After recovering from the haze of pure JOY that is having two consecutive days off in a row, I remembered I will be getting a new client with a disorder that 1) I have worked with only once before and 2) that I don’t know that much about from the evaluation and treatment section. All I have in my brain are the Facts that I learned about in one of my classes. And I plan to review those because I’ve slept a few hundred times since then.
It’s Better Speech and Hearing Month and I have been trying to reflect on things about what I do in my profession to make things better. One of the most important components to our field is providing evidence-based practice, which can be a challenge because 1) there isn’t always a lot of information about the most evidence-based approach to treating a particular disorder and 2) there is so much breadth to cover in our field, unless in a job that allows specialty in one or few areas of disorders.
Where do I even begin? I love my job and what I do and I don’t mind spending a little bit of time outside work answering questions I have about evaluation and treatment of disorders, but I must have boundaries and I refuse to spend much of my free time on All the Things SLP. (Even though sometimes my perfectionist side tries to push me into SLP overdrive.)
1) First, I look through my grad school notes. I read the Facts again. I also skim for names of specific authors and/or studies that I can then search through the ASHA website, or, try to access the articles through the library at work.
2) Search the ASHA journal database. The tricky thing is figuring out what keywords to use. Not to mention I don’t think much of the advanced search function on the ASHA journal database. (It does not allow me to use some of the awesome lit search skills I learned as an undergrad.)
3) If I have any colleagues who are familiar with the disorder, I ask for advice, or specific books, or specific articles to read.
Perfect? Probably not. Especially since I don’t have access to as many journals and academic databases as I did in grad school. But it does let me at least skim the surface of the most recent evidence available.