American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Recommendations From Health Care Group

Barriers to Having an Adequate Supply of Qualified Providers

  • Not marketed to attract men
  • Students don't have access to info about careers in SLP or Audiology--
  • Limited general knowledge about the professions
  • Difficulty getting placements in health care
  • University supervisors not aggressively seeking placements, particularly in the VA
  • Lack of strong coordination between univ supervisors and practicum placements
  • Health care is not recruiting effectively—CE courses or CE allowance may be stronger incentive than sign-on bonus
  • Rural and urban locations don't attract applicants
  • Salaries, benefits inadequate (membership and licensure not covered)
  • Insufficient allocation of time for administrative tasks
  • Isolation – lack of networks among h/c facilities, clinicians
  • Lack of career advancement
  • Health care facilities are autonomous, don't work together
  • No national health care dept, like Dept of Ed
  • Lack of clinical ladders
  • Lack of respect for allied health, particularly in acute care
  • Reimbursement model in health care leaves little margin for recruiting, benefits
    • Note: need to advocate for independent billing status
  • Generalist training is a deterrent to those who wish to specialize in dysphagia, voice, etc. (Note: Practicum sites can have their own requirements)

Solutions to These Barriers

  • Scholar lecture series (Ground Rounds, CEU's) to recruit SLPs from community
  • Provide training on becoming a clinical supervisor to encourage more sites to take students
  • Teach respect for the profession – dress code; use of appropriate terminology (not "speech therapy"); act like a professional; offer a professional issues class
  • Open up communication w/physicians, nurses: what are their expectations, what SLP's can offer
  • Increase public awareness of profession, enhance visibility, media, web sites (e.g. Google)
    • Listen to your Buds campaign
  • Develop hospital career web page – should be easily accessible for people looking for information or to visit the facility
  • Men should be a minority focus
    • Emphasize medical focus to attract men
    • Encourage role model/spokesperson to tell other men about the profession
    • Increase awareness of technology aspect of profession
    • Review why men used to pursue speech and are no longer doing so
    • Men create opportunities for career growth, administration
  • Create specialist/certificate programs
  • Recruit from high schools and from other disciplines
  • Engage in promoting "therapy" jointly with PT, and OT (Tri-alliance model) at high schools
    • In some settings, separate identity for SLP/AUD is valuable
  • Advocate for independent billing status
  • Paired focus practica (e.g., part time adult and pediatric setting)
  • More flexibility in internships
  • Career ladders
  • Combined job – school/healthcare

Probable Partners to Collaborate With in Solving Personnel Shortages

  • ASHA
  • Universities
  • Health care settings
  • State associations
  • State Boards of Health
  • Dept of Ed – exposure to high school students (career awareness)
  • Area Health Education Centers (CE for medical/allied health professionals)
  • Legislators
  • State licensure boards
  • Media
  • PEO (promotes education for women – scholarship funds) –
  • Tri-Alliance
  • Payers/CMS
  • Partner with a hospital to develop additional training programs

Goals and Immediate Next Steps for Addressing Personnel Shortages

  • Be more involved in high school presentations
  • Male SLPs will go to all-boys high schools to give career awareness presentations
  • Partner with recovered patients for marketing in media (consumer driven campaign) e.g., National Aphasia Assoc.
  • Develop volunteer/service learning opportunities in health care for students
  • Make contact with universities to develop smaller-focused or part-time practicum

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