Dysphagia awareness and training at a pre-registration level: An investigation into the students' and therapists' opinions
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: In 2005, over 90% of patients within the acute hospital setting in the UK had dysphagia (Heritage 2001). In the drive to meet an increasing ‘clinical need’, energies have been directed to training the relevant professionals involved in the management of dysphagia. An SLT graduate should have basic management skills but will require further training to become a fully trained dysphagia SLT (RCSLT 2006). However, non-UK universities have moved to providing full dysphagia training during pre-registration education. Aims: To gain insight into the perspectives of qualified SLTs and final year undergraduate students regarding the dysphagia training currently provided at a pre-registration level in the UK. Method: A questionnaire method of data collection was used to examine the views of SLTs and students regarding the research aim. The sample comprised 35 qualified SLTs and 55 students that were recruited from four universities across the UK. Results: The majority of SLTs and student SLTs believed that full dysphagia training should be provided for students pre-registration or at least offered as an optional module for those who wish to undertake it. Conclusion: Outcomes highlight the need for a raised awareness of the SLT role in dysphagia. Students and SLTs believe more effort and funding should go into providing full dysphagia training pre-registration to meet the needs of both the clients in acute settings and other professionals involved.
BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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