SLP Newbie

Hi!

My name is Anna Niedermier and I’m currently a freshman majoring in Speech-Language Pathology. I had a couple questions to gain some insight on the job. First, when a person no longer needs treatment from an SLP, do you still keep in contact with the patient? Second,  what are the main communication challenges that you work with today? Lastly, what is your favorite part about being a Speech-Language Pathologist? 

Thank you so much for your time!! – Anna N

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Comments

SLP Newbie — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Anna,
    Thanks for our questions. I keep in contact with my children and adults who stutter long after they dismiss from direct therapy. They are part of my support groups and the stuttering community we have developed in our area. Providing a lifetime of support is crucial.

    There are many communication challenges and more so during this time of pandemic. This morning it is hard for me to choose just one–perhaps the excessive screen time required for telehealth?

    My favorite parts of being an SLP are the colleagues I have developed close relationships with due to a shared interest in stuttering and the wonderful families I have been given the opportunity to be part of their lives.
    Enjoy your journey!
    Rita

  2. Hello, Anna! I LOVE your questions! Congrats on your freshman year and your major- this is such an awesome sauce field! I will answer your questions below:
    Question 1: First, when a person no longer needs treatment from an SLP, do you still keep in contact with the patient?
    – This is a great question. I LOVE keeping in contact with former individuals if it is possible, but within laws and as allowed (I am answering coming from America, as laws and regulations differ from country to country.) If you are serving this individual in a professional manner, usually it is best to keep contact via work resources (work email, work contact, and those types of means, in case you end up serving this individual in the future, from a professional standpoint.) There are rules against adding individuals that you serve on social media in workplaces, so check workplace rules, laws, and regulations regarding patient privacy. 🙂 Furthermore, sometimes people move, or SLPs move areas, but as long as the individual has the resources that are needed (whether that is a support group if desired by this person, contact information for the speech clinic for further therapy if wanted/needed in the future, anything) then that is good. I have oftentimes ran into former individuals that I have seen in the clinic years later in the grocery story if I am still living in the same area. With patient privacy I am legally not allowed to say “this person was my patient” but that person can say whatever they want in public and typically does. 🙂 I hope this helps to answer your question.

    Question 2: Second, what are the main communication challenges that you work with today?
    -With this question, I am not sure if you are referring to “communication diagnosis” or “communication challenge” as in actually correspondence with individuals I serve in the therapy room and challenges with that. The primary diagnosis I work with in the therapy room, now, is stuttering as this is my area of specialty and I work with people who stutter mainly via tele practice since last spring. Prior to that, I worked in an acute care (medical) hospital setting, outpatient clinic and inpatient rehab setting combined as I practiced in a small town that allowed me to work in all of those areas- I got to do swallow studies, voice, aphasia, dysarthria, stuttering, cluttering, child language, child articulation, AAC- all kinds of stuff! Outpatient rehab setting I would say allows you to treat the most variety of patient needs and as a new clinician this can be intimidating, but DON’T LET THAT INTIMIDATE YOU- Outpatient rehabilitation was my first job with my CCC (Certificate of Clinical Confidence) and while it was a challenge and I so glad that I did it- I had wonderful mentors and loved every minute of it. So if that was how your question was meant to be there is your answer. If you meant for your question to mean what is your primary “communication challenge” as in correspondence, I would say I don’t really have one at the moment. At first, during COVID-19 times, it was learning how to do Telehealth sessions and entertain a 3 year old. Now, I have got a bit better at that. I don’t practice as much as a used to nearly, however, I have got a bit more creative on the tele video than I initially was.. I’m sure sessions with Ms. Steff were so boring in the beginning- I’m not the most creative SLP when I don’t have a shelf full of toys in front of me! Telehealth was definitely a learning curve for me personally, but I worked with the few individuals I had at the time then, and we worked TOGETHER to come up with plans to engage the children in therapy together the best that we could to improvise, and it worked our quite well.

    Question 3: Lastly, what is your favorite part about being a Speech-Language Pathologist?
    -This is one of my favorite questions to answer. My favorite part about being an SLP, is that this is a life passion, not a career. When I majored in speech-language pathology in my undergraduate studies, it was because I have a brother who stutters and I always wanted to be an SLP. I thought I was going into a “career” that you clock in and out of and then go home. I was sure wrong about that. This is not just a career. For me, being an SLP is a life passion- with purpose, and you meet people, and you become a part of their lives and their stories and their journeys and it’s so beautiful it’s almost hard to put into words.
    I hope that helps to answer your questions. Take care, be well, and stay amazing! This is the best field ever- you chose a good one.

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