The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) will offer its Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam in Spanish in January 2024, a move aimed at breaking down language barriers and promoting inclusivity in the dental community. The RHS exam is DANB’s most popular exam, with more than 12,000 exams administered each year, and it will be the first credentialing exam in oral healthcare to be offered in Spanish.
Current data shows 22% of RHS exam applicants are fluent in Spanish. The introduction of the Spanish translation of the RHS exam marks a pivotal moment for DANB’s ongoing efforts to ensure that dental professionals from diverse backgrounds have equal access to certification opportunities. The impact is especially notable, as 38 states and D.C. recognize or require DANB exams or certifications for dental assistants.
“We are committed to fostering the growth of a well-prepared and diverse dental assistant workforce,” said DANB CEO Laura Skarnulis. “Offering the RHS exam in Spanish will empower Spanish-speaking dental assistants to pursue career growth and to deliver quality care to patients who might otherwise not seek treatment due to a language barrier.”
DANB worked closely with exam translation consultants and subject matter experts, including leaders from the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), to ensure the accuracy of translation into Modern Spanish, while protecting exam integrity.
“As the leading voice for Hispanic oral health, we support DANB in offering the RHS exam in Spanish,” said HDA CEO Dr. Manuel Cordero. “DANB’s work in this area aligns with our mission and objectives to open new pathways for Hispanics into oral health careers and to promote the overall health of the Hispanic/Latinx and underrepresented communities.”
See the FAQs below for more information.
Why is DANB offering the RHS exam in Spanish?
Spanish is the second-most-common language spoken in the U.S. and the second-most-common language spoken by dental assistants taking DANB’s RHS exam. A well-prepared and diverse dental workforce contributes to the overall excellence of the industry. By offering the RHS exam in Spanish, DANB is facilitating the development of highly skilled dental professionals who can deliver quality care to patients across linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Which dialect of Spanish will the RHS exam be translated to?
The RHS exam will be translated to Modern Spanish.
Is the RHS exam translated in Spanish the same as the English exam?
Yes, the exams are equivalent. The RHS exam in English and Spanish both follow the same exam outline, use the same question bank, have the same pass point, and have been constructed based on the same psychometrically valid principles. Candidates who opt to take the RHS exam in Spanish will be able to see the questions in English or Spanish.
How can dental assistants apply for the RHS exam in Spanish?
The application will be available on DANB’s website starting in January 2024. The process will be the same as applying for the RHS exam in English. More details will be available in the coming months.
Will DANB offer other exams in Spanish?
DANB will begin translation of other exams in the upcoming months, with a Spanish translated ICE exam to be launched later in 2024.
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