Professional Communication in Speech-Language Pathology: How to Write, Talk, and Act Like a Clinician

Fifth Edition

A. Embry Burrus, Laura B. Willis

Details: 300 pages, B&W, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-658-7

© 2026 | Coming Soon

Release Date: 11/08/2024

For Instructors

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Available for purchase starting 10/11/2024

Print Book: $104.95
eBook: $104.95

In Professional Communication in Speech-Language Pathology: How to Write, Talk, and Act Like a Clinician, Fifth Edition, the authors focus on preparing student clinicians for the diverse forms of communication they will encounter in their clinic practicum experience. The text highlights the importance of effective written and verbal communication in university clinics, medical settings and public schools, and provides guidance for these professional settings. Designed to help students navigate communication challenges, the text utilizes appendices with practical examples of diagnostic and treatment reports, data sheets and essential acronyms to equip them with the necessary tools to communicate effectively. To promote a student-friendly text, vignettes are incorporated into each chapter to present ethical dilemmas, interview scenarios and procedures for handling confidential health information to help students understand the material on a practical level. 

New to the Fifth Edition

  • Expanded content regarding cultural sensitivity and bias
  • Updated information on current requirements and policies for written documentation
  • Expanded and updated information regarding HIPAA and the ASHA Code of Ethics
  • Numerous additional examples to further clarify the content
  • Reorganization of the chapters for greater flow of information
  • References updated throughout to reflect current research and evidence-based practice

Key Features

  • Each chapter includes learning outcomes, active learning exercises, and reflection questions
  • Chapters include specific information to differentiate between the university clinic, medical, and public-school settings
  • Numerous vignettes to illustrate key concepts and recommended practices 
  • Helpful appendices provide practical examples of diagnostic and treatment reports, data sheets, and essential acronyms
  • Evidence-based research is referenced as well as how to practically apply the information
  • Student-friendly verbiage to make complex concepts easy to follow 

PluralPlus Online Ancillary Materials

For instructors: PowerPoint Slides, Active Learning Exercises, Reflection Questions 


Section I. Introduction to Professional Communication, Clinical Practicum Sites, and Ethics

Chapter 1: The Nature of Professionalism and Professional Communication
Learning Outcomes
Professional Written Communication
Professional Verbal Communication
Shared Components of Professional Written and Verbal Communication
Reflection Questions

Chapter 2: Learning as the Rules Change: The Many Faces of Clinical Practicum
Learning Outcomes
Clinical Settings
The University Setting
The Medical Setting
The School Setting
Reflection Questions

Chapter 3: Ethics, Confidentiality, and Safeguarding Clinical Communications
Learning Outcomes
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Code of Ethics
The University Speech and Hearing Clinic
   Treatment Plans and Progress Notes
   Formal Treatment Reports
   Formal Diagnostic Report
   Test Forms
   Electronic Transmissions
   Authorization Forms
   Therapy Schedules
   Verbal Discussions
   Audio/Video Recordings
The Medical Setting
The School Setting
Reflection Questions

Section II. Professional Written Communication

Chapter 4: Documentation and Technical Writing
Learning Outcomes
The Basics of Writing
Common Errors
Remember Your Audience
Reflection Questions

Chapter 5: Diagnostic Reports
Learning Outcomes
The Organizational Framework of a Diagnostic Report
The University Setting
The Medical Setting
The School Setting
Reflection Questions

Chapter 6: Treatment Documentation
Learning Outcomes
What Are Long-Term and Short-Term Goals?
Definition of a Goal
The Importance of Rationales
Data Is Critical
The University Setting
The Integration of Long-Term Goals (LTGs), Short-Term Goals (STGs), and Rationales
   The Medical Setting
   The Rehabilitation Setting
   The Hospital Setting
Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facility
The School Setting
   Individualized Education Program (IEP)
   Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
   How Is the IFSP Different From the IEP?
   How Does the IEP Reflect Specific Goals?
Similarities and Differences in Goal Writing Across Settings
Reflection Questions

Chapter 7: Short-Term Progress Reports
Learning Outcomes
Progress Reports
The University Setting
   Example 1: Aphasia Client
   Example 2: Child Language Client
   Example 3: Child Articulation Client
   Example 4: Fluency Client
The Medical Setting
The School Setting
Reflection Questions

Chapter 8: Long-Term Progress Reports
Learning Outcomes
The University Setting
The Medical Setting
   The Rehabilitation Setting
   The Hospital Setting
   Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facility
The School Setting
Reflection Questions

Chapter 9: Professional Correspondence
Learning Outcomes
Phone Correspondence
Reflection Questions

Section III. Professional Verbal Communication

Chapter 10: Improving Communication Skills & Strategies 
Learning Outcomes
Selected Critical Elements of Professional Verbal Communication
   Show Respect
   Use Professional Tone
   Listen and Understand
   Attend To Context
   Modify Based On Feedback
The Value of Experience
Contexts of Verbal Communication with Clients and Families
Informational Counseling
   Three Important Issues Common to All Diagnostic Interviews
   Diagnostic Interviews with Parents
   Diagnostic Interviews with Adult Clients and Their Care Partners
   Methods of Maximizing Retention
   Conducting Training Sessions for Developing a Home Treatment Program    
   Discussing Treatment Progress with Clients and Families
   Counseling Clients and Families About Treatment Issues
Personal Adjustment Counseling
Reflection Questions

Chapter 11: Interacting with Other Professionals
Learning Outcomes
Contexts of Professional Verbal Communication with Other Professionals
   Staffings and Meetings
   Collaboration (Push In and Pull Out)
   Solving Problems in Informal Daily Interactions
   Making Mistakes
   Misunderstandings and Miscommunications
Reflection Questions

Chapter 12: Understanding Cultural Competence and Responsiveness in Clinical Practice
Learning Outcomes
Cultural Competence and the SLP
The Therapeutic Cycle
Reflection Questions

Chapter 13: Communication Strategies for the Student/Supervisor Relationship 
Learning Outcomes
The Evolution of the Student and Supervisor Relationship Through the Practicum Experience
The Supervisory Relationship
   Goals of Supervisors and Students
Critical Differences Between Students and Supervisors
Remember the Principles of Professional Verbal Communication
Communication Issues You May or May Not Encounter
Common Mistakes 
Generational Differences
   Millennials and Technology
   Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Z
Reflection Questions

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E
Appendix F
Appendix G
Appendix H
Appendix I


A. Embry Burrus

A. Embry Burrus, MCD, CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech-language pathologist and was an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Auburn University for 14 years. Her areas of interest include children with developmental delay, children and adults who stutter, and supervision. She is also the author of a memoir about her family, The Life We Choose: A Sibling’s Story (Solomon & George Publishers, 2017) and is currently a full-time caregiver for her older sister with Down syndrome. 

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Laura B. Willis

Laura B. Willis, MCD, CCC-SLP, is a Clinical Professor at Auburn University and certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She enjoys working alongside graduate students in the university clinic to provide high-quality services to clients of all ages and their families. Mrs. Willis also teaches an undergraduate course introducing students to Speech-Language Pathology clinic, clinical writing, and service provision. Prior to joining the Auburn University faculty, she worked at the Roosevelt Institute for Rehabilitation in Warm Springs, Georgia. She has presented numerous local, regional, and national presentations and she has been published in national journals.  

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INSTRUCTOR: Professional Communication in Speech-Language Pathology: How to Write, Talk, and Act Like a Clinician, Fifth Edition comes with access to supplementary teaching resources on a PluralPlus companion website.

The companion website is located at:

Tel: 866-758-7251 (toll free) or 858-492-1555

A Coursebook on Scientific and Professional Writing for Speech-Language Pathology

Sixth Edition

M.N. Hegde

Details: 459 pages, B&W, Spiral, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-401-9

© 2024 | Available

Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Sixth Edition

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Details: 541 pages, Two-Color, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-655-6

© 2025 | Available

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Seventh Edition

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Details: 660 pages, Full Color, Softcover with layflat binding, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-710-2

© 2025 | Available

Goal Setting in Speech-Language Pathology: A Guide to Clinical Reasoning

First Edition

Casey Taliancich-Klinger, Angela J. Kennedy, Catherine Torrington Eaton

Details: 114 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-432-3

© 2025 | Available

Clinical Methods and Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology

Seventh Edition

M.N. Hegde

Details: 413 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-691-4

© 2025 | Available

Professional Writing in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Fourth Edition

Robert Goldfarb, Yula C. Serpanos

Details: 393 pages, B&W, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-701-0

© 2025 | Available