Clinical training of undergraduate communication pathology students in the neonatal assessment and neonate-caregiver interaction in South Africa
South African Journal of Communication Disorders
Developing an undergraduate clinical training module in Early Communication Intervention (ECI) that provides sufficient opportunity for students' learning experiences, and that allows contextually relevant and ethically accountable services to clients, as well as the dissemination of the latest scientific findings to both students and clients, poses a significant challenge. The article describes the development of a clinical training block and the development of an appropriate instrument for
... e instrument for the assessment of neonatal communication skills that was used in this student practical. A qualitative research approach, employing a series of formative assessments, was used to refine the instrument. The results indicated changes in the content and use of the neonatal assessment instrument regarding the approach to infant and caregiver risk assessment; caregiver beliefs about neonatal capabilities; newborn state observation; caregiver training; language, cultural and age barriers; collaboration with nurses; kangaroo mother care; involvement of caregivers during the assessment; and adolescent mothers. The results confirmed the need for the ongoing refinement of an instrument to ensure quality training of students in the difficult field of neonatal assessments and neonate-caregiver interaction. The results also highlighted to the importance of initiating ECI services before birth in communities at risk for infant neglect and abuse, and the close relationship between ECI service delivery and student training.