Clinical Observation

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					                              University of Connecticut
                        Department of Communication Sciences

                                  Clinical Observation

At the University of Connecticut, we regard clinical observation to be an integral part of
the preparation of professionals in audiology and speech-language pathology.

 For clinical certification in Speech-Language Pathology the American Speech-
Language-Hearing Association has issued the standards that specify at least 25 clock
hours of supervised observation must be earned. The purpose of the activity is to serve
as a preparatory experience prior to beginning direct clinical practicum with individuals
who have communication disorders. These 25 hours may be earned at any point in a
student’s program either as a graduate or undergraduate; but the hours must be earned
while a student is enrolled in a program. You do not need to obtain your 25 observation
hours in order to fulfill a requirement of your major in Communication Sciences
(Communication Disorders) or to graduate from the University of Connecticut. You
should know, however, that we cannot accept or approve any observation hours that you
obtain once you have graduated from the University of Connecticut because after that,
you would no longer be a student in the Communication Disorders program here. Any
observation hours that you are claiming after you graduate would be managed by the
graduate program where you completing the requirements for a master’s degree in
speech-language pathology.

There is NO requirement for ASHA certification in audiology for anyone seeking
certification (CCC-A) on or after January 1, 2007. However, the clinical and academic
faculty in the Communication Disorders program strongly urge students who are
considering audiology as a career path should take advantage of opportunities to observe
activities related to the delivery of audiology services. This will enable you to learn more
about the profession of audiology and to gain appreciation for the process of assessing
and treating individuals with hearing loss.

For students seeking observation hours in speech-language pathology the 25 hours must
concern the evaluation and treatment of children and adults with disorders of speech
(including articulation, fluency, voice, and swallowing), language, or specific aspects of
hearing. There is no specific requirement for the distribution of the 25 hours across
different categories. Please see the attached summary of the ASHA Scope of Practice for
Speech-Language Pathology for guidance on which observation hours are acceptable.
Students at this university are encouraged to obtain observation hours across a variety of
clinical activities and not to concentrate entirely in one disorder area.
Please submit completed and signed observation forms to the chairperson of the Clinical
Practicum Committee (posted on the Observation sign-up board opposite room 133).
Your observation hours will be recorded and kept on file for your future reference. Your
signature on the observation hours form will verify your review, understanding, and
compliance with the protocols cited below. The observation form will not be accepted
without your signature.

At the University of Connecticut Speech & Hearing Clinic the following protocols for
obtaining observation hours are in place:

I.         Audiology Observations:
          Sign up for the session you wish to observe; the observation sheets are posted on
          the bulletin board (opposite room 133) of the Communication Sciences building .
          Do not sign up for slots that are crossed out; they are not available for
          observation. Plan to arrive for the observation in advance of the scheduled time
          so that you can obtain any relevant information that will enhance your observation
          experience.

       II.     Speech-Language Observations:
       Sign up for the client you will observe. The numbered spaces indicate the number of
       observers that be accommodated in the observation room.
           1.     Please arrive a few minutes before the beginning of the session so that the
                  supervisor can provide you with any pertinent information that you need
                  in order to make this observation meaningful.
           2.     For treatment sessions, you should plan to observe each scheduled session
                  during the one-week period shown at the top of the sign-up sheet.

III.      All Observations:
          1.    At all times of the observation, please observe all protocols for
                professional behavior. This includes courtesy to the client, family, and
                other persons associated with the management of the case; client
                confidentiality, and regard for the clinicians conducting the activity.
          2.    Student observers are obligated to clients not to discuss them or their
                problems with persons outside of the clinic and they should take
                precautions to preserve their dignity. Avoid making comments about
                clients to others, no matter how interesting or amusing they may seem.
          3.    Observers are expected to dress appropriately for the professional setting
                of a speech and hearing clinic. As a guideline, you should recognize that
                all aspects of dress and grooming should reflect good judgement and taste
                consistent with the clinic’s environment. Jeans, flip-flops, and shorts
                are not acceptable in the clinic. Students will be dismissed from the
                observation in this situation.
          4.    We do not always know in advance of a client cancellation; sometimes
                they occur just immediately prior to a scheduled session.
       5.     Sometimes special circumstances necessitate excluding observers from
              observing the session. Clients, families or others associated with the case
              may request that there be no observations of the session and we will
              accommodate their wishes.
       6.     You should have your observation clock hour forms ready for the
              supervisor’s signature. A copy is attached to this introduction to
              observation; additional sheets are available on the counter in the lobby.

Speech-Language Pathology: Susan Munroe (PCSB 205), Susan Bartlett (210), and
Deni Van der Voort (219) Liz Burke (106)
Audiology: Linda Guenette (214), Michael Dybka (106) and Pamela Paine (216)


Attachment:
Observation hours recording form.
SLP Scope of Practice summary




Rev. 8/99; 01/07; 06/07