• Speech Pathology Graduate Program

    The philosophy of this department is that, although we are responsible for training students, our primary responsibility lies with the patient.At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Division of Speech Pathology provides speech pathology graduate students experience in the assessment and treatment of pediatric communication disorders. Students from university programs are accepted for practicum experiences or internships.

    Although each student is encouraged to be independent, the student’s work is closely supervised so that he or she will gain as much as possible from the experience.

    The philosophy of this department is that, although we are responsible for training students, our primary responsibility lies with the patient. Therefore, we ensure that our patients consistently receive the highest quality of service by close supervision.

  • The responsibilities of the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s and the supervisor are described in writing in a signed contract between the university and Cincinnati Children’s.

    The contract states that no money or compensation of any kind is accepted by the Cincinnati Children’s Speech Pathology Division in exchange for supervisory services. The signed contract is kept by the director with a copy in the student notebook.

    All candidates for the student program must have completed at least one year of graduate training. In addition, students must have completed a minimum of 12 hours of clinical observation and 150 clinical hours of direct treatment experience, preferably with a pediatric population, prior to beginning the program.

    All candidates will be formally interviewed by a least one member of the supervisory committee prior to acceptance into the student program. This can be arranged through the university practicum supervisor or directly by the student.

    Before the first day of the practicum term, the student must turn in a completed Immunization or Actual Disease Record Requirements Form.

    All immunizations must be up to date, as indicated by the physician who signs the form. If the student will be at Cincinnati Children’s three months or less and these vaccinations are not complete, the student is encouraged to contact the Speech Pathology Division − prior to the start date − to obtain information regarding locations where vaccinations can be administered.

    Vaccination arrangements will be provided by the student at the student’s expense. If the student will be on campus three months or more and these vaccinations have not been completed, Cincinnati Children’s will provide such service by appointment only.

    The student will contact the Employee Health Department, 513-636-4464, in advance of the start date to make an appointment.

    Records of immunizations are sent to Employee Health and a copy is maintained by the student coordinator.

    All incoming students are required to attend an orientation and education program prior to involvement in inpatient care. This program is offered twice a month on Monday mornings through the Cincinnati Children’s Human Resources Department.

    This compulsory program provides specific information to students regarding proper processes for interacting with our environment, including:

    • Safety and security
    • Universal blood and body fluids
    • Hazardous materials and waste
    • Emergency preparedness
    • Life safety
    • Medical equipment
    • Utilities

    The student will become oriented to the Speech Pathology Division and given information regarding what to expect from the experience. This is accomplished through:

    • A review of the student handbook
    • A review of policies and procedures regarding safety and infection control
    • A review of the dress code
    • A meeting with the supervising speech pathologist(s)
    • A tour of department and facility
    • A review of the schedule, plan for practicum and supervisor’s expectations

    Baseline Competency Forms are completed during the first week of the practicum period. At that time, strengths and weaknesses are identified and pre-selected target areas are discussed. This form is kept by the supervisor and re-analyzed during the last week of the internship.

    The student will begin the practicum experience with observation assignments that are directed by his or her supervising speech pathologist. Various observation assignments are available, although those patients who will be directly involved with the student are reviewed and observed initially.

    The student is encouraged to participate in additional observation assignments that relate to his or her own areas of interest, as well as specialty programs (e.g., the Craniofacial Center, Rehab Conference, High-Risk Clinic, Interdisciplinary Feeding Clinic, Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Clinic). The student is required to observe several sessions of a patient’s therapy prior to providing therapy sessions for that patient.

    An appropriate period of direct observation will be determined by the supervising speech pathologist before the student will be permitted to provide treatment independently. The supervisor will have the option of allowing the student to assist in treatment when appropriate.

    All students are supervised by licensed speech pathologists who have no less than three years of previous clinical experience.

    Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the supervisors are selected based upon specific areas of expertise and scheduling constraints.

    Each staff member can accept one practicum student at a time for up to four quarters per year. Each student will be assigned either to one supervisor or several supervisors. This determination is typically made prior to the student’s initial meeting.

    Parents are always informed by the supervisor that a student clinician will be providing treatment under direct supervision.

    All patients who have been selected as treatment cases for the student will be reviewed thoroughly prior to the initiation of treatment. The student is responsible for submitting a treatment plan to the supervisor prior to each therapy session.

    The student is also responsible for daily progress notes and chart maintenance. The supervisor will observe most therapy sessions. At a minimum, one therapy session in every four will be directly observed by the supervising speech pathologist.

    The student may participate in diagnostic evaluations with the approval of the supervisor. Planning and thorough chart review will occur prior to any assessment.

    Diagnostic evaluations are done by students only in cases where the supervisor is present and actively involved in the assessment and counseling process. Diagnostic reports may be written by the student, but are never sent without the supervisor’s review and signature.

    The student will receive both written and verbal feedback regarding treatment performance on a regular basis. (See the observation checklist.) When this occurs in written form, the student should keep a file of this information. The student or supervisor may wish to have assigned meeting times to review performance or other related issues.

    The Self-Evaluation Form can be used by students who wish to assess and monitor their own performance with specific patients. This can be done through videotape analysis.

    The supervisor and student will meet to discuss performance midway through the internship period. All information discussed at this meeting is documented on the mid-report form. (See the Student Performance Evaluation Form.)

    At the end of the term, the supervisor does a verbal and written evaluation of the student’s performance. A copy of the written evaluation is sent to the student’s university supervisor.

    The student also completes the Supervisor Evaluation Form to give the supervisor feedback regarding the experience and the student program. An attempt is made to implement any suggestions for improvement made by the student.

    The student is responsible for maintaining an accurate record of all clinical observation hours and direct patient care hours as is prescribed by the student’s university program, using the Weekly Clinical Experience Form.

    The supervisor is responsible for maintaining a supervision file for each student. This will include all documentation relating to the student’s practicum including, but not limited to, the contract, the student immunization record, baseline competency checklist and evaluation forms.

    The supervisor will use the student checklist to document completion of all forms and date of completion. At the end of the practicum, the student file is turned over to the student coordinator.