This course is designed to prepare practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary to assess, diagnose and divide Ankyloglossia (Tongue Tie) in babies to restore tongue function to facilitate effective infant feeding. It will provide the theoretical and evidence-based theory underpinning contemporary practice to develop advanced techniques in tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) management. It prepares practitioners to practise safely and effectively as a tongue-tie practitioner. Practitioners are encouraged to reflect on their clinical practice and to share experiential learning to maximise the development of ideas and knowledge. The course is designed to provide families with a service to promote continuation of breastfeeding and increased accessibility. It is aimed at healthcare professionals who are already working in an established frenulotomy service or able to develop a service in the future. The programme reflects a student-centred approach with emphasis on active learning, evidence-based practice, reflection and critical thinking. Successful completion of the module will extend the role of the health professional enabling them to become a competent tongue tie practitioner.
Duration of the module
The course takes approximately 12 months to complete on a part-time basis. It starts with one day mandatory study day which is face to face teaching in the University, supported by International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants who support the practical teaching element of the course. The study day is followed by a series of seminars and module supervision that are delivered online.
Clinical practice will be supervised by a competent frenotomy practitioner who is deemed competent in the organisation the practitioners are employed. During the 12 months, students must complete all the competencies in the practice assessment document; associated with ankyloglossia management and frenulotomy and complete at least 20 full assessments of tongue-tie (including infant feeding) and frenulotomies in clinical practice. Students will perform the practical aspects of the assessment, diagnosis and division of Ankyloglossia in clinical practice. Students will be supported to develop their knowledge and skills in the actual clinical setting in preparation for safe and effective practice of frenotomy. This will be achieved by continuous assessment and feedback. Students will be given a total of 12 months from the start of the module to complete a minimum of 20 frenotomies under supervision. At the end of the period of supervised practice mentors will assess whether the student is fit for practice and if so, will verify their competence.
Students are also required to submit a 2,500-word reflective essay at Level 7 achieving a pass grade of at least 50%. The case study will be based on a full assessment of ankyloglossia and subsequent frenulotomy performed in clinical practice.
This course is 20 credits, therefore, approximately 200 hours of study are required overall. This includes hours spent on the mandatory study day, hours spent attending the online workshops, academic supervision, clinical practice time and time spent writing the reflective essay. The remainder of time should be spent reading around the topic to ensure you have a sound evidence base to underpin your practice.