Not too little, not too much: supervisor perceptions of work-readiness of speech-language pathology graduates

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The work-readiness skills and attributes that facilitate healthcare graduates to succeed in their new workplaces are not well defined. In particular, the perspectives of supervisors of graduates in the diverse hospital and community settings of healthcare practice are not well represented in research about work-readiness. Interview data from a case study of twenty-nine supervisors of speech-language pathology graduates was thematically analysed, using Boundary Critique Theory to interpret how the supervisors’ understanding of graduate work-readiness was bounded within their understanding of their own system, needs and work environment. The four themes captured the skills that the supervisors perceived as critical for graduate work-readiness: Independence; Attitude; Teamwork; and Learning. A tension was identified within these themes, as supervisors’ understanding of work-readiness was bounded by an expectation that graduates are able to moderate how they transfer and apply their graduate skills in their workplace according to the complexity of client needs and the workplace setting. This study increases the visibility of the supervisors’ boundaries around what are and are not considered to be work-ready skills, attributes and expectations of a work ready speech-language pathology graduate. This knowledge can be used to facilitate speech-language pathology graduates to successfully transfer, apply and expand these skills as they transition to work, and may be useful for other health professions to explore.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-106
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number1
Early online date20 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Boundary critique theory
  • Competency
  • Graduate
  • Practice-preparedness
  • Transition
  • Work-ready


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