Developing the teaching and assessment of values in practice within the Speech and Language Therapy undergraduate degree
George, Catrin Elisabeth
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: A number of critical reports about the quality of care provided by the Na-tional Health Service (NHS) have resulted in a response which re-asserts the im-portance of values in healthcare. Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are part of the NHS workforce, and so need to have a shared values-base with other professionals. However, research into the values of SLTs is very limited. There is a question as to what values are most important to the profession, and how these might be developed through training at undergraduate level. Aims: To add to the literature by identifying the values that are most important to SLT practice. To explore the experiences of recently-graduated SLTs, and to use the infor-mation gathered to develop proposals for possible undergraduate programme modifi-cations which reflect the demands of values-based practice in healthcare. Methods & Procedures: A focus group was run with four SLT newly qualified practition-ers (NQPs). The qualitative data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Themes were identified relating to the values important to SLTs and partici-pants’ experience of values-based practice. Different options for developing the teach-ing of values within the undergraduate programme were explored. Outcomes & Results: Participants were unanimous that the most important values for SLTs were ‘patient first’ (patient-centred care) and ‘working together for patients’. However, they considered there were sometimes difficulties with values terminology. Participants were positive about their experience of values-based recruitment (VBR) in the workplace, and recommended its extension into recruitment for undergraduate students. However, they did not consider that values should be taught as a separate and explicit module, but should be embedded into all teaching. Other recommenda-tions included, appraisal for values by Placement Educators and a Values Forum with other staff and students in health and social care programmes within the same univer-sity. Conclusions & Implications: Values are critically important to SLT practice. For this to be effective, there needs to be a shared values base with other healthcare practition-ers. Values initiatives within NHS organisations, and approaches like VBR, have strived to establish that values-base. However, there are still difficulties such as shared under-standing of terminology. There are also reservations about teaching values explicitly, in such a way, that candidates may be prepared to ‘say the right thing’ at interview without actually holding the necessary values. The recommendations of this project are intended to help to embed teaching and assessment of values through all of the undergraduate SLT programme, with the intention that students will be better pre-pared to display those values in the workplace, leading to improved practice. Keywords: Values, NHS, VBR (Values Based Recruitment), undergraduates This abstract has been written in the style used within the International Journal of Lan-guage and Communication Disorders What this paper adds This paper adds to the sparse literature the values important to SLTs in practice. It offers recommendations for developing teaching and assessment of values in un-dergraduate SLT degree programmes.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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