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 Health Sciences, 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 associate dean for Clinical Education. Students in the University’s Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) 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 externship sites can be located anywhere in North America.
- All sites must be vetted by Dr. Owen as to whether or not a site “can provide a robust experience for our students.”
- 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. OCA is competitively seeking externships throughout North America. The clerkships include a hospital setting, a medical practice (ENT), pediatrics, and private practice.