NDHCE (Canadian Boards Failure Rate)

NDHCE (Canadian Boards Failure Rate)

“The failure rate is high, more than we would expect after years of school.”

Have you ever wondered what the success rate for the NDHCE (Canada exam, National Boards) is? We have the unofficial numbers for you.

You spent years in dental hygiene school. You put your life on hold to study and practice to become a dental professional. The last step is then, the NDHCE (National Dental Hygiene Canadian Board Exams). The exam is administered three times a year: January, May, and September.

The pass rate is estimated to be at 75%. That means, 1 out of 4 students fail the NDHCB. In my mind, that is a LOT. Think about your group of friends in dental hygiene school. One person among your group of 4 will be behind. Note: The statistics provided is NOT an official data provided by the NDHCB.

Then what can you do today to become more prepared? Of course, study more. But I would like to skip the obvious and focus on the case studies.

“One person among your group of 4 friends will be behind.”

According to the NDHCB official guidelines, item 5.2.2 “Test items can be a stand-alone and independent question, or part of a Case study (description of a scenario within clinical practice, community health, health education, …) where a series of five to seven multiple-choice test items are asked on the particular scenario. Items are developed to reflect current practice and may include, parts of a dental chart, picture(s) or radiograph(s).”

See this example provided by the NDHCE website as sample questions:

Client Profile: Mrs. Darwin, 70 years old, presents for her initial dental hygiene care appointment. She is accompanied by her daughter. Mrs. Darwin resides in a long-term care facility. Mrs. Darwin’s daughter is concerned about the status of her mother’s oral health.

Chief Concern: Mrs. Darwin’s is pleasant and cooperative, but anxious about dental care. Health History: Mrs. Darwin has atherosclerosis and moderate dementia. She has high cholesterol and a blood pressure reading of 135/85 mmHg. She is currently taking a prescribed antidepressant and cholesterol lowering medication.

Dental Health History: Mrs. Darwin wears a complete maxillary denture that is ill fitting. Six months ago, she received a new partial lower denture to replace the molars.

Intraoral Assessment: There is generalized materia alba and dental biofilm present on all teeth and dentures, with moderate, supragingival calculus on the mandibular anterior teeth. The gingival tissue is red, bulbous, bleeds on probing and there is generalized gingival recession of 2 – 3 mm. The mid-palate has a 2 x 3 mm lesion that is red, raised, smooth and asymptomatic.

Questions 46 – 50 refer to this case.

46: Which one of the following conclusions can be made regarding the tissue condition on the palatal?

A. It is most likely associated with oral psoriasis.
B. It is most likely due to a vitamin B deficiency.
C. It suggests the presence of blood dyscrasia.
D. It suggests chronic atrophic candidiasis.

“1 out of 4 students fail the NDHCB.”

It is most important to practice case studies for the Canadian Dental Hygiene National Boards. Students have repeatedly expressed how unprepared they were for those types of questions.

As the founder of StudentRDH, I cannot just leave you with a warning. That would be against my intent of providing efficiency in education. So, I created a short document with 10 questions in case study formats. This is for your own practice, it is 100% FREE.

I wish you the best in everything you do!

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Claire Jeong

Claire is an entrepreneur, author, educator, researcher, and international speaker. She is the founder of StudentRDH and SmarterDA, dental hygiene and assisting exam prep solutions. Through her live and online courses, Claire helped tens of thousands of people gain valuable dental knowledge and clinical skills. She combines the WakeUp Memory Technique™ in her courses and teaches educators to apply this method in their own classrooms. To her audience’s testimony: "Learning is now addictive."


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