5 Clinician Tips to Streamline Your Clinical Fellowship Experience
Now that you’ve begun your journey as a Clinical Fellow (CF), you have so much to be excited about! Your Clinical Fellowship program provides greater independence than in your previous student internships, allowing you to develop your skillset while taking on more responsibility and accountability for your practice.
It’s also important to remember that clinical and professional growth are ongoing processes during your CF and beyond into your SLP career. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day—so, don’t expect to become an expert overnight. However, we do have some handy tips to help you get your CF started in the right direction.
Five Easy Tips to Streamline Your CF Experience
- Learn to get comfortable with asking questions, and with performing an honest, ongoing assessment with yourself regarding your level of understanding of something and the extent of your need for more information. Making this a habit will help with both sides of the coin: insufficient understanding of a new task or skill, or a lack of confidence and doubting your natural clinical abilities. Understanding what you know and what you need to learn (or need more practice and guidance with) can make your CF experience much less overwhelming.
- Writing goals can take a long time but there are ways to make things easier on yourself. One way to increase efficiency is using a goal bank. Start a personalized goal bank, such as on a Word or Google doc, where you can collect common or frequently used goal descriptions, accommodations, ‘in order to’ statements for goals, and more. Of course, this document is meant to be a framework for you to individualize into more meaningful and detailed goals through team discussions and group meetings but having the framework will become a significant time saver.
- When you get your caseload, create a simple table in Word or Google docs with spots for the following categories (or similar categories, based on your setting)—re-evaluation dates, progress report due dates and months, and dates of upcoming annuals. As more clients or students are added to your caseload, you can add their unique information to these tables so you are aware whose tasks must be completed each month.
- Reach out to your on-site mentor or supervisor for a training on your clinic or district’s policies regarding HIPAA, FERPA, and PHI. Keep notes with you as needed for the first few months, so you are carefully following policy while scheduling clients, sending inter-agency emails, and more. Your notes are also an easy way for you to periodically review policies when you have an extra moment during your shift.
- Take time to get familiar with the assessments and evaluation tools typically used at your CF assignment facility or district. For each of the standardized assessments you will be using, it’s helpful to go through and note the ceilings, basals, and other key information within them, to decrease any confusion or stress during administration of the tests. You can keep each assessment’s note with the materials for easy access each use.
We hope these tips can be of use to you immediately as you forge your path toward earning your Cs—there is so much more to learn, so always remember to use your clinical staff, mentors, and other resources as a support system throughout your CF experience.
Are you a new grad SLP looking to jump start your Clinical Fellowship? Learn more about how Med Travelers Clinical Fellowship Program can provide you the opportunities, clinical support, and tools to set you up for sustained career success.