Aspiring speech language pathologists must complete a clinical fellowship year before they can become full-fledged professionals. The education prerequisite for a clinical fellowship is a master’s degree in speech language pathology from an accredited school. During the clinical fellowship year, speech language pathologists are closely supervised by experienced speech language pathologists and exposed to all aspects of the job.
Speech language pathologists assess and treat individuals with speech, language, and/or swallowing disorders. The range of disorders a speech language pathologist treats depends upon the nature of their institution. Many speech language pathologists work in schools where they assess and treat students with language development problems. Others work at rehabilitation facilities and work with patients whose language abilities have been impaired by an illness or accident. This work is generally done during the school day or during normal business hours.
Speech language pathologists typically work with patients one on one. During the course of a day they see a number of patients from their caseload for individual treatment sessions. In these sessions, the speech language pathologists use a treatment plan that was developed after the assessment of that particular patient. They document the patients’ progress for their own records and, if required, to support an insurance claim for reimbursement. Speech language pathologists also work with other staff to design an overall language treatment plan for the institution. In rehabilitation settings, speech language pathologists coordinate the patient care with other health professionals who are treating the patient.
Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) Tasks
Develop treatment plans by identifying a problem list, including long and short-term goals and methods to achieve identified goals.
Provide and direct speech therapy services to patients including assessment, treatment, program planning and implementation.
Function under physicians’ orders and adhere to applicable principles and practices of speech therapy, organization policies, and state regulations.
Identify and treat clients with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders.
Review the quality and appropriateness of the total services delivered and of individual speech language pathology programs.