Opinion Paper

From pillars to posts: Some reflections on Community Service six years on

Claire Penn, Anniah Mupawose, Jennifer Stein
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 56, No 1 | a188 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v56i1.188 | © 2019 Claire Penn, Anniah Mupawose, Jennifer Stein | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 October 2016 | Published: 31 December 2009

About the author(s)

Claire Penn, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Anniah Mupawose, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Jennifer Stein, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Abstract

Speech-Language Therapy and Audiology graduates have worked in Community Service for 6 years. An evaluation of the impact of this strategy is now seen as important. In this discussion paper we report on the content and process of feedback sessions with 132 graduates from the University of the Witwatersrand during their community service placements from 2003-2008. Experiences and perceptions of these graduates are discussed in relation to a model as well as in relation to additional research conducted with our profession and other Community Service professions. Themes discussed include professional and technical issues, systemic and managerial issues, interpersonal issues and ethical issues. Perceptions on the adequacy of training are also described. The overall goals of Community Service are considered as well as indices for measuring success. Implications are considered for training institutions, for the Department of Health and for the profession.

Keywords

Community Service; speech language therapy and audiology; perceptions; ethical distress

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