Speech and Language Therapy Student’s Core Values: A Comparative Study of Year One and Year Four Students
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: A set of shared core values between employer (NHS) and employee (SLT) can result in the provision of excellent patient care and experience through “effective team working”. ‘Values Based Recruitment’ (VBR) aims to employ candidates with the ‘right’ values to constitute a more “effective service” (NHS Constitution 2012). However, at present the core values of Speech and Language Therapists/ SLT students are unknown. Aims: The purpose of this study was to identify the most and least important core values of Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) students in their 1st and 4th year of study, on an accredited SLT undergraduate degree within the United Kingdom. The study explored whether the importance of core values was influenced by differences in clinical knowledge or experience between cohorts. Comparisons were made between SLT student core values and those held by the NHS. Method/Design: A mixed qualitative and quantitative method was used for the study. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with SLT students (four from each cohort). The interviews elicited a range of core values of importance to students. The core values were analysed and grouped into 15 main core values using thematic analysis. These 15 core values formed the basis of an attitude survey, in which students from both cohorts (1st year n= 22 & 4th year n=20) ranked the importance of the core values with regard to their future careers as SLTs. Results: The results of the survey indicated the three values of the most importance were the same for 1st and 4th year students. Core values rated of the most importance included “Helping people”, “Making a difference” and “Job satisfaction”. The three core values of least importance were also the same among cohorts. These included “Having a profession/title”, “Working for the NHS” and “Contributing to future research”. Conclusion: The majority of core values held by SLT student are comparable with values held by the NHS. The NHS value deemed of the most popularity to SLT students was “Improving lives”. Students of both cohorts do not appear to value “Respect and dignity”
BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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