Addressing Ethical Issues During Supervised Clinical Experiences

As you prepare to start your CSD career, it’s important to think about how ethical decision-making will be a part of your everyday experience. To create a greater awareness of situations that could pose ethical dilemmas throughout your career—and to get you thinking about how to handle these situations—ASHA established the Student Ethics Essay Award (SEEA) program.

While the ASHA Code of Ethics doesn’t have jurisdiction over students, it does apply to their supervisors, clinic directors, and mentors who are ASHA certified. Therefore, it’s up to ASHA-certified individuals to delegate tasks to students who are within the scope of the students’ knowledge and skills. The responsibility for client welfare, though, remains with the certified individual. Last year’s SEEA competition asked students to address an ethical dilemma or challenge that may arise when professional services are provided by student clinicians.

Winning Essays for 2021: Ethics in Supervision

The 2021 SEEA winners had great insight into ethical questions that may arise when ASHA certificate holders supervise the clinical practice of students. A common thread between the winning essays was the importance of supervisors having current knowledge and skills, as well as being fully engaged so students can develop a solid clinical and ethical foundation.

Audrey McMillion Headshot

1st Place: Audrey McMillion, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Continuing Education for Clinical Education and Mentoring Graduate Students

“All clinicians should make an effort to support the students, clients, and patients they work with, and if they do not feel they have the skills and knowledge to do this, they should pursue those skills and knowledge.”

Katie Matofsky Headshot

2nd Place: Katie Matofsky, Yeshiva University/Stern College for Women

When Ethics are Boiled Down to Regulations and Common Sense, the Clinical Supervisor has a Recipe for Success

“Many ethical challenges can be avoided when common sense is exercised. Dilemmas as critical as those involving ethics, however, cannot simply be left to an intangible and immeasurable concept.”

Valerie Villanueva Headshot

3rd Place: Valerie Villanueva, Seton Hall University

Lead by Example—Ethical Considerations for Supervisors and Student Clinicians

“For student clinicians in the field of speech-language pathology, a supervisor is their mentor and guiding example of theory in practice, as well as an individual who can help one grow as a speech-language pathologist. For a supervisor, overseeing a student clinician is an opportunity to share clinical expertise and experiences, and help teach the speech-language pathologists of the future.”

2022 Student Ethics Essay Award Competition—Now Open

ASHA has built the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the Code of Ethics—prohibiting racism and other forms of unlawful discrimination in the professions. Although not every form of discrimination meets the legal standard of being unlawful, failure to act when witnessing discrimination in the professions may rise to the level of an ethical violation.

So, this year’s essay topic is about discrimination within the professions and submissions are now being accepted! As future audiologists and speech-language pathologists, and holders of the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), it’s important to be prepared now as a student and think now about how you’ll approach ethical dilemmas, like discrimination, as a professional.

Get started on your submission now—it’s due by 12 noon (EST) on February 4, 2022. You could win a 1-year membership to National NSSLHA, registration at the 2022 ASHA Convention in New Orleans, and up to $1,000!

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