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Improving Telepractice Skills: Lessons from COVID-19

Improving Telepractice Skills: Lessons from COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many professional services, including speech-language pathology, to rapidly adopt telepractice. A recent study, "The process of telepractice implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative inquiry of preschool speech-language pathologists and assistants from one center in Canada," provides valuable insights into this transition.

Here are the key findings and actionable steps from the study that can help practitioners improve their telepractice skills:

1. Understand the Transition Stages

The study identified six distinct stages in the transition to telepractice:

Recognizing these stages can help practitioners anticipate challenges and plan more effectively.

2. Embrace a Team Approach

The study highlighted the importance of a team approach to telepractice implementation. Collaboration among clinicians facilitated resource sharing and mutual support, which were critical for successful implementation.

3. Address Technological Barriers

One of the major barriers was a lack of technological support. Practitioners should advocate for dedicated IT support to troubleshoot issues quickly, allowing them to focus on clinical work.

4. Foster a Learning Climate

The study found that fostering a learning climate within the organization was essential. Leadership should express their own fallibility and encourage team members to contribute ideas and solutions. This approach creates a psychologically safe environment for trying new methods and reflecting on their effectiveness.

5. Gradual Implementation

Gradually easing into telepractice by starting with a few clients and slowly expanding services can help build confidence and competence. Practitioners should take the time to prepare and reflect on initial sessions to improve their skills continuously.

By incorporating these insights, practitioners can enhance their telepractice skills and provide better outcomes for their clients. For those interested in further research, the original study offers a comprehensive narrative of the transition process and is a valuable resource.

To read the original research paper, please follow this link: The process of telepractice implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative inquiry of preschool speech-language pathologists and assistants from one center in Canada.


Citation: Kwok, E. Y. L., Chiu, J., Rosenbaum, P., & Cunningham, B. J. (2022). The process of telepractice implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative inquiry of preschool speech-language pathologists and assistants from one center in Canada. BMC Health Services Research, 22, 81. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-07454-5

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