Compulsory community service for speech-language and hearing therapy professionals : readiness, reality and readjustment
Thesis (MPhill)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Compulsory Community Service for the speech-language and hearing therapy profession was implemented in 2003. This is the first study to assess the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of speech-language and hearing professionals of Stellenbosch University doing Compulsory Community Service. Information on the experiences of Compulsory Community Service professionals inform on the responsibilities of the university where undergraduate studies are completed, the Department of Health (the employer) and professionals doing Community Service. A mixed method study design, using a scale questionnaire, supplemented by open-ended questions was completed by all but one of the group doing Compulsory Community Service in 2009. Results suggested that speechlanguage and hearing therapists perceived themselves to have the required knowledge, but not necessarily adequate skills to perform Compulsory Community Service. Suggestions to include additional curriculum content were made. All professionals agreed that a positive contribution was made during Compulsory Community Service, but concerns about the shortage of speech-language and hearing therapy services, absence of mentors and supervision, inadequate budgets, amenities and resources were identified. Readjustment must involve adaptation from all stakeholders to ensure that Compulsory Community Service honours its original objectives.