ASHA’s 2020 changes in clinical supervision

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American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is a nation-leading scientific organization with professionals for speech-language pathologists and speech-related scientists. It has acted as the administrator for the Speech-language pathologist profession since 1926 and initiated the development of national standards for the SLP profession. SLPs are communication experts that work with the community regardless of age to treat communication and swallowing problems. SLPAs are SLP’s assist in doing the same. These problems include how we say sounds-intonations, how we put them together, and speech sounds. They are responsible for the evaluation and treatment of speech and language impediments. Clinical Fellowship (CF) is to enable Clinical Fellow to transit between being a student in communication sciences and disorders and being an independent provider of speech-language pathology clinical services.

The SLP is responsible for adjusting communication styles and expectations concerning their clients’ needs from different cultural groups. For providing relevant information to families and staff about first language influences on communication development and second language-related skills, developing an understanding of family dynamics about a cultural perspective to meet surrounding intake and communication scenarios surrounding practices in addressing communication, and engaging in continued education on culturally related and diverse linguistic backgrounds.

Relevant improvements to ASHA’s set standards on SLP are necessary to counter the continuous emergence and development of literacy levels and standards improvement to ensure the quality, reliability, and safety of services.

The 2014 standards advised its applicants to have physics and chemistry knowledge but not compulsory, as the 2020 standards made it a must requirement to know physics and chemistry.

The applicants were to demonstrate their knowledge of communication and swallowing disorder differences, an appropriate set of causes, and culturally linguistic-related developments. ASHA revised the related applicant requirement concerning these demonstrations to present the current pattern of practices and give relevant guidance to the knowledge of relevant areas. For example, They expanded the 2014 articulation to speech sound production, phonology, accent modification, motor planning, and execution. The changes included the broader view of pragmatics, which explains language use and social aspects of communication. Swallowing in the same category incorporates feeding and orofacial myology structure and functions.

The new language promoted the SPLs to have worked with different professionals working together with patients’ communities and each other in health care delivery. 2020 added new language dictates that the SLP should have clinical experience with interprofessional education and collective practices, improving their student skills and knowledge in a comprehensively large service delivery structure.

Concerning clinical observations, the changes stated in 2020 explain and give their examples. The 2020 standards show the importance of video recording with CCC-SPL clinical educators, where the student is debriefed as they hold discussions on the particular video. The method is significant in bringing a relationship between the clinical observers and educators to enable them to have a variety of disorders to improve their inference possibilities in the actual field.

The new implementation language dictates how to count clinical clock hours on practicum assignments. It states how to calculate the time spent in the session (direct contact). ASHA also explains the impossibility of rounding up the spent time to the nearest 15-minute intervals.

325 to 400 were the initial clock hours required for the practicum students should attain, but the changes described that the same clinical practicum hours must be supervised. The changes also define that the practicum hours were after the student’s enrollment into the graduate program.

The new standards described the additional requirements for the applicant’s supervisors. The changes stated that the supervisors should have attained a nine-month full-time clinical experience and a two-hour professional development in clinical supervision with ASHA certification.

The new implementation language widens the clinical educators’ qualifications stated above. The changes strengthen the fact that the supervisors must be present on-site and counts clinical earned stimulation of asynchronous supervision. The initial language scraped off after the change stated that direct supervision must measure the student’s capabilities and experiences in terms of knowledge and skills. It also explains that the total student client contact is more than 25% and sufficient overseeing concerning the patient’s welfare.

The new implementation language provides additional qualifications for CF mentors. Clinical Fellow is to receive evaluations and supervision from CF mentors who have also had a nine-month full-time clinical experience with two-hour professional development education in clinical supervision after the CCC-SLP award. The observations should be real-time to enable the mentor to clinical Fellow consultation during service provision. They should provide direct supervision on-site and in-person to cater to the patients’ welfare.

The new implementation languages have policies and procedures that govern the Clinical Fellows and the CF mentors to use the alternative supervisory mechanism.

In line with certification maintenance, the new implementation language requires at least a single maintenance certification hour for each interval in ethics.

Generally, the changes mainly involve additions to the stated initial standards. The ASHA changes are expansions of the initial standards or improvements of requirements concerning better service provisions and patient/client welfare.

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