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Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Client Scheduling: Individuals, Groups, Diagnostics, Room Changes



Scheduling Your Clients for Appointments

Student interns participte in scheduling their clients for the semester. Scheduling your clients may be disconcerting, but you will have the opportunity to develop your professional phone skills and planning/organizaiton skills with this task.

You will receive your client assignments before the start of the semester, and you are expected to schedule your client to begin therapy during the first week of the semester. There are different procedures for scheduling clients for Individual Therapy, for Groups, and for Diagnostic Assessment. Depending on your client assignments, you may need to follow different protocols for scheduling your appointments.


Get Your Client Assignment Cards and get started:

You will receive a Client Assignment Card for each cieint assignment. The card indicates whether you are scheduling individual therapy, group therapy, or diagnostics. The card contains helpful informaiton for scheduling appointments. The Client Assignment Card contains private health information and therefore it must not leave the Department. Store your card in the "Clients to Schedule" file in the Clinic File Room (156A).

  • Once you schedule your client, write "scheduled" across the face of the card and place it in the "Clients to Schedule" file in the Clinic File Room (156A).
  • Sometimes you will call a client and they will decline services. Ask them if they would like to remain on the Clinic Wait List to be called next semester. Write down their response on the Client Assignment Card and return the card to the clinic secretary.  You will get another assignment.
  • If you are unable to reach a client after a few phone calls, talk with the clinic director or the clinic secretary. Avoid letting days go by without addressing the issue.

The ABCs of Scheduling Individual Clients:

Individual clients typically are scheduled for two 45-minute sessions per week. Plan to have your first appointment with your client during the second week of the semester.

A. Before You Call, figure out some potential appointment times.

  1. Check the Client Assignment Card for any client time preferences. If you have been given a designated clinic instructor for the client, you will need to coordinate your client appointment time with your clinic instructor´s schedule as well.
  2. Check to see if you already have been assigned a clinic instructor for a given client assignment.
    • If you have an assigned instructor, you need to coordinate with your assigned instructor's schedule.
    • If you do NOT have an assigned instructor for a given client, you will schedule the client using the POSTER SCHEDULE in the file room. Check the Poster Schedule to determine what time slots are available for your session.
  3. Regardless of whether you are scheduling with a specific instructor or using the Poster Schedule, pick out more than one potential time that might work for your appointment, to increase the likelihood that one of those times will work with your client´s schedule as well.

B. Making the Call:

  1. Call the client or parent/guardian to schedule the appointment. Check the client form to see who the contact person is for making the appointment, and ask to speak with that person.
  2. If you get a voicemail, do not leave specific identifying information about your client. This violates HIPAA.
  3. Do not give your personal phone number. Give the clinic number: 218-726-8199.
  4. Inform them that they will receive a letter in the mail that includes the following: :
    • Parking pass
    • Map and Directions to the clinic
    • Clinic Access Fee and Fee Support Program
    • New clients also will receive a case history form to complete.
  5. Care Provider Recommendations: Interns and clinic instructors do not provide transport to the clinic and do not provide personal cares to clients. If the client has a care provider, please inform them of our expectation that care providers attend and observe therapy. We encourage care providers to observe sessions at least periodically, to help the client carry over their communication skills outside of therapy.

Sample Scripts for Initial Phone calls to client:

Hello, my name is __________________ and I am calling from the RFP Clinic. May I please speak with _________________? Thank you.

Hello, I am the student intern who will be working with _____________. I calling to set up therapy appointments for the upcoming semester. Clinic starts the week of ____. I would like to set 2 sessions per week. Each session will last 45 minutes.

The times I have available are ____________________. Will that work for you?

  • If yes: Okay, it does work for you. Alright, we will schedule for twice weekly 45- minute sessions, on (name the weekdays). Our first appointment is set for _______ (name the date). I will check this appointment time with my clinical supervisor, and if there are schedule conflicts, I will call you back. The clinic secretary will send you a client information packet which includes a parking pass and a map to our clinic. If you are unable to make the appointment, please call the clinic at 218-726-8199.
  • If no: Those times won´t work. What times will work for your schedule? I will talk with my supervisor and get back to you. When is a good time to call you?

In the event that you are talking to a family member/care provider: please address the need for the care provider to stay for appointments during the first week, and possibly thereafter, depending on the client´s care needs.

Please plan to stay for the sessions the first week. It will give you a chance to meet us and help us understand the client´s needs. After the first week, if you wish to attend sessions less frequently, we can talk about that possibility. We want to ensure the client´s safety and comfort, and as their care provider, we may need your assistance to do so.

Thank you and I look forward to meeting you and _________________.

Sample Script for Initial Phone call, and reach a voicemail:

Hello, this is ______________ calling from RFP Clinic. I will call again. If you need to reach me, please call 218-726-8199. Thank you.


C. After the Phone call:

After you have called the client and confirmed a therapy time or confirmed they will be attending a group, you have important administrative duties to complete.

  1. Record your client's appointment time (assigned instructor or schedule poster):
    • If you already know who your clinic instructor is, inform them of the scheduled appointment time. 
    • If you do not have an assigned instructor, use the Poster Schedule. Enter your client's appointment time on the Poster Schedule. Wriet your full name and your client's initials and the time of your appointment on the Poster Schedule.
  2. Reserve a therapy room.
    • If you have scheduled a client for individual therapy, you must sign up for a treatment room on the ROOM SCHEDULE in the clinic office.
    • Carefully follow the directions regarding the maximum number of sessions that can be scheduled at the clinic within each hour.
    • Interns who have Groups or Assessment Team assignments do not need to reserve a room, as these set appointments have already been written on the Room Schedule.
  3. Enter your client on the Clinic Schedule (binder).
    • For ALL clients (individual and group), fill in the information requested on the CLINIC SCHEDULE in the clinic office.   Those who have groups must fill out information for each group member.
    • When you write your client information on the form, the clinic secretary sends out the clinic information packet and parking pass to your client. If you do not complete this form, your client will not get the information they need to come to the clinic.
    • You will need to return to this form during the semester to fill in additional information, including the date therapy started AND the date therapy ended.
  4. Write "scheduled" on your client assignment card and put it in the "Client's to be Scheduled" file.
  5. Thoroughly review your client´s chart, with special attention to the most recent Semester Treatment Summary and recommendations. If your client is new, please see the clinic secretary about setting up a chart.
  6. Schedule a weekly meeting with your assigned clinic instructor.
    • You will meet with your assigned instructor weekly to discuss your client's progress and your progress. These meetings may be one-on-one or in groups.
    • If you have more than one instructor, you will schedule meetings with each of your assigned instructors.Instructors will wait to have you schedule the weekly meeting once they have all of their clients scheduled. Check with your instructor about signing up for a weekly meeting.
    • Your assigned instructor has a schedule on their office door. Write in your name and block off a weekly 30-minute meeting time with your clinic instructor on the INSTRUCTOR SCHEDULE.
    • If you have more than one clinic instructor, you will schedule individual meetings with each of them.
    • Plan to meet with your clinic instructor in advance of your first session with the client. This may require you to schedule a special meeting time with your clinic instructor for the first week of the Semester, outside of your typical weekly meeting time.
    • Check with your instructor to see if they have a Moodle site for exchanging lessons plans and feedback OR if they want you to use one of the colored paper files from the Clinic File Room.  If you use a paper file, place your lesson plan in the file and put it in the instructor's mailbox before the session. They will return the file to your mailbox after the session.


Scheduling Groups:

  1. Some group times generally are set and are not flexible.
  2. If you are asked to contact a client for a group, be sure you know the group time and location, and the purpose of the group.
  3. If you get a voicemail, do not leave specific identifying information about your client. This violates client privacy and confidentiality.
  4. Check the client form to see who the contact person is for making the appointment, and ask to speak to that person.
  5. Do not give your personal phone number. Give the clinic number: 218-726-8199.
  6. You may have to reserve a room.  Check with the clinic director or clinic secretary.


Diagnostic Assessments:

Under the supervision of clinic instructors, student interns may participate on RFP Clinic Diagnostic Assessment Teams. Typically, two graduate students are assigned as a team to complete a diagnostic assessment.  Students may complete one or multiple assessments in one semester, depending on number of referrals and student learning needs. 

Clients are referred by physicians, school personnel, social services agencies, or other speech-language pathologists. Parents or clients may also request an evaluation for themselves or a family member.  When a referral for an assessment comes in to the Clinic:

  1. The clinic secretary sends out a case history form and clinic information to the client. The case history form is to be returned before the date of the assessment, so the assessment team can review it.
  2. The clinic secretary schedules the assessment with a diagnostic team.
  3. Students may obtain the completed case history form from the "Assessment Requests" folder in the cased history file. The case history form cannot be taken out of the Clinic, and must be returned promptly to the file after the student has reviewed it.
  4. The student is responsible for contacting the client a few days before the scheduled appointment to confirm the date and time.
  5. The Diagnostic Summary Report is to be completed and mailed to the client/family and others designated by the family (written release) within three weeks of the diagnostic evaluation. The instructor may specify an alternative format for writing the report in some instances.

Room Changes:

There are occasions when an intern will want or need to schedule a therapy room other than their typical reserved room.  Examples include make-up sessions or sessions involving activities that require a different space.

To schedule a room for a one-time session, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the room schedule binder.
  2. Check to see if the room you would like is available (day of week, time of day). 
  3. If the room you would like to reserve for a one-time session is available, place a post-it note in the binder on the day of the week of your appointment.  The post-it note should contain the following information:
    1. Your name
    2. Date of session
    3. Room #
    4. Time of reservation
  4. After your session, go back to the binder and remove your post-it note.



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Last modified on 10/29/14 10:56 AM
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