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The growth of the lactation consultant profession has paralleled that of other allied health professions. Because the profession is relatively new, the preparation of lactation consultants is still very much a work in progress. The authors, all experienced lactation consultants who have educated lactation consultants for a number of years, joined forces to create Clinical Instruction in Lactation: Teaching the Next Generation. The primary goal of this book is to assist clinical instructors in developing internships that will prepare individuals for this profession and help them grow into competent and compassionate lactation consultants. Lactation consultant interns will also find the book useful in evaluating internship programs and learning what to expect in their clinical preparation for the profession.
A structured internship takes an intern beyond the minimal competency tested on the certification exam to produce a professional lactation consultant who can apply the knowledge and skills they have learned to help mothers and babies. This text is designed to assist experienced lactation consultants in developing a structured internship program that prepares interns to practice as safe and competent lactation consultants and prepares them to become board certified. In addition to providing information on developing an internship program in a variety of settings, the authors have described qualities needed in successful lactation consultant interns and clinical instructors. An extensive appendix provides samples of documents the reader can use in their programs.