Purpose: Clinical swallow evaluation (CSE) is a critical skill that speech-language pathologists who manage swallowing impairment must learn. The objective of this mixed-methods study was to determine if using a human patient simulator (HPS) to train speech-language pathology graduate students in CSE improved knowledge, preparedness, and anxiety as compared to traditional instruction alone. Method: This was a controlled trial with repeated measures. Participants included graduate students from two cohorts who were enrolled in a swallowing disorders course in consecutive academic years (n = 50). Students in the experimental group participated in a simulation experience in which they performed a CSE on an HPS, generated a treatment plan, and communicated in real time with the HPS, the patient’s wife, and a nurse. Quantitative results included quizzes that measured short-and long-term CSE knowledge, and qualitative findings included written feedback from instructors and students. Results: Students who participated in simulation training had significantly higher long-term quiz accuracy than the control group, but their short-term quiz scores did not differ. Student ratings of preparedness and anxiety did not differ between the two groups. Many students reported that they appreciated practicing the use of patient-friendly language and preferred clinical simulation over traditional teaching methods. Facilitators reported that simulation increased student engagement and critical thinking skills more than traditional teaching methods. Conclusions: CSE simulation provided objective and subjective advantages over traditional teaching methods. Recommendations from students and instructors for improving the CSE simulation training are reported.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing