Despite a growing commitment to person-centered care (PCC) among educators in audiology, the topic is often neglected in academic settings due to barriers like time constraint and lack of funding. To help prepare a workforce of future hearing care professionals for whom PCC will be the norm, Ida has therefore collaborated with our universities partners around the world to develop guidelines supporting the introduction of PCC in classroom and clinical teaching.
The Person-Centered Care Curriculum Guidelines include PCC-specific learning objectives that capture the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learners should be able to exhibit. Ida Senior Audiologist Cherilee Rutherford says: “We wanted to make it easy for lecturers and teaching staff to see how PCC can be incorporated in their curricula and give them practical tools to help make that happen. With this resource, lecturers can simply select their teaching area – be it amplification, diagnostics, tinnitus, or pediatric rehabilitation – and then refer to the example learning objectives to see how they might adapt their teaching to be more specifically focused on PCC.”
Assessing PCC skills
The assessment of PCC skills is a vast topic that can be approached in many ways. In the curriculum guidelines, we have gathered a combination of example feedback forms, marking grids, and rubrics to help evaluate the students’ PCC skills in the clinic. These examples are intended to inspire others to develop their own rubrics and spark conversations about effective and supportive feedback that will encourage students on their PCC journey.
Talita le Roux, Senior Lecturer in Audiology at the University of Pretoria, says: “For students to fully understand the essence and value of PCC, the principles should be embedded in some structured way in each theoretical and practical training module. PCC needs to be prioritized by educators. If they have a PCC mindset, it is bound to filter through.”
Having explicit, clinical marking grids on PCC can help create greater alignment among the lecturer, the clinical supervisor, and the student – and ensure that theoretical PCC teaching is further reinforced when students are doing their practical training. Dr. Victoria Watson, Senior Teaching Fellow in Audiology at the University of Southampton, explains why they have incorporated PCC in their practical skills workbook: “We wanted the students to be able to run with their clinical placement workbook from day one, so we aligned the practical teaching materials with it to get them familiar with the language and the different elements of PCC from an early stage in the program – so by the time they hit their main placement, they were ready to go with it.”
PCC in professional standards
From a regulatory angle, there is also a growing incentive for academia to redesign their curricula and explicitly include PCC. Professional organizations, including American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, British Society of Audiology, Audiology Australia, and the International Standards Organization (ISO), have started to include PCC in their standards for professionals – a recognition that puts pressure on academic programs to rethink their curricula and underscores the relevance of the new guidelines from Ida.
The PCC Curriculum Guidelines are intended as an evolving resource that we can build on continually – and we encourage feedback and suggestions. We would like to acknowledge the contributions from our academic partner universities and warmly thank them for their vision and leadership on this front.