Practice Education is a significant component of the professional training for speech and language therapists (Practice Educator CompetenciesBest Practice Guidelines - Therapy Project Office 2008).  One of the key aims of the Discipline of Speech and Language Therapy in NUI Galway is to provide a comprehensive practice education programme so that speech and language therapists in training achieve a high level of competence, together with the necessary interpersonal skills, to work with a range of clients with communication and swallowing impairments.

Speech and language therapists in training are required to obtain experience in assessing, diagnosing and treating children and adults with communication and swallowing disorders in a variety of settings.

The B.Sc. (Speech and Language Therapy) provides excellent opportunities for practice education in a purpose-built on-site speech and language therapy clinic in Áras Moyola.  The NUI Galway and HSE speech and language therapy on-site clinic is a unique collaboration between the health services and the University.  The on-site clinic has the dual function of delivering high quality services to the public while at the same time providing a supportive learning environment for speech and language therapists in training.  

                              
  Photo: 2009 Speech and Language Therapy Graduates.  

 

The mission statement for the on-site clinic is:

“ To provide primarily a centre of excellence in teaching and learning  for  speech and language therapy students  and to support research”.

The aims of the on-site clinic are:

  • To provide opportunities for simulated learning to help prepare studnest for clinical practice
  • To provide a range of speech and language therapy services that are hight quality, client centred, accessible and evidence based for students to learn the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to become a compentent SLT
  • To facilitate speech and language therapists in training to develop clinical competencies in a range of specialist areas by providing a supportive learning environment and implementing best practice in education
  • To provide opportunities for developing mentoring skills
  • To conduct high quality research in speech and language therapy intervention and practice education

The on-site clinic is staffed by a full time practice tutor,

Ms Margaret Rodden, Practice Tutor (HSE) is responsible for the overall co-ordination for the on-site clinic and through her role ensures collaboration for teaching, learning and research between the university and the HSE.   

SLTs with varied clinical experience facilitate student learning throught the year.

The on-site clinic has 5 treatment rooms with adjoining observation rooms.  Each of the clinic rooms is fully equipped with up to date  clinical equipment  to facilitate student learning.  The observation rooms have one way mirrors and students and parents of children attending therapy can use these rooms to observe peers and qualified clinicians at work.  


The following is a sample of work  conducted in the on-site clinic:

  • Group therapy for children with speech, language and communication needs, who are on HSE caseloads
  • Provision of services for children and adults with Down Syndrome
  • Provision of specilaist clinics in vocie, fluency and adult communication disorders.
  • Provision of the Lee Silverman Voice Training Programme for adults with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Parent Training programmes
  • Clinical examinations (objective, structured clinical examinations)
  • Simulated learning
  • Data collection for final year research projects