Clinical Education

Over the course of the program, students will gain clinical experience across a wide variety of organizations, including but not limited to hospitals, schools, preschool programs, children’s treatment centres, home care programs, day programs, and private practices. Students will typically have one or two primary placement supervisors (called Clinical Instructors), but may be given opportunities to participate with other personnel at the facility, including both Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants.

Experiences while on placement are vital to the development of effective practicing clinicians. Students have the opportunity to transfer knowledge gained during in-class and self-directed learning into real world environments under the guidance of their Clinical Instructors.

Over the course of the 28-29 weeks of clinical placement experience, students are required to obtain a minimum number of specified practice hours in order to apply for registration or licensing in the chosen jurisdiction. Only hours obtained in placements where a passing grade was obtained are counted toward registration/licensing requirements. Students who fail a placement must complete an additional placement of the same duration, which may extend the length of their program.

Placements By Unit

Year 1

Placement

Unit 1

SLP 712 - Clinical Skills Lab I

The Unit I Clinical Skills course develops basic skills for observing and recording speech and language, communicating with individuals with communication disorders, and professional conduct. Clinical reasoning and technical skill development are integrated with relevant research evidence and theory. The course includes exposure to typically developing children and adults as well as simulated clinical interactions. The final two weeks of the course is spent offsite completing an observational placement.

2 weeks

December

 

 

Unit 2

SLP 725 - Clinical Practice I

Students will complete a 6-week full-time clinical practicum experience focused on evidence-based practice. Clinical settings may include hospitals, school boards, children’s treatment centres, preschool services, home care, and private practices.

6 weeks

March - April

Year 2

Placement

Unit 3

SLP 735 - Clinical Practice II

Students will complete a 6-week full-time clinical practicum experience focused on evidence-based practice. Clinical settings may include hospitals, school boards, children’s treatment centres, preschool services, home care, and private practices.

6 weeks
September - October

 

Unit 4

SLP 745 - Clinical Practice III

In this Unit IV practicum course, students will complete a 6-week clinical practicum experience in a community, hospital, rehabilitation, or role-emerging setting.

6 weeks
January - March

 

Unit 5

SLP 755 - Clinical Practice IV

In this Unit V practicum course, students will complete a clinical practicum experience in a community, hospital, rehabilitation, or role-emerging setting.

8-9 weeks
May - July

Placement Locations

Most placement sites have been specifically chosen by the program. Students may express interest in particular, approved placement sites and they may end up getting a placement in a preferred site, but they may not.

Placements are assigned using a complex algorithm that ensures that all students obtain the full range of hours required in order to be licensed to practice in Ontario.

Students are expected to travel outside of Hamilton, Ontario for clinical placements. Common clinical placement regions outside of Hamilton include, but are not limited to Niagara, Brant, Haldimand-Norfolk, Waterloo, Wellington, and Halton. Some clinical placements may be located in rural, under-serviced, and remote areas (including northern Ontario). Many placements, rural and urban, require travel throughout the work day (e.g., traveling to schools, seeing clients in their homes, workplaces, and other locations in the community). Sometimes students may travel with their Clinical Instructors but often they must drive separately. Students are responsible for their own transportation, medical and auto insurance coverage, accommodation, and associated costs in order to complete program requirements – there is no funding from the SLP program to assist students with these costs. Students must prepare for costs such as relocation, transportation, rent (in addition to rent for Hamilton residence), commuting, parking, additional medical and auto coverage, and food. Students confirm their understanding of this requirement when signing the Student Program Agreement form at the beginning of the program.

Practicum Evaluation

 

Students are evaluated on their self-directed learning skills and achievement of clinical competencies.

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