faculty must adhere to established standards of care of the dental profession and the School of Dentistry to teach within the parameters of departmental philosophy and protocols (see Clinic Policy Manual, Section 1-C Standards of Patient Care.)

D. Professional Modeling

Faculty are expected to model professional behavior while supervising patient care. Clinical faculty are to preserve a humanistic learning environment for students and patients.

E. Treatment Documentation

Faculty shall assure that patient care is documented and verify the care by approving the treatment progress notes in the EHR.

F. Financial Management

Faculty are expected to:

  1. Approve the treatment plan and verify fees are listed.
  2. Assure the patient has signed the treatment plan acknowledging consent for care and acceptance of the stated fees.

III. Documentation of Supervision

A. Onset of Supervision

In keeping with School policy and the School’s Quality Improvement Program, care shall not be rendered until supervision is in place in any dental school clinic. As faculty supervision must be in place, faculty must be punctual for clinic start times. Supervision is documented when the faculty supervisor approves the treatment in the EHR.  At offsite clinics, students likewise are not to proceed with care without permission from the supervising faculty (see RCW 18.32.030 and rcw 18.32.040).

B. Completion of Supervision

  1. School Clinics

Daily clinical session supervision ends when all patients under faculty supervision are dismissed and all documentation is recorded in the patient record.

Dean of UW SOD:

Joel Berg, Dean of the UW School of Dentistry