A speech-language pathologist is a person who diagnoses and treats people with language and speech disorders. Speech-language pathologists can work in schools and hospitals, as well have their own private practice. When working in schools, they focus on providing help and support for children who need help with speech outside of the normal classroom setting. Speech-language pathologists can also help with students who have medical problems that may cause them to struggle with speech and hearing. A private speech language pathologist can have patients of all ages. These speech-language pathologists can work with children or adults who may face difficult speech and hearing impairments. They normally work one-on-one with their patients. Speech-language pathologists begin by assessing the patients to see what type of speech and hearing disorder they may have. They will spend time evaluating the hearing, speech and language test results, along with the patient's medical background to diagnose and plan treatment for speech, language, fluency, and voice and swallowing disorders. Speech-language pathologists administer speech and hearing tests and examinations to patients and then develop, implement, and monitor treatment plans. Speech-language pathologists help those who suffer from stuttering, delayed languages, swallowing disorders, and voice problems. Depending on how the treatment goes, they will adjust the treatment accordingly. They have to document the initial evaluation, treatment, progress, and discharge of patients. They also instruct the patients in communication techniques and teach speech, muscle, and breathing exercises. It is required by all states that speech-language pathologists hold a master's or other graduate degree. Speech pathologists must be licensed or registered with a national or state organization. A speech language pathologist must have practical and personal skills, as well as verbal and written communication skills. These pathologists must also have patience and compassion. This can be a challenging and stimulating job. However, there is the reward of knowing that speech-language pathologists are helping others.
Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Tasks
- Administer hearing, speech and language evaluations, tests and examinations to patients.
- Evaluate hearing, speech and language test results, medical background to diagnose and plan treatment for speech, language, fluency, voice and swallowing disorders.
- Develop, implement and monitor treatment plans for problems such as stuttering, delayed language, swallowing disorders and or voice problems, adjust treatments accordingly.
- Document the initial evaluation, treatment, progress and discharge of patients.
- Instruct patients in communication techniques and teach speech, muscle and breathing exercises.