Facilitators of and barriers to clinical supervision of speech-language pathology students in South Africa: A pilot study

  • A. Mupawose
  • S. Adams
  • S. Moonsamy


Background. Clinical supervision plays a fundamental role in maintaining professional standards when training students of professional degrees at a university undergraduate level.
Objective. To describe the perceptions of clinical educators regarding the facilitators of and barriers to learning when training  undergraduate speechlanguage pathology students in underserved and under-resourced clinical contexts in Gauteng, South Africa.
Methods. A qualitative approach, using a focus group discussion, was employed. Data were gathered from 8 clinical educators regarding their experiences of supervision of students. Themes were identified and analysed using thematic analysis.
Results. Themes generated revealed that there were barriers in supervision due to attitudes of student clinicians, clinical educators’ preparedness and infrastructure at clinical sites. Facilitators of the supervisory process were identified as feedback from student clinicians and support given by the department to clinical educators.
Conclusion. These findings suggested that clinical educators require additional time, support and training to assist them with clinical supervision. As clinical supervision is fundamental to the speech-language pathology curriculum and student experience, its value should not be underestimated. These findings contribute to the process of transforming the effectiveness of clinical supervision.


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