If you are pursuing your degree in SLP, externships will likely be on your checklist. Supervision gained working in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs will provide you with real-world where you can apply the academic knowledge you’ve learned. Students are often encouraged to obtain well-rounded experience working with clients of different demographics and a variety of speech and language disorders. In this article, we’ll provide 5 things you should know and try to get out of your externship.
- Tap Into Supervision. As a graduate student, you are not yet ready or certified to treat patients independently. You should expect to be closely monitored and guided by your supervisor. Tap into their experience. Ask good questions and observe how they interact with, and propose solutions for, the client. Your supervisor can be an invaluable resource, but you should not rely on them to create treatment plans. You should use your resources to develop appropriate plans and then review them with your supervisor for guidance and feedback.
- Understand and Explain Treatment Objectives. The best way to get buy-in from your patients is to clearly explain the treatment goals and objectives. Helping them see the value and benefit in each step, no matter how small, can be a huge factor in compliance and collaboration. This is also a great step to helping you ensure that every task is clearly goal oriented.
- Take a Break. When you begin your externship, it may seem natural to work, work, work. But, take a break and allow yourself some time throughout the day to recharge. You will feel more focused, and your patients will reap the benefits!
- Expectations. The goal is to provide you with a mentor that can extend their experience to you, along with practical and useful feedback. You should expect your supervision to include:
- Oversight and evaluation of your client interactions and performance feedback
- Modeling your mentor in professional, technical, and ethical behavior
- Active behavioral case analysis and recommendations to help improve target behaviors
- Participation and/or observation of professional report writing, multidisciplinary meetings, parent education, and screenings
Remember this is an on-the-job training experience. You will have access to a wide range of experienced professionals with different backgrounds and specialties. Make the most of it! Now is the time to ask questions and learn how these other jobs will impact and assist you and vice versa. If you would like to learn more about externship opportunities, contact Verbal Beginnings today! In this rapidly growing field, Verbal Beginnings always have internships and externship opportunities available and are eager to support your career goals! Call us today at 855.866.9893 to speak to someone about our opportunities.