Support Personnel Werven Responds to Breakey Second Opinion
Second Opinion  |   May 01, 1993
Support Personnel
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Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Professional Issues & Training / Second Opinions
Second Opinion   |   May 01, 1993
Support Personnel
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1993, Vol. 2, 17-18. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0202.17
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1993, Vol. 2, 17-18. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0202.17
Breakey’s article addresses a number of issues surrounding support personnel that, given our present service delivery system, would pose significant barriers to the acceptance of assistants within our profession. I do not find myself disagreeing with Breakey so much on the issues identified in her article as on what appears to be her perspective on support personnel.
The greatest error we can make on this issue is to assume that all settings and populations have the same therapeutic needs. If every clinical setting had the same resources, the needs of the clients served in these settings would still be different. Consequently, the manner in which these services would be delivered would be different as well. If, for example, we consider an acute medical setting, much of the speech-language pathologist’s initial contact with the patient might be diagnostic and exploratory in nature. A different situation could be observed, however, in a post-acute or long-term care facility, where the speech-language pathologist’s emphasis may not be diagnostic but aimed toward increasing the intensity of services, or generalization of learned strategies to natural settings. The settings command different approaches. The goals are different and, subsequently, the role of the speech-language pathologist may be different as well. A different role for the speech-language pathologist does not imply that the quality of care is compromised or that the speech-language pathologist relinquishes his or her responsibilities for the client.
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