Based on the enthusiastic response from over 150 healthcare professionals who attended last year’s introductory webinar on Speech Therapy and Swallowing Difficulties, we are moving forward with the University of Puthisastra in designing a Certificate Course in Dysphagia.
The year-long course will be aimed at doctors, nurses, and physical therapists who are currently employed by Cambodian hospitals, clinics, and rehab centers. The course will consist of a series of lectures and workshops, followed by supervised clinical practicums.
One-year course in three phases
The first phase of the certificate program is 30-35 hours of lectures and workshops on the evaluation and treatment of dysphagia within a Cambodian context. This “theory” component of the course will be delivered both through in-class workshops and individually online via University of Puthisastra’s state-of-the-art learning platform.
Once students have completed the classroom lecture series and passed the associated exams, they will engage in supervised clinical practicums over the course of several months. During that time, they will be supervised by qualified speech pathologists individually and in groups as they treat patients with dysphagia at their clinics or hospitals.
Finally, trainees who have passed the foundational competencies will be observed in their workplaces and will be coached by speech pathology supervisors for up to six additional months.
Moving forward with course development
Development of the Phase One lecture materials is already underway, spearheaded by SSTC speech therapist Annie Johnson, who is currently living in London.
The materials will build on trainings and documentation developed over the past eight years by our teams of Cambodia-based speech-language therapists working with our partner hospitals and other institutions. Dr. Alice E. Smith, myself, and other SLP professionals will participate in the development of these lectures and workshops
Annie will be back with us in Cambodia for the month of April to work on videos and other course materials.