The vision of starting a university program began during the early years of STC, when it became apparent how much time and money it would take to build a critical mass of fully trained Cambodian dysphagia clinicians. It would also be crucial to create jobs for these trained clinicians. This would only be possible through collaboration with an established and well-respected Cambodian university.
This week. SSTC and the Cambodian University of Puthisastra launched the “Foundations of Adult Dysphagia Management” course. This is Cambodia’s FIRST post-graduate certificate course in dysphagia management, supported by the Medical and Nursing Councils of Cambodia and by the Cambodian Ministry of Health. These collaborations give dysphagia management education new legitimacy in Cambodia.
STC and SSTC have created a Cambodia-centric academic curriculum, with lectures (live and pre-recorded), videos, training manuals and in-person workshops. Everything is available in both English and Khmer. The training materials reflect the experience and learning of many years of onsite training by the SSTC team and international SLP staff.
SSTC is working with hospital administrators at the five participating hospitals and clinics, and with the 15 doctors, nurses, and physical therapists who are the trainees in this first year of the university program, in order to measure the effectiveness of new dysphagia services at the hospitals. This monitoring and evaluation is critical to ensure the quality of the program. We are also establishing accountability, use of staff, and sophisticated systems to create dysphagia services and dysphagia clinical job opportunities.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Rotary International Foundation, we can supplement on-the-ground STC/ SSTC leadership with Rotary-funded SLP volunteers and Khmer interpreters to provide one-on-one clinical supervision to university trainees during the last nine months of their course.