Audiologists need better prep for rural work

South Africa

Educators need to use innovative ways to ensure that curricula adequately prepare audiology and speech language pathology students for rural community work, according to South African researchers from the University of Witwatersrand. They also must show a sense of leadership that links clinical practice to theory, policy, ethics and social responsibility. Researchers conducted a study aimed at exploring the processes underlying a group of South African speech-language therapy and audiology students’ appreciation and understanding of the realities of work in a rural community after a rural practicum. The practicum incorporated basic audiological tasks and structured observations. Twenty-five third-year students completed anonymous pre- and post-practicum open-ended questionnaires. The questionnaires explored their expectations and perceptions of the practicum, perceived challenges and benefits of working in rural community areas, and considerations that might need to be taken into account.

Source: Rural Remote Health. 2013 Jan;13(1):2131

Rose Simpson