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Journal of Dental Hygiene








Purpose: Active shooter incidents (ASIs) occurring in dental hygiene academic settings present unique challenges and research examining institutional preparation of dental hygiene students for such incidents is lacking. The purpose of this pilot project was to examine the perceived preparedness, confidence, and awareness of dental hygiene students regarding ASIs.

Methods: A validated 24-item electronic survey was distributed to dental hygiene students (n=68) at one institution to measure their preparedness, confidence, and awareness regarding ASIs. Descriptive statistics and Pearson correlations were used for data analysis.

Results: Fifty-seven dental hygiene students completed the survey for a response rate of 84%. Many participants felt slightly prepared (n=26, 45.6%) or not prepared (n=15, 26.3%) to respond to an ASI in the classroom. Most were slightly confident (n=26, 45.6%) or not confident (n=16, 26.3%) in helping to control the classroom during an ASI. Over half (n=32, 56.1%) were not certain if their institution provided active shooter trainings and were not certain if drills occurred (n=25,43.8%). Perceived preparedness was positively correlated with confidence in helping to control an ASI in the classroom (r(56)=.616, p=.000). Positive correlations were also identified with perceived preparedness to respond in a lab or clinic with the assumption that ASIs are taken seriously at their institution (r(56)=.375, p=.004).

Conclusion: A general lack of preparedness and confidence for responding to ASIs may exist among dental hygiene students along with a lack of awareness regarding trainings and drills. Educational institutions should implement best practices for preparing dental hygiene students for ASIs.


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Original Publication Citation

Bradshaw, B. T., Suedbeck, J. R., Newcomb, T. L., & Bruhn, A. M. (2021). Active shooter preparedness among dental hygiene students. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 95(3), 65-72.


0000-0001-7681-8042 (Suedbeck)