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Readers Respond: The Real Life of a Speech Pathologist

Responses: 6

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When choosing a career, it is helpful to get information about it from those who actually work in the occupation one is considering. Please share information about your career as a speech pathologist so that those thinking of entering this field can make an informed decision.

  1. Describe what you do as a speech pathologist?
  2. What do you like about being a speech pathologist? What don't you like about it?
  3. With the proper training, how easy or difficult is it for someone to get an entry level job as a speech pathologist?
  4. Are you happy you became a speech pathologist? Why or why not?

Tell Us About Your Job

I'm tired of it

A college professor told us in grad school that we'd be burnt out in ten years. He was right. I'm sick of being an SLP. The money's good but I'm sick of being an SLP anyway. Many of the patients in nursing homes need speech therapy sometime during the year, so the work is there. I'm ready to do something else. If you choose to become an SLP, become a travel SLP before settling down. Sometimes the location and/clientele is what makes the difference in the job being a hot mess and enjoyable. Otherwise you'll change careers in a number of years as a result of burnout.
—Guest I'm Tired of It

SLPCCC

I'm tired of being a speech language pathologist. I work in nursing homes in my area. It's easy work, I make a difference in people's lives during the rehab process. The pressure is on to make a dollar for the company though.
—Guest TiredOfIt

Not happy with choice

I personally am not happy with my choice of becoming a speech- language pathologist. I currently work in a public school setting; I'm supposed to see 70 kids a week, do countless evaluations (I'm up to 19 and it's only November), and write an unreasonable amount of reports, progress notes, etc. In addition to the mounds of paperwork, I'm supposed to "make a change" in these kids that I get about 20 minutes a week to see. It's frustrating, to say the least. I worked PRN [as needed] in a SNF [skilled nursing facility] in the past and felt that that job was all about paperwork as well, not actually about therapy, patient well- being, etc. Basically, you better love sitting at the computer and typing up reports if you plan on becoming an SLP. Sorry if I anger other SLPs out there who love their jobs and always boast that we can change settings and never grow bored. I'm not saying it isn't true for you; I'm saying that hasn't happened for me, and my experience has been negative.
—Guest SchoolSLP2

School SLP

I am an elementary school SLP. I work from 8-3:30 at the school with kids from PreK to 5th grade. I work with kids with different disorders like: stuttering, articulation, language, swallowing, voice, etc. School SLPs are members of the team that identifies, evaluates, and treats kiddos with such problems. I spend my days testing and treating! I like that every 30 minutes, I get a new batch of kids and I work with them in small groups. I wanted to be a teacher, but I did not like managing 30 kids at a time, so I went into speech. I do not like that a lot of my time goes into meetings and paperwork, but I understand that it keeps everyone accountable and protects the kiddo, families, schools, and teachers in the process. If you can manage to make it through grad school, then you will have no trouble finding a job right out. Even in this economy, I can send my resume and be hired in a minute. I am happy with my choice to become an SLP. I know that I have job security and I go home happy.
—Guest Kris

Lead Speech Pathologist

I love my job: the variety of disorders, the appreciative people I treat & the satisfaction of helping people get back their abilities. Also my co-workers add to my job satisfaction. Rehab professionals are fun & energetic. The paperwork will always be a struggle but I focus on the positives of the job and there are many.
—Guest Ann Johnson

Owner ADVANCE SPEECH (San Diego CA)

I LOVE what I do. The variety of people, ages, settings, disorders, and education you need is never ending. I love having the chance to make a real difference in the lives of individuals. Some of the frustrations I encountered working for a health-care facility or education-system included having to confine the clients care to a pre-determined number of sessions, or having to "qualify" a person based upon criteria that are pre-determined and do not take into account the needs of the individual and how you can assist them. In many cases, progress was (artificially) limited and sometimes the system caused the individual to stop care before completing goals. Also, the paperwork can be daunting and sometimes feels as if it's at the expense of patient-contact time. I now own a private practice and aside from the paperwork, I do not have to restrict patient care in these ways. I simply abide by state and ASHA standards to provide the best care possible.
—Guest Deborah Ross

Tell Us About Your Job

The Real Life of a Speech Pathologist

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