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Purpose: In September 2012, 18 Vietnamese health professionals graduated as Vietnam’s first university qualified speechlanguage pathologists (SLPs). This study details the reflections of these pioneering health professionals at 12 months following their graduation, drawing attention to their scope of practice as SLPs and to the opportunities and challenges to progressing the practice of speech-language pathology (SLP) in Vietnam. Method: Thirteen graduates participated in small group interviews where they described their work and their perceptions of their emerging practice. Thematic analysis of the interview transcripts was employed to identify key concepts and themes within the data. Result: Four overarching themes were identified—scope of practice, establishing identity, confidence to practise and progressing the profession. Overall analysis revealed evolving professional practice characterised by new learning, fluctuations in confidence and an active forging of professional identity. Mentoring and support by international colleagues and advancing professional recognition were identified as critical to the profession’s progression and to the development of context-specific and culturally appropriate services. Conclusion: Participants’ reflections draw focus to an important role for the international SLP community as it works in partnership with colleagues to enhance awareness of and services for people with communication disabilities in underserved communities such as Vietnam.


School of Allied Health

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Journal Article

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