Purpose: This study aimed to assess the impact of in-person observation, in conjunction with didactic lectures, on students' perceived knowledge of speech-language pathology's (SLP) role and the roles of other healthcare professionals within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Method: Data for this study were initially collected for educational purposes and were later retrospectively analyzed with Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Ten participants who met the inclusion criteria underwent a didactic lecture on SLPs in the NICU followed by observing an SLP in action at a local NICU. Participants completed multiple surveys, allowing for a comparison of their perceived knowledge before and after in-person observation.

Results: Participants reported increased self-perceived knowledge regarding the involvement of interdisciplinary team members in a NICU setting (Q3, Q11) and heightened self-reported training on the role of SLPs in the NICU post-observation. However, for five questions (Q2, Q4, Q7, Q8, Q10), mean scores increased from pre-lecture to post-lecture, only to decrease from post-lecture to post-observation.

Conclusions: This study's findings suggest that students exhibit an improved overall understanding of the composition of NICU interdisciplinary teams and report a heightened sense of training when exposed to a combination of didactic lectures and experiential learning.

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