Skip to main content

Interprofessional practice in the speech-language pathology program at Illinois State University

Care providers engage in interprofessional practice

Clinical educators in the speech-language pathology graduate program at Illinois State University frequently collaborate with other campus and community professionals. These speech-language pathologists (SLP) provide comprehensive treatment when they consider the role and perspective of other professionals who share in the care of individuals and their families.  The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association describes inter-professional practice (IPP) as intentional collaboration among professionals from two or more disciplines to learn about, from, and with each other for improved individual and family outcomes following treatment. IPP is a critical element of service, whether practicing in the school or medical setting. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) recently hired two new clinical educators who facilitate specific types of IPP for the student clinicians they supervise.

Lindsay Diekhoff supervises graduate clinicians weekly to provide developmental screenings to children birth to five years of age in the Bloomington-Normal area. Graduate students conduct developmental screenings that include assessment of language, articulation, hearing, problem solving, and social skills.  Members of the local community benefit when Diekhoff and her students work with administrators and teachers at Little Jewel’s, Cadence Academy, and Wesley’s Bright Beginnings to provide these screenings. Student clinicians provide effective early intervention with inter-professional practice, which can be critical in a young child’s development.

Jaime Ellsworth currently works with  graduate students on the university’s Multi-Disciplinary Committee (MDC). Children ranging from preschool to high school age are referred to the Psychology Services Center (PSC) for comprehensive and integrated evaluations. Faculty/staff members and graduate students from the departments of School Psychology, School Social Work, Special Education, Literacy Education, Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology meet on a weekly basis to collaborate on each case. The process includes a parent interview, school observations, testing sessions, and a parent interpretative meeting. Speech-language and audiological diagnostic services are completed at the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic. After all information is collected by multiple disciplines, the MDC team members meet with parents/caregivers to review all evaluation results and recommendations.

Professionals across settings deliver high quality care when they implement IPP. Graduate students in the speech-language pathology program gain knowledge for IPP through the clinical experiences and instruction they receive at Illinois State University.  Visit the department’s website if you would like to learn more about the programs mentioned here.