The Role of a Speech and Language Therapis


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There are many diverse settings and directions for a person pursuing a career as a speech therapist to move in and it is possible to stay in this field of employment for 30 years doing a variety of tasks - this is a career choice that provides many employment options. Speech and language therapists work with people of all ages and from all walks of life, in varied locations, a driver’s license is essential.

 

A patient may be referred to a speech and language therapist by their GP or Hospital Consultant, with a growing “ageing population” there is an increased demand for therapists and the outlook for not only getting a job but keeping it is very promising.

Speech and language therapists are often involved in the training of multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) that provide care at home to help facilitate communication and access to support by the MDT.

For maximum success as a speech and language therapist a person should possess a sincere interest in helping other people; important skills and attributes include patience, tolerance, acceptance, perseverance, commitment, and sensitivity as well as an above average knowledge in the field of science.

Skill Set Requirements for Speech & Language Therapist Include:

  • exceptional communication and listening abilities

  • a patient and caring character

  • the aptitude to develop positive working relationships with patients and their families

  • capability to solve problems

  • the talent to inspire and encourage patients to continue with treatment

  • excellent team working skills and the ability to work with minimum supervision

  • the ability to study and keep up-to-date with developments in the profession

  • problem solving skills

  • tactfully advising carers, parents or key relatives in the treatment of the patient

  • accuracy with details such as documenting a patient's progress?

Speech Therapists also help people who want to modify accents or who experience inconvenience when swallowing. Disorders of patients can include the inability to produce certain sounds, speech rhythm and fluency problems as well as voice disorders.

A Day in a Speech & Language Therapist’s Life:

  • Diagnose the cause and degree of impairment and record and analyse speech, language, and swallowing irregularities by using written and oral tests, as well as special instruments.

  • Create personal individualised plan for patient.

  • Teach patient alternative communication methods.

  • Teach those with little or no speech capability how to make sounds, improve their voices, or increase their language skills to communicate more effectively.

Why is voluntary work important? Employers take a good look at unpaid work experience
Voluntary work demonstrates initiative and employers place high value on someone having a ‘get up and go’ attitude.  The participation of voluntary work automatically increases a person’s communication and social skills.  A voluntary worker also shows that they are a well-rounded individual and, if the voluntary work is local, that they care about their community.  Good communication skills as well as a caring attitude are essential features for a speech and language therapist. Voluntary work represents commitment.