Ms Laura Loftus

BSc

Contact Details

Lecturer Above The Bar
Speech & Language Therapy
NUI
Galway

T: Ext. 5293
E: laura.loftus@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

In February 2007, Laura Loftus joined the Speech and Language therapy team at NUI Galway as the Practice Education Coordinator. 
“The post of PEC …..will be responsible for overall coordination of placements for the university and allocation of student placements. They will also be involved in the integration of theory to practice across the entire programme”
National Implementation Group May, 2006
Previous to the post of Practice Education Coordinator she held a number of positions with the HSE from 1998-2007 as a basic and senior Speech and Language Therapist. Her clinical experience saw her work with diverse client groups from community care, learning disability, autism and adult case loads. Laura’s work experience prior to joining the university also included the pilot post of Regional Placement Facilitator during 2006-2007.
Laura supported student placements from numerous colleges while working as a clinician. This hands on experience has guided her in her current role as the Practice Education Coordinator. Since joining the university Laura remains clinically active 1 day a week.  
In the post of Practice Education Coordinator Laura has responsibility for organizing placements for students. She has on-going contact with her colleagues in the HSE, hospitals and voluntary agencies She provides training and support to these therapists through emails/phone calls/site visits and CPD training. This ongoing contact helps to maintain the quality of external placements.
 Laura in collaboration with her colleague from the HSE, Margaret Roddins has developed the onsite clinic during her time in post. This clinic offers creative and alternative formats of approaching clinical teaching. It provides fourth years with an opportunity to develop their skills of mentoring, third years an opportunity to develop knowledge of specialist areas, second years to learn their foundation skills and first years an opportunity to be introduced to the profession. The clinic has lead the way in promoting the benefits of shared placements, peer teaching and group teaching. The clinic provides excellent opportunities to assist students to link their theory and practice.
Since 2011 Laura has played a pivotal role in ensuring that dysphagia competencies are met by all students on graduation. This new requirement was introduced by the IASLT in 2010 to meet employer’s needs. Laura along with coordinators from Trinity, University of Limerick and University College Cork developed assessment criteria, supporting handbooks and CPD events in order to explain and assist therapists with this changover.
 
Since 2012 Laura and Margaret have successfully developed and introduced the use of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations to the department. This assessment format is now in use in Year 2, 3 and 4 of the programme.
Laura also supports her colleagues in the Department by contributing to curriculum development, teaching and assessment. She is the Year 1 coordinator for the undergraduate programme and coordinates with her colleague Dr. Ruth Mc Menamin the MSc in Advanced Healthcare Practice and Research.

Her research interests to date have centered around student learning and in particular the role of feedback and learning. 

Published Reports

  Year Publication
(2011) Report on the Review of the Practice Education System.
Flattery, V., Loftus, L., McMahon, S., Keown, A.M. , Reed, J. & Walsh, E. (2011) Report on the Review of the Practice Education System. HSE, HSE. [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2017) IASLT Conference 2017,
Laura Loftus (2017) The changing face of assessment in Speech and Language Therapy. [Oral Presentation], IASLT Conference 2017, Croke Park, Dublin , 25-MAY-17 - 26-MAY-17. [Details]

Conference Poster

  Year Publication
(2008) ‘Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness’ the experience of NUI, Galway Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Team. NAIRTL 2nd Annual Conference Waterford Institute of Technology Conference.
Lyons, R., Mc Menamin, R. O’Shaughnessy, C., Logue-Kennedy, M., Antonijevic-Elliot, S. O’ Malley, M.P., Loftus, L. (2008) ‘Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centeredness’ the experience of NUI, Galway Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Team. NAIRTL 2nd Annual Conference Waterford Institute of Technology Conference. Conference Poster [Details]
(2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centredness: The NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy Team's experience. National Academy for Integration of Research and Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) 2nd Annual Conference, Waterford IT.
O'Shaugnessy, C., Lyons, R., McMenamin, R., O'Malley, M.P., Antonijevic-Elliott, S., & Logue-Kennedy, M. (2008) Re-designing a curriculum to achieve integration and reflect the values of student and client centredness: The NUI Galway Speech and Language Therapy Team's experience. National Academy for Integration of Research and Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) 2nd Annual Conference, Waterford IT. Conference Poster [Details]