Graduate Student Perspectives
Zoe Kennedy, MA, CCC-SLP
UMaine Class of 2014
Current Employment: Waldo County General Hospital, Belfast, Maine
I use telepractice every day in my clinical practice. My primary caseload is seeing preschool and school age children with speech and language disorders. I have also seen adults via telepractice and completed swallow treatment, as well as LSVT. I benefited a great deal from the UMaine telepractice training. It prepared me for diverse clientele while using telepractice as a service delivery model. I became very comfortable using telepractice to deliver services, and is absolutely applicable to my every day work. Now, with my current employer and history at UMaine, I get to share my skills and train others who want to learn telepractice with the only ATA certified training for Speech Language Pathologists.
Katelyn DeBlois, MA, CF-SLP
UMaine Class of 2017
Current Employment: Mark Hammond Associates, Inc., Portland, Maine
My telepractice experience was a positive factor in the hiring process for my current position. During my time with Dr. Walker and the UMaine telepractice program, I became more comfortable with embracing technology and using applications to provide therapy. Telepractice allowed me the experience of building collaborative skills with case managers, education technicians, and caregivers as they ofter served as eHelpers during therapy. I was also pushed to become creative and expand my ideas of what telepractice can be. Lastly, telepractice helped me place myself into my client’s world. I could implement authentic, realistic activities into therapy in a way that wouldn’t be possible in a regular therapy setting.
There are so many children on waitlists not receiving the full amount of services or no services at all. Because of scheduling difficulties and demographic barriers, telepractice really becomes the only option for these children. It really comes down to ethics and our responsibilities to the people we serve. The times are really highlighting the importance of this skill set for us to learn.
Sydney Trask, MA, CFY-SLP
UMaine Class of 2017
Current Employment: Aroostook Medical Center, Presque Isle, Maine
I work with a variety of patients. I work in outpatient pediatrics, inpatient acute care, and inpatient acute rehab. While I am not currently using telepractice in my everyday work, the skills I learned while participating in the telepractice program were truly invaluable. I found that when making and preparing lessons, I was truly focused on my patient’s goals and understanding the purpose and methodology of my service delivery. Being prepared is so vital to quality service delivery in telepractice therapy. On the other hand, learning how to troubleshoot and change plans when something doesn’t go quite right has also molded me into a more patient and flexible clinician. Telepractice helped me to incorporate technology into my sessions (even with the aging populations) and brought out my creative side when working with a variety of patients.