This project evaluated an innovative series of workshops that aimed to facilitate final year SLT studentsí knowledge and skills in theoretical and practical aspects of working with adults with dysphagia in preparation for the clinical environment. Workshops also served to efficiently standardise and moderate content covered in order to meet a number of required clinical competencies at graduation.
Six workshops integrated theory with practical skills through collaborative teaching between academic and practice education clinicians. Students engaged with current Evidence Based Practice which translated into practice by developing essential clinical skills required for patient care. To facilitate integration, practical workshops took place immediately following the relevant theoretical component. Workshops involved lectures, individual and group student work with some preparatory work to be carried out between workshops.
Outcomes included measures that evaluated if students felt more (i) confident and (ii) competent in their assessment, differential diagnosis, and management of patients with acquired dysphagia following the workshops. Self-reported data was gathered anonymously through an electronic response system immediately before and following the workshops. In addition, data was examined to determine if there was a correlation between these measures and clinical placement dysphagia experience.
The self-reported ratings of student confidence and competence were analysed using Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test. Statistically significant differences were found in all 12 themes related to self-reported confidence (p<0.05) and all 10 related to self-reported competence between pre-and post-workshops (p<0.05). Significant correlations were found between a number of these post-workshop themes.
The integration of theory and practical skills enhanced student learning in the management of adults with dysphagia resulting in more confidence and self-reported competence. The workshops ensured a standardised and moderated method of preparing students for the clinic environment.
Students feel more prepared for dysphagia clinic following integrated workshops.