Developing Clinical Competency: A Progression Model of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in a Speech Language Pathology Programme
Mr. Thomas LAW, Division of Speech Therapy, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Chinese Univer
Abstract / Video
Work integrated learning (WIL) is an integral part of a clinical program. A well-designed WIL curriculum ensures students develop clinical competency that meets the standards of the profession before entering the workforce. Traditionally, WIL in Speech-Language Pathology programs is heavily focused on or even restricted to direct patient interaction. Further, most of these clinical curricula focus on developing clinical skills across range of clinical areas but lack considerations on other aspects of clinical competency development.
The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at CUHK aims to graduate students who will become competent speech therapists that meet both local and international professional standards. The programme takes a four-pronged progression model to develop entry-level clinical competency. These include (i) range of clinical practice area defined by professional bodies in Speech Language Pathology; (ii) clinical population involving both paediatric and adult; (iii) clinical skills from novice practitioner to entry-level practitioner; and (iv) independency in performing clinical tasks. Clinical competency evaluations in both summative and formative nature are carefully designed and structured into the clinical curriculum to ensure all milestones are reached prior to graduation.
In addition to traditional clinical interaction with patients, the clinical curriculum also involves community capacity building projects as well as health promotion activities. These experiences aim to provide students with a comprehensive WIL experience, so they gain experience at applying their knowledge and skills at both the patient and community level.
This four-pronged work integrated learning clinical curriculum aims to ensure students develop holistic clinical competency while taking into account the progressive-nature of student learning.