The CF

15 Oct

Okay I was GOING to blog about AAC assessment and device trialing but I am doing my first days of device trialing this week and I figure I should wait until that actually happens to have an opinion on it. (Don’t worry though – I already have opinions.)

The Clinical Fellowship. The ol’ CF. Ye olde CFY. (It isn’t a year anymore I HATE when people call it the CFY now. IT ISN’T A CFY STOP THAT STOP IT RIGHT NOW.) (STOP IT.)

What’s the deal with the CF? According to ASHA:

The Clinical Fellowship (CF) is a transition between being a student and being an independent provider of clinical services that involves a mentored professional experience after the completion of academic course work and clinical practicum.

Purpose of the Clinical Fellowship

  • Integration and application of the theoretical knowledge from academic training
  • Evaluation of strengths and identification of limitations
  • Development and refinement of clinical skills consistent with the Scope of Practice
  • Advancement from constant supervision to independent practitioner

It is 36 weeks of full-time clinical practice. You get paid don’t panic. It isn’t a continuation of an internship. You’re expected to do real work and you’re the SLP. You just don’t have your CCCs yet because probably you’re a screw up. Don’t worry – we all are. As my mom says, “YOUR PROFESSION HAS A CF FOR A REASON.” (And I’m all, “Yeaaah Mom but like, I like being perfect at everythiiiiiing.”)

What do you have to DO for a CF? Here, read this:

Clinical Fellowship Requirements

  • 36 weeks of full-time (35 hours per week) experience (or the equivalent part-time experience), totaling a minimum of 1260 hours. Part-time work can be completed, as long as the CF works more than 5 hours per week. Working more than 35 hours per week will not shorten the minimum requirement of 36 weeks.
  • Mentoring by an individual holding ASHA certification in speech-language pathology. It is the responsibility of the Clinical Fellow to verify certification of the mentoring SLP, and can do so by contacting the ASHA Action Center to verify at 1-800-498-2071.
  • A score of “3” or better on the core skills in the final segment of the experience, as rated by SLPCF Mentor using the SLP Clinical Fellowship Skills Inventory form.
  • 80% of time must be spent in direct clinical contact (assessment/diagnosis/evaluation, screening, treatment, report writing, family/client consultation, and/or counseling) related to the management of disordered that fit within the ASHA Speech and Language Pathology Scope of Practice.
  • Submission of an approvable CF Report and Rating Form.

I actually filled out my own rating scale the other day of how I think I’m doing. I mostly gave myself 3s and 4s. November 15th is the last day of Segment 1 for me and then my supervisor and I will compare and discuss.

Something you’ll also note on the CF Rating Form is:

A full-time SLPCF consists of a minimum of 35 hours worked per week and equals 1,260 hours throughout the 36-week SLPCF. The SLPCF must consist of at least 36 mentoring activities, including 18 hours of on-site direct client contact observations and 18 other monitoring activities.


That equals 6 hours of direct supervision and 6 hours of “mentoring” per segment. THAT’S A LOT OF BONDING TIME. Sheesh ASHA, you’re killin’ me.

Overall I think the CF is going pretty well – I love my supervisors and I have wonderful support at my facility. I think for a CF it is SO important to have support – you NEED other SLPs, you SHOULD HAVE an onsite supervisor who you see regularly. A few jobs I interviewed for would have supervisors for me in other buildings, or I’d be doing only home health and wouldn’t really have a home base. It would have been a mistake for me to take one of those positions. I have a sounding board, I have people to observe, people to bounce ideas off, people to share/commiserate with.  I do group therapy twice a week where I get to see PTs, OTs, and Early Childhood Educators in action. My supervisor and I meet every Friday. There are SIX other SLPs for me to talk to and they’re such amazing resources. If you’re considering somewhere for your CF – please consider the support system your facility will have in place for you, it’s incredibly important.

Shoot me questions! I’m happy to help.

NP: Lee Brice – Hard to Love

6 Responses to “The CF”

  1. slpecho October 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    What makes the paperwork easier? Anything? Or is it all hell?

    • weathersby October 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

      Well the actual CF paperwork is really minimal and not bad at all (there’s only one form to submit!)

      As far as clinical paperwork – we do everything through a program called Raintree. When I write a report I electronically sign and submit it – and it goes to my supervisor’s “Cosigns.” Where she can review, make changes, and electronically sign. I have a laptop so I can do SOAPs in between home visits. It really isn’t that bad!

      Since I do 0-3 we get referrals from Child Development Watch and they write the IFSP. For the most part we have insurance coordinators so we aren’t dealing with authorizations and so forth. We do initial eval reports/initial visit reports, 3 month progress notes, discharge reports, annual evaluations, and “COSFs” for discharged kiddos. I also do reports for AAC and Dysphagia evals and funding. I feel bad for school SLPs because it might seem like I have a lot of paperwork – but I have a smaller caseload (this week I have three evals, 2 AAC pts, 5 group kids, 7 home kids, 2 kids for indiv tx.) and I’m not writing IFSPs/IEPs!

      I will say my CF’s paperwork load is totally reasonable. We’ve got a system and it works! And at first, it takes awhile to write reports but once you get into the groove it goes pretty quickly. (My first day it took me like 2 hours to write SOAPs for four kids. Ridiculous.)

  2. Joanne October 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    Sounds like you have great support – that’s awesome!! I wish I’d known to look for that when I was starting!! I am going to be supervising my first CF – I hope it goes well!!!

    • weathersby October 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      I bet it’ll be great 🙂 I’m so lucky to have this support system! A lot of my friends are pretty much on their own and while I know I’d survive, I don’t know that I’d get to learn so much.

      Good luck with your CF! You’ll be awesome

  3. Nancy June 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    How did you keep track of your CF hours?

    • weathersby July 12, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      We have an online system at work for tracking our schedules so it was pretty easy to manage. I can go back years and look at weeks and specific days etc

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