Clinical Artibus et Practicum: External Education at Salus

One of the many advantages a new Salus graduate has over peers from other institutions is early and continual exposure to the clinical side of his/her profession during their days as a student. An emphasis on early clinical skills has long been a hallmark of the optometry program and it is no different for audiology and physician assistant students.

For programs in the College of Education and Rehabilitation – blindness and low vision studies, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology - it has been challenging over the years to raise the collective awareness about the terms “fieldwork” and “client” as opposed to “clinical skills” and “patient” with regard to their students.

What the process is called and how all of these skills are honed may differ from program to program. What has never wavered however is the institutional commitment to early exposure and the transition from lab-learned skills to real-life practice.

Audiology Program Externships
Osborne College of Audiology

Dr. Jonette Owen is the assistant dean for the Practice and Assessment of Audiologic Medicine and coordinator of External Clinical Education. Students in the University’s Osborne College of Audiology Doctor of Audiology program have a one year externship in their fourth year which is generally completed at a single site but can be at two sites with justification.
  • Audiology Program at SalusAudiology externship sites can be located anywhere in North America.
  • All sites must be vetted by Dr. Owen, who is the final arbiter as to whether or not a site “can provide a robust experience for our students.”
  • Students use the TYPHON system to input patient demographics for each encounter. They have seven days from the patient visit to prepare this data, which is reviewed by the preceptor prior to sending it to the College.
  • TYPHON is a student tracking system utilized by the Department of Clinical Education in which students input their clinical hours and patient case information. This information is verified and electronically signed-off on by an appropriate preceptor who is overseeing the Audiology student in a clinical environment.
  • TYPHON has two main objectives for which it was implemented. First, it serves as a record to show the student has had exposure to a variety of encounters and that they have had the resources to become competent in a variety of areas within Audiology. Second, the system mimics that of an electronic medical record and adequately prepares students for the capabilities of charting, insurance coding and billing, and the administrative aspects of being an Audiologist in the field. 
  • Evaluations occur mid-term, with preceptors evaluating their students and sending completed evaluations to Dr. Owen. The final evaluation is more extensive, covering all types of diagnostics, the student’s strengths and tracking the student’s improvement. In addition to evaluating a student’s skills and knowledge base, another section of the evaluation form is “Report of Faculty Concerns Regarding Student Professional Behavior.”
  • At the end of the term, students also evaluate their preceptor.
Dr. Owen notes that prior to their externship, a student’s clinical education “really begins on day one.” The process begins in the labs, continues with clerkships – eight professional practice rotations in years one through three - and concludes with the 52 week off campus externship. The clerkships include a hospital setting, a medical practice (ENT), pediatrics, and private practice.

Learn More about Our Audiology Program