What do you do for a living?
I’m a speech pathologist.
How would you describe what you do?
I primarily work with the geriatric population helping people
I enjoy just talking with the patients. I love the elderly…I love hearing and laughing at their stories, that’s the best part.
had strokes, swallowing difficulties, or who have cognition impairments.
What does your work entail?
I usually work from 7 to 3. I work in a nursing home. I usually see anywhere from 7 to 10 patients a day. I see most of my patients in the morning, see some at meals. There’s lots of paperwork involved and lots of notes…that’s about it. It’s between 36 to 40 hours per week.
What do you like about what you do?
I enjoy just talking with the patients, I guess. I love the elderly so that helps out. I love hearing and laughing at their stories, that’s the best part.
What do you dislike?
The monotony. Everyday you kind of doing the same things, a lot of these patients have cognitive impairments, they don’t have any short term memory so every day is like Groundhog Day pretty much.
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
I get paid on an hourly rate. I contract for various nursing homes but the nursing home doesn’t actually pay me. They pay my rehab company who pays me.
How much money do you make as a speech pathologist?
Probably around 60 to 70 thousand in a year.
What education or skills are needed to be a speech pathologist?
Generally you need about 4 years of undergrad plus two years of a grad school to get your Masters¦I don’t know about skills, you pretty much develop them all in college if there is such a skill.
What is most challenging about what you do?
I think Speech pathology is really diverse, there’s just a lot of areas to treat so it’s hard to be specialized. You need to be
Everyday you’re kind of doing the same things, a lot of these patients have cognitive impairments, they don’t have any short term memory so every day is like Groundhog Day pretty much.
and that’s why I’ve chosen the adult population but there’s just so many types of disorders and treatment, I almost feel like they should limit it more.
What is most rewarding?
The most rewarding part I think would be working with stroke patients and seeing a lot of them recover. Those who weren’t able to swallow at all or were on feeding tubes or those who couldn’t speak at all because of the stroke, it’s really rewarding when they are able to get some of those capabilities back.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
I would tell them to specialize at the beginning you know, to choose either adults or children. I know it is kind of hard to do that but if they could specialize I think it would make it easier for them in the long run. Just make sure that you are working with the right population, be it adults or children, and realize that there is going to be a little bit of monotony. There is probably more monotony with adults but either way¦try to be as creative as possible to make each day a little bit more¦livable.
How much time off do you get/take?
I get 6 paid holidays. My job is pretty flexible though if I want to work on Sunday for a Friday or a Saturday and take off one day during the week I can.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
People assume that Speech Pathologist only work with people who either stutter or have articulate problems and those are just sprinkles on the cake compared to what we really do.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about what you do? No (laughs) I don’t think so, unless you need to ask me some more questions.