Laura Loftus

University Teacher BSc

Contact Details

Practice Education Coordinator
Speech & Language Therapy
Nui
Galway

T: Ext. 5293
E: laura.loftus@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

In February 2007, Laura Loftus joined the Speech and Language therapy team at 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 this position she held a number of positions with the HSE from 1998-2007 in the Midlands and West of Ireland. She was a senior Speech and Language Therapist since 2001. 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.

Laura supported student placements from numerous colleges while working as a clinician. This hands on experience has guided her 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 organizing placements for students from second year onwards and therefore has much contact with her colleagues in the HSE, hospitals and voluntary agencies She provides training and support to these therapists through emails/phone calls/site visits and CPD training. This ongoing contact helps to maintain the quality of all external placements.

Due to the shortage of placements available Laura in collaboration with her colleague from the HSE, Margaret Roddins has developed the onsite clinic over the last 7 years. This clinic now 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 and second years to learn their foundation skills. 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 IASLT in 2010 to meet employer’s needs. Laura along with coordinators from Trinity, University of Limerick and University College Cork developed assessment criteria, supporting handbooks and CPD events in order to explain and assist therapists with this changover.

 

Since 2012 Laura and Margaret have successfully developed and introduced the use of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations to the department. Their innovation regarding assessment has been acknowledged by external examiners.

Laura also supports her colleagues in the Department by contributing to curriculum development, teaching and assessment. She has responsibility for three modules.

Her research interests to date have centered around student learning and in particular the role of feedback. 

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
(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]
(2010) IASLT,
Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., Carroll, C., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., O'Malley, M.P. & Loftus, L (2010) Building research capacity in speech and language therapy: sharing the learning. [Oral Presentation], IASLT, Galway , 22-OCT-10 - 22-OCT-09. [Details]
(2009) IASLT Conference,
Lyons, R., Parker, A., Loftus, L. & Henn, A. (2009) Building placement capacity: increasing the quantity and quality of clinical placements. [Oral Presentation], IASLT Conference, Dublin , 16-OCT-09 - 16-OCT-09. [Details]

Conference Poster

  Year Publication
(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]