6 Things I Love Most About Being a SLP
I have been a clinical Speech-Lanuage Pathologist (SLP) for 12 years, which has provided me with many healthy challenges and immense joy. I work exclusively with the adult population, and it is very evident that many people in general still do not understand what speech therapy for adults involves. So…what does a Speech-Language Pathologist do anyways?
SLPs evaluate, diagnose, and treat people of all ages who have difficulties with language, speech, memory, voice, and/or swallowing. We work to provide individuals with skills and confidence to reach personal and social milestones that help them excel in the classroom, at home, and at work. I wanted to share 6 things I love about being an SLP to improve understanding of the field and how it can help you or someone you love!
- There are a variety of settings that allow us to have many options for employment and the ability to specialize in what we are passionate about. Some examples include school systems, hospital inpatient, outpatient, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies. Many SLPs (including me) work in more than one setting at a time for the variety!
- There are a variety of diagnoses that allow us to challenge ourselves daily and reach out to more individuals. No two patients, even if they have the same “diagnosis” are ever the same. That is what makes the job exciting, challenging, and rewarding! Some examples of diagnoses/conditions that SLPs may treat: Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, Concussion, Autism, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, throat cancer, etc, etc, etc…
- SLPs work closely with a team of other professionals to ensure the best outcome for the patient. These teammates may include Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Psychologists, Audiologists, Ear Nose Throat Doctors, Nutritionists, Social Workers, Healthcare Administrators, General Practitioners.
- CONTINUOUS LEARNING
- The field of speech pathology is vast and always changing. New research is constantly coming out on the best interventions and most evidenced-based treatments. SLPsmust continually read up on current best practices, attend conferences, and learn new treatment methods.
- Because two patients are NEVER the same, it is up to us to be creative in catering to the individual to make therapy interesting, motivating, and beneficial. It is important to tailor therapy to the patient’s interests to build relationships and success. An example would be learning specific job tasks of that individual to assist getting them back to work successfully, which means incorporating into speech therapy sessions.
- One of the most exciting and critical parts of being an SLP is the ability and knowledge to educate others. Understanding “why” a body part or system isn’t working andthen understanding “how” we can improve/build skills is critical and valuable for progress.
- But by far, the MOST exciting and rewarding aspect of being a Speech-Language Pathologist is when a patient can make progress toward their goal (no matter how simple). It is incredible to watch someone continue to make gains and build skills that will ultimately lead to them feeling more confident, gaining control, and moving forward in life satisfaction!
Speech Therapy Director