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Abstract

Burnout in health care professionals may pose a threat to the quality of care provided in any setting. The purpose of this project was to examine dimensions related to future resilience in CSD graduate students. METHODS: In this project, 146 master’s degree students from Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) programs in the Midwest completed an online survey regarding lifestyle stresses affecting resilience, and patterns in five areas correlated with resilience. RESULTS: Top lifestyle stresses affecting academics were general stress, maintaining mental health, and sleep difficulties. Notably, more than half of the participants reported feeling rested three or fewer days per week. Further, CSD students reported significantly higher incidence of general stress, mental health conditions, chronic health conditions, concern for a friend or family member’s struggles, and sleep difficulty than college age peers. Positive factors identified related to resilience in CSD students included presence of professional networks and mentoring, maintaining positivity, opportunities for reflecting on strengths and weaknesses, and having a sense meaning in life. Respondent areas of resilience vulnerability were reduced optimism on a daily basis, limited sense of life balance, and hesitancy to discuss life issues or accommodation needs with faculty. Implications are discussed regarding CSD graduate programs’ roles in fostering resilience. CONCLUSION: Professional programs can support and promote the development of personal and professional resilience in students training for healthcare professions. This survey project provides a starting point to describe patterns in CSD master’s programs within the Midwestern region of the US.

Author Bio(s)

Janet Tilstra, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at St Cloud State University. She is an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certified speech-language pathologist and licensed speech-language pathologist in the State of Minnesota.

Megan Coffman, MS, is a graduate of St Cloud State University Master of Science program in speech-language pathology. She is a licensed speech-language pathologist in the State of Minnesota.

Teresa Gonia, MS, is a graduate of St Cloud State University Master of Science program in speech-language pathology. She is a licensed educational speech-language pathologist in the State of Minnesota.

Caroline Koziol, MS, is a graduate of St Cloud State University Master of Science program in speech-language pathology. She is a licensed speech-language pathologist in the State of Minnesota.

Ellen Liebe Radtke, MS, is a graduate of St Cloud State University Master of Science program in speech-language pathology. She is a licensed speech-language pathologist in the State of Minnesota.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to LeighAnne Mahoney and Hannah Tilstra for their positive energy and timely assistance with manuscript preparation.

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