Many people would like to make a difference, not only in their own life, but in others’ lives as well. Deepak Chopra once said, “Everyone has a purpose in life…a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals. ” All of us, at one point in our lives, have to make the difficult decision of the goals we want to work towards. We all have certain goals, standards, and expectations of ourselves.
Not everyone will figure out what they want to be right away, and some will know from the very beginning. My plan for my life is helping others through Speech Language Pathology. Speech Language Pathology deals and works with a wide range of human communication and disorders, which include speech, language, cognitive communication, and swallowing. Communication problems can result from the following: stroke, brain injury, deterioration, developmental delays, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, voice pathology, mental retardation, hearing loss, and emotional problems.
According to advance, a magazine for Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists, twenty-five to thirty-five percent of children suffer from a feeding disorder of some kind. There are over twenty disorders that can cause the problems that these certified pathologists work with. Speech Language Pathologists, or SLP’s, also work with people of all ages, infants to elderly, and can also prepare future individuals. SLP’s may manage agents, clinics, organizations, and private practices, depending on location and clientele.
Pathologists may also enhance and engage in research that will further their knowledge of disorders, diseases, and treatment plans. Speech Language Pathologists can work in many different environments and work sites. There are many facilities, such as public and private schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, short/long-term nursing care, communication clinics, colleges, private practices, and health departments. This job is not physically demanding, but it requires concentration and attention to details.
A normal week for an SLP is approximately forty hours, with the possibility of traveling. There are many requirements that involve education and training, as well as personal requirements and aptitude. To be a Speech Language Pathologist, one must have a sincere interest in helping people, sensitivity, resourcefulness, and imagination. One must also be able to communicate orally and in writing. Michigan Works, an agency that assists with employment, posts jobs that display education and background requirements for obtaining a job as a Speech Language Pathologist.
Some requirements include a master’s degree from a speech and hearing program certified by the ASHA, American Speech and Hearing Association, post-certification experience in an institutional setting. Home health experience is also desirable. One must graduate from high school and pass courses in biology, physics, social sciences, English, mathematics, public speaking, language, and psychology. Undergraduate courses should include a strong Arts/Science focus, linguistics, phonetics, anatomy, psychology, human development, biology, physiology, math, physical science, semantics, and social/behavioral science.
To be an applicant for an SLP position, a graduate degree is required and also three hundred to three hundred seventy-five hours of clinical experience. Applicants have to pass a national examination and can therefore be certified by the CFCC, Council For Clinical Certification. To earn a CCC, certificate of clinical completion, a graduate degree, four hundred hours of supervised clinical practicum, thirty-six weeks of full-time post-graduate clinical fellowship, and a series of exams is required.
Formal assessments must also correct, including client history and other historical information, interviews of the client/family/both, evaluations of functional integrity of mechanisms, samples of the client’s speech and language, screenings of hearing and hearing abilities, and sharing clinical findings. Students in training must also make inferences using models such as situation models, mental modeling, and inference and comprehension models. The wages and earnings of SLP’s depend on many things. Geographical location is a big factor in the amount of pay earned by an SLP.
The starting salary for an SLP is $70,122. 00 and breaks down hourly to $32. 59-$53. 28 an hour. In May of 2008, median wages were $62,930. 00. The lowest 10% earned less than $41,240. 00, 50% earned between $50,330. 00 and $79,620. 00, and the highest 10% earned more than $99,220. 00. Some examples of individual facilities and wages are as follows: nursing care facilities, $79,1200. 00; home health care services, $77,030. 00; general medical and service hospitals, $68,430. 00; offices of other health practitioners, $67,910. 00; elementary/secondary schools, $58,140. 00.
The number of Speech Language Pathologists is constantly increasing. There are 145,000 professionals, and 120,744 are certified in the ASHA. 57% of certified Speech Language Pathologists work in educational facilities, 37% are employed in health care facilities, and 15% are employed in nonresidential health care facilities such as home health, private practices, and speech/hearing centers. 1,214 Speech Language Pathologists are dually certified, meaning they work with both speech and hearing, and can also have the title of an Audiologist. The future for this occupation faces employment change just like other occupations do.
Work sites are constantly expanding and work schedules may be heavy. This occupation is expected to grow 19% from 2008-2018 because of the maturing baby-boom generation. There is a steady increase in neurological disorders and medical advances that will lead to Speech Language Pathology growth. Enrollment in schools is increasing also and there are openings because of retiring SLP’s. SLP’s are needed across the region. Speech Pathology covers a spectrum of requirements and important and necessary information. One may choose a career in Speech Pathology, if these requirements above meet their standards and abilities.
Courtney from Study Moose