This is an opportunity for first year BSc and first year PG Dip/MSc students to develop clinical skills, raise confidence levels about entering placements and have time to relate theory to practice within a 'safe' environment. The reason it has been set in place is in response to requests from students for more practice prior to starting placements.Students are expected to complete five sessions (of approximately 3 hours) of self-directed learning. The sessions are as follows:
Session 1 Thinking Video:
Opportunities for reflection on therapy practice. (Observation of clients and therapy skills though video).
Session 2 Case History Taking.
(interviewing clients and family members/carers).
Session 3 Formal Assessment Practice
Session 4 Therapeutic Skills in Practice.
(Pre-clinical simulated sessions to alert students to transferable clinical skills).
Session 5 Professional Learning:
a) 'Supported conversation' (learning to communicate with people who have a communication disability) and b) 'Skills Spotting' (identifying the skills that make up a good therapist).
What are Clinical Skills?'Clinical skills' covers a wide range of abilities the competent therapist is expected to have. These range from being able to make diagnosis to writing reports, devising therapy and management plans to listening skills and 'explaining' to others (Davies and van der Gaag 1992). Combined with these skills is the expectation of an over-arching professional manner. While some assessment or therapy techniques may be specific to certain client groups, clinical skills are generally considered to be transferable ('transferable skills') - in other words, if you are able to apply a particular skill to one client group, then it should not be difficult to transfer that skill to another.
Clinical skills in context
The LCS curriculum has three main elements:
Core subjects (e.g. phonetics, linguistics, anatomy etc)
Communication Disability (e.g. dysfluency, voice and laryngectomy, developmental language disorder etc)
· Intervention (e.g. principles of assessment and therapy)
The clinical skills training is directly related to these areas. You will often hear that you are expected to 'relate theory to practice' and 'practice to theory' - these sessions are designed to help you do this.
Some examples of the clinical skills students will be identifying and practising include:
- Observation skills
- Communication skills
- Interviewing techniques
- Carrying out formal assessments
- Session management
- Client facilitation (helping someone to achieve their goal)
- Giving specific feedback to clients (differential feedback). This means detailing what a client has done successfully or unsuccessfully
- Reporting back to others
- Self appraisal
- 'Professional' behaviour
- Technological competence