Why Supervision Matters in Health Care Settings For the past three years, ASHA’s Focused Initiative on Personnel Issues has researched the causes of and developed strategies to address personnel shortages in health care and schools. Although many complex issues have been identified, a frequently recurring theme was the difficulty in recruiting student practicum supervisors for health care ... Make It Work
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Make It Work  |   October 01, 2007
Why Supervision Matters in Health Care Settings
Author Notes
  • Janet Brown, director of health care services in speech-language pathology, can be reached at jbrown@asha.org.
    Janet Brown, director of health care services in speech-language pathology, can be reached at jbrown@asha.org.×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Make It Work
Make It Work   |   October 01, 2007
Why Supervision Matters in Health Care Settings
The ASHA Leader, October 2007, Vol. 12, 30-31. doi:10.1044/leader.MIW.12142007.30
The ASHA Leader, October 2007, Vol. 12, 30-31. doi:10.1044/leader.MIW.12142007.30
For the past three years, ASHA’s Focused Initiative on Personnel Issues has researched the causes of and developed strategies to address personnel shortages in health care and schools. Although many complex issues have been identified, a frequently recurring theme was the difficulty in recruiting student practicum supervisors for health care settings. For example, one university practicum director reported that she placed 30 calls last spring and could not find a health care placement for a student.
By accepting and training a student, managers in health care settings are also grooming a potential future employee. The investment of staff time in working with students can pay off as an effective employment recruiting tool. Students are more likely to seek employment in a setting in which they have developed mentoring relationships with other professionals and have had the opportunity to become interested in and excited about the client population. The employer benefits because these prospective employees have developed clinical skills for working with the specific population, as well as familiarity with documentation and billing systems. By refusing practicum students, health care settings reduce the pool of students who have the interest or the background to work in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, or home health agencies.
Health care is a fast-paced environment that frequently imposes productivity standards for billable time spent by SLPs and other providers. Medicare regulations require that a student supervisor be present and fully engaged in services delivered by a student; thus, students cannot relieve the supervisor of a portion of the caseload. Productivity requirements, therefore, are blamed for precluding SLPs in health care from taking on students. However, this assumption was contradicted by results from an ASHA focus group on supervision and ASHA’s 2007 Health Care Survey (see story on page 8).
Clinicians in the April 2007 focus group on supervision reported many positive aspects about supervising students, including being stimulated to develop their own skills by working with students and staying current in the profession by having a relationship with a university program. Clinicians who have supervised students say that it is a personally rewarding experience and that they enjoy it.
The 2007 health care survey asked respondents to select the top three incentives that would encourage them to supervise a student. The top-ranked response (75%) was receiving CE credit for supervision, followed by receiving a financial incentive (59%) and reduced caseload/productivity requirement (45%). More than 21% expressed a need for more training in supervision.
Recognition of the importance of supervision in addressing personnel shortages has spurred a number of initiatives in 2007 to support and encourage practicing SLPs to become practicum supervisors. The “Supervision Matters” campaign includes the following:
  • A Web page devoted to supervision, including tips for first-time supervisors, FAQs, and articles from the Division 11 (Administration and Supervision) Perspectives

  • A raffle awarding prizes to ASHA members who complete a brief questionnaire about the supervision Web page

  • An Oct. 18 Web forum on establishing and maintaining quality relationships with extern sites

  • “Supervision Matters” ribbons for ASHA members who have supervised students, available at the ASHA Convention and other conferences

  • Bookmarks with the “Top Ten Reasons to Supervise a Student,” available at the ASHA Convention

In other initiatives, ASHA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Supervision has completed peer review on new policy documents on supervision, and ASHA is planning a professional development program on supervision.
Support the profession and help recruit for your setting by volunteering to supervise a student in 2007—the year of the supervisor.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
October 2007
Volume 12, Issue 14