Clinical Supervisor Characteristics Valued By Practising Speech Language Therapists
Thesis DisciplineSpeech and Language Therapy
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Speech and Language Therapy
Clinical Supervision is an important practice in speech language therapy and related health disciplines. Research in student clinician populations has found that supervisees value interpersonal, personal and teaching characteristics in a clinical supervisor. Research has also shown that perceptions of supervisor characteristics change as student clinicians gain clinical skills. However, there is a significant lack of research examining practising clinicians' perceptions of clinical supervisor characteristics. The current study aimed to 1) survey practising Speech Language Therapists (SLTs) and examine the knowledge, skills and attitudes valued in a clinical supervisor, and 2) determine if the characteristics valued by more experienced SLTs (greater than 5 years) differed from those valued by less experienced SLTs (less than 5 years). A cross-sectional survey design methodology was employed. A five-part survey was developed, and distributed nationally by email. Participants were 72 SLTs practising in New Zealand. Results indicated that practising SLTs valued interpersonal knowledge and skills, and personal values and attitudes most highly in a clinical supervisor. In addition, it was found that characteristics relating to professional knowledge and identity were least valued. Overall, almost no difference was found between characteristics valued by less and more experienced clinicians. Findings suggest that practicing clinicians' basic human-relationship needs must be met for safe and effective CS to occur. Findings also suggest that regardless of experience level all clinicians are learners. This means clinicians across all different levels of work experience require support from clinical supervisors, to learn reflectively from experiences in the workplace.