Ms Laura Loftus

BSc

 
researcher
 

Biography

In February 2007, Laura Loftus joined the Speech and Language therapy team at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) as the Practice Education Coordinator.

“The post of PEC …..will be responsible for overall coordination of placements for the university and allocation of student placements. They will also be involved in the integration of theory to practice across the entire programme”

National Implementation Group May, 2006

Previous to the post of Practice Education Coordinator Laura held a number of positions with the Health Service Executive (HSE) from 1998-2007 as a basic and senior Speech and Language Therapist. Her clinical experience saw her work with diverse client groups from community care, learning disability, autism and adult case loads. Laura’s work experience prior to joining the university also included the pilot post of Regional Placement Facilitator during 2006-2007.

During her years as a clinician Laura supported student placements from numerous colleges both inside and outside Ireland. This hands on experience and learning has guided her to this day in her current role as the Practice Education Coordinator. Since joining the university Laura remains clinically active 1 day a week.
 
In the post of Practice Education Coordinator Laura has responsibility for the constant development of the Practice Education modules across the Speech and Language Therapy programme. She prepares students prior to attending placements through workshops, tutorials, simulation practice and video work. Laura organizes and supports students during placements and has responsibility for the development of assessments for this module.She has designed in consultation with colleagues from within and outside the department new and novel approaches to assessment such as Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE), Video podcasts and Unseen Clinical Examinations.

Laura has on-going contact with her colleagues in the HSE, hospitals and voluntary agencies. She provides training and support to these Clinical Educators (CEs) through emails/phone calls/site visits and CPD training. This ongoing contact helps to maintain the quality of external placements.

Laura in collaboration with her colleague from the HSE, Margaret Rodden have developed the onsite clinic at the University over the last 10 years. This clinic offers creative and alternative formats of approaching clinical teaching. It provides fourth years with an opportunity to develop their skills of mentoring, third years an opportunity to develop knowledge of specialist areas, second years an opportunity to learn their foundation skills and first years an opportunity to be introduced to the profession. The clinic has lead the way in promoting the benefits of shared placements, peer teaching and group teaching. The clinic provides excellent opportunities to assist students to link their theory and practice.

Since 2011 Laura has played a pivotal role in ensuring that dysphagia competencies are met by all students on graduation. This new requirement was introduced by the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) in 2010 to meet employer’s needs. Laura along with Practice Education Coordinators in the profession of SLT from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University of Limerick (UL) and University College Cork (UCC) developed assessment criteria, supporting handbooks and CPD events in order to explain and assist therapists with this change over.

In 2015 along with her colleagues in TCD, UL and UCC they updated the Student Clinical Competency Evaluation Form. This evaluation is used by all four universities. This ongoing collaborative work by the four Coordinators ensures that facilitating placements is made as stream lined and accessible for busy CEs as possible.
 
Laura also supports her colleagues in the Department by contributing to curriculum development, teaching and assessment. She supports approximately three undergraduate final year projects annually. She is the Year 1 coordinator for the undergraduate programme and coordinates with her colleague Dr. Ruth Mc Menamin the MSc in Advanced Healthcare Practice and Research. She is the Health and Safety Officer for the School of Health Sciences and currently sits on the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Ethics Board.

Her research interests to date have centered around student learning on placement in particular the challenges faced by students in this learning environment. She is pursuing a Professional Doctorate with Bath University in this area since September 2016. Her MSc which was completed in 2009 focused on the role of feedback and learning. 

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
(2009) Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapy Conference
Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., Carroll, C., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., O'Malley, M.P., Loftus, L. (2009) Building research capacity in speech and language therapy: sharing the learning Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapy Conference Galway, , 22-OCT-09 - 23-OCT-09 [Details]

Published Reports

  Year Publication
(2011) Report on the Review of the Practice Education System.
Flattery, V., Loftus, L., McMahon, S., Keown, A.M. , Reed, J. & Walsh, E. (2011) Report on the Review of the Practice Education System. HSE, HSE. [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2019) INMED 2019,
L. Loftus (2019) Learning Together. [Oral Presentation], INMED 2019, Galway , 06-FEB-19 - 07-FEB-19. [Details]
(2019) Practice Education Conference,
D. Quigley, L. Loftus, A. Mc Guire, K. Grady (2019) A National Survey on Optimal Learning for a Practice Educator: Voices of Speech and Language Therapy Students. [Oral Presentation], Practice Education Conference, Tallaght, Dublin , 12-SEP-19 - 12-SEP-19. [Details]
(2017) IASLT Conference 2017,
Laura Loftus (2017) The changing face of assessment in Speech and Language Therapy. [Oral Presentation], IASLT Conference 2017, Croke Park, Dublin , 25-MAY-17 - 26-MAY-17. [Details]
(2011) IASLT Conference,
Loftus, L. (2011) Organizing Committee. [Other], IASLT Conference, Dublin , 24-NOV-11 - 25-NOV-11. [Details]
(2010) INMED,
Loftus, L. (2010) A study of feedback practices and beliefs used by peers and educators. [Oral Presentation], INMED, Galway , 11-FEB-10 - 12-FEB-10. [Details]

Conference Paper

  Year Publication
(2010) IASLT.
Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., Carroll, C., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., O'Malley, M.P. & Loftus, L (2010) IASLT. Conference Paper [Details]
(2009) IASLT Conference.
Lyons, R., Parker, A., Loftus, L. & Henn, A. (2009) IASLT Conference. Conference Paper [Details]
(2009) Building research capacity in Speech and Language Therapy: sharing the learning. Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists Biennial Conference.
Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., Carroll, C., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., O'Malley, M.P., Loftus, L. (2009) Building research capacity in Speech and Language Therapy: sharing the learning. Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists Biennial Conference. Galway: Conference Paper [Details]
(2009) Building placement capacity: increasing the quantity and quality of clinical placements. Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapy Conference.
Lyons, R., Parker, A., Loftus, L., Henn, A. (2009) Building placement capacity: increasing the quantity and quality of clinical placements. Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapy Conference. Galway: Conference Paper [Details]

Conference Poster

  Year Publication
(2019) Celebrating 15 years of Speech and Language Therapy in Galway, Leading, Exploring and Discovering.
R. Lyons and L. Loftus (2019) Celebrating 15 years of Speech and Language Therapy in Galway, Leading, Exploring and Discovering. Conference Poster [Details]
(2009) Building research capacity in speech and language therapy: sharing the learning, Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapy Conference, Galway.
Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., Carroll, C., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., O'Malley, M.P., Loftus, L (2009) Building research capacity in speech and language therapy: sharing the learning, Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapy Conference, Galway. Conference Poster [Details]
(2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness: the experience of the NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Team. NAIRTL Conference.
Lyons, R., O'Shaughnessy, C., McMenamin, R., Logue-Kennedy, M., Loftus, L., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., O'Malley, M.P. (2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness: the experience of the NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Team. NAIRTL Conference. Waterford: Conference Poster [Details]
(2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centredness: The NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy Team's experience. National Academy for Integration of Research and Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) 2nd Annual Conference.
O'Shaughnessy, C., Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., O'Malley, M.P., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., Logue Kennedy, M., Loftus L. (2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centredness: The NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy Team's experience. National Academy for Integration of Research and Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) 2nd Annual Conference. Waterford Institute of Technology: Conference Poster [Details]
(2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness: The NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy team's experience. 2nd Annual NAIRTL Conference.
O'Shaughnessy, C., Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., O'Malley, M.P., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., Logue Kennedy, M., Loftus, L. (2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness: The NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy team's experience. 2nd Annual NAIRTL Conference. Waterford Institute of Technology: Conference Poster [Details]
(2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness: the NUI Galway Speech & Language Therapy team's experience. NAIRTL 2nd Annual Conference.
O'Shaughnessy, C., Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., O'Malley, M.P., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., Logue Kennedy, M., Loftus L. (2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness: the NUI Galway Speech & Language Therapy team's experience. NAIRTL 2nd Annual Conference. Waterford Institute of Technology: Conference Poster [Details]
(2008) ‘Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness’ the experience of NUI, Galway Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Team. NAIRTL 2nd Annual Conference Waterford Institute of Technology Conference.
Lyons, R., Mc Menamin, R. O’Shaughnessy, C., Logue-Kennedy, M., Antonijevic-Elliot, S. O’ Malley, M.P., Loftus, L. (2008) ‘Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness’ the experience of NUI, Galway Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Team. NAIRTL 2nd Annual Conference Waterford Institute of Technology Conference. Conference Poster [Details]
(2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centredness: The NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy Team's experience. National Academy for Integration of Research and Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) 2nd Annual Conference, Waterford IT.
O'Shaugnessy, C., Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., O'Malley, M.P., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., & Logue-Kennedy, M. (2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centredness: The NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy Team's experience. National Academy for Integration of Research and Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) 2nd Annual Conference, Waterford IT. Conference Poster [Details]