Goals for First Externship with Adults

Examples of General Learning Objectives:

By the end of this placement the student will:

1. Develop an understanding of the role of the speech-language pathologist within the setting (i.e. acute
care, rehabilitation, extended care, adult-focused private practice settings)
2. Develop skills in basic speech and language assessment with adults with acquired speech, language,
voice, swallowing, and/or fluency disorders
3. Develop skills in basic assessment with adults
4. Develop skills in planning and implementing treatment with adults
5. Learn to interact with clients/patients, their families and/or other team members
6. Develop skills in documentation and report writing
7. Develop self-evaluation skills

Specific Course Objectives:

Client-clinician interaction:

The student will learn to interact effectively with adults with
communication/swallowing disorders and their families.
Roles: The student will develop an understanding of the speech-language pathologist’s role in
the setting and as part of an inter-professional health care team.

Service delivery:

The student will develop an understanding of the process of assessment and
management from referral to discharge, including the ways in which contextual factors
(e.g. acute vs. palliative care) influence care approaches.
Assessment: The student will develop skills in basic assessment procedures specific to the setting,
for example:

Case history taking/interviewing:

The student will complete at least one case history with a client and/or family.

Oral mech. exam:

The student will complete at least two oral mechanism screenings or examinations.

Standardized test administration:

The student will administer at least two standardized speech and/or language tests
(e.g., BDAE, AIDS, BNT, WAB) or structured standard speech/ language screening tool.


The student will develop basic skills in swallowing assessment including:

  • conduct at least two chart reviews of clients with dysphagia
  • complete at least two bedside dysphagia assessments, including an oral mechanism examination
  • where possible, observe modified barium swallow (MBS) or fiber optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) for at least one patient


The student will document assessment results as per agency requirements.


The student will develop skills in planning and implementing treatment for clients typically seen at this setting; for example:

  • Develop a motor speech plan for at least one client
  • Plan and implement a language intervention session for at least one client
  • Take primary responsibility for at least two typical communication clients, while assisting the Clinical Educator with other clients
  • Develop basic skills in swallowing management by:
  • making appropriate recommendations (with guidance from Clinical Educator) for at least two patients with dysphagia
  • following at least one patient’s dysphagia management plan (where possible)
  • Chart/report progress or treatment plan as appropriate


The student will develop self-evaluation skills, specifically in interactions with clients,
and with families and other professionals.