Speech and Language Therapist
Last updated: 22 April 2021
Speech and Language Therapist
Speech and Language Therapy is an exciting and varied career. It offers you the chance to make a difference, a high degree of flexibility and excellent employment prospects. You’ll work with patients every day to help improve their care and their lives. Speech and language therapy could be the right profession for you if you enjoy science, education, languages, linguistics or medicine.
A day in the life
Speech and language therapists provide life-changing treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking and swallowing. You'll:
- help people who for physical or psychological reasons, have problems speaking and communicating
- patients range from children whose speech is slow to develop, to older people whose ability to speak has been impaired by illness or injury
- you'll also treat patients which have difficulty eating or swallowing
Once you’ve qualified, you’ll have annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) check-ins, where we’ll discuss your career aspirations and plan how we can help you to achieve them, so you’re always moving forward. You may choose to specialise in a particular area of practice such as cleft and lip palate, people with swallowing difficulties or learning disability. Other options include teaching or research.
You could also do further training and an advanced clinical practitioner or move into management. As head of a local speech and language therapy service you would be responsible for a team of staff and for managing a budget.
For more information regarding joining our team, please submit a form through the ‘Contact us’ page or contact the Human Resources team, who are more than happy to help, on 02392 286577 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), Acute Stroke & Rehabilitation
What made you become a Speech and Language Therapist? - I found the career purely by chance. I was exploring different careers within the multi-disciplinary team as I wanted to go into medicine. I managed to link with my local SLT department and found that it was the mix between Psychology, English and Biology – all the subjects I really enjoyed. I then sat in on a SLT session and it was the simple strategies utilised that had such a positive impact on that individual that triggered me to want to pursue this career. The simple strategies changed the individuals stammer immediately and really stuck with me about the impact I could have on helping someone.
How did you become a Speech and language therapist? - After completing A-levels, I studied a BSc (Hons) in Speech and language therapy. It was a 3.5 years at university.
What do you do on a day to day basis? - I work with individuals who have had a confirmed or suspected stroke diagnosis. I assess their communication and their swallowing to determine if there are any difficulties. If there are, it is our role to support them and their families providing education and therapy to help improve these difficulties. These can be mild difficulties or it can be working with individuals who have no evident communication as a result of their stroke. It is our job to help elicit a format in which the individual can express their wants and needs and empower them to make their own decisions and to have a sense of autonomy. I also help with capacity decisions regarding eating and drinking or to support the individuals communication around complex decisions to help with this autonomy.
Why did you choose PHU? - The staff were very friendly and welcoming and the interview process felt personal and supportive.
What do you enjoy about being a speech and language therapist? - The thing I enjoy most about my role is being able to build a rapport with the individuals that I work with. In addition I can encourage them and support them through often their most difficult journey yet. This can be emotionally or physically through therapy. Seeing their improvements and being able to share that joy with them is always an amazing feeling. The range of multi-disciplinary team members and how we work together is also a great aspect of the job and it is always interesting to learn from them.
Career plans and advice for others - SLT is a career that can offer many opportunities. It is a career that works with a broad range of individuals and in different settings such as in the hospital, community and rehabilitation settings. It is a career that requires constant learning and adapting to but is extremely rewarding and very varied. It is worth exploring this career further if you’d like a career that is all of the above and has a medical background but you still get the time face-to-face with the individuals.