Speech-Language Pathologist

Medicine and Health care
How To Become A Speech-Language Pathologist? - TheCareerHub
  • Growth
  • Salary
    RS 20000-40000

Who is Speech-Language Pathologist?

Speech language pathologists work with patients who have problems with speech, such as being unable to speak at all, or speaking with difficulty, or with rhythm and fluency, such as stuttering. They may work with those who are unable to understand languages or with people who have voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or a harsh voice.  They record their initial patient evaluations and diagnoses, treatment progress, any changes in a patient’s condition or treatment plan, and, eventually, their final evaluation when the patient finishes the therapy. Some speech language pathologists specialize in working with specific age groups, such as children or the elderly. Others focus on treatment programs for specific communication or swallowing problems, such as those resulting from strokes or cleft palate.

Typical day at work

What does Speech-Language Pathologist do?

A speech-language pathologist is a professional that is trained to assess, diagnose, and treat patients with a variety of communication and swallowing difficulties. The majority of speech-language pathologists work in schools or hospitals, although some may deal with patients in their homes. Patients with speech disorders, such as being unable to speak or speaking with difficulty, or rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering, are treated by speech-language pathologists. They may help with those who are unable to grasp language or who have vocal abnormalities such as a strong voice or an improper pitch. Speech-language pathologists must also do a variety of administrative activities, such as maintaining accurate records. They keep track of their initial patient assessments and diagnoses, treatment progress, any changes in a patient's condition or treatment plan, and, finally, their final evaluation once the patient has completed therapy.

  • Develop, implement and modify individualized treatment plans based on assessments and referral recommendations
  • Maintain and monitor client's progress, history, reports, and other administrative paperwork
  • Examine hearing or speech and language assessment results, barium swallow results, or medical data for diagnosis and treatment planning
  • Plan individual or group activities, therapeutic games, speech exercise programs to reduce speech disability
  • Teach effective communication techniques like sign language or lip reading
  • Tutor patients how to make sounds, enhance voices, and maintain speech fluency
  • Assist clients to improve vocabulary and sentence structure
  • Determine type and degree of impairments by conducting hearing or speech and language assessments with the help of written or oral tests or special instruments
  • Counsel and psycho-educate clients and caregivers on the diagnosis, treatment, and coping strategies to avoid misunderstandings
  • Oversee or collaborate with interdisciplinary colleagues
  • Tutor patients to control or strengthen tongue, jaw, face muscles, or breathing process
  • Attend conferences, training workshops or continue education
  • To share research findings with colleagues, present and publish research papers in journals
  • Provide referrals to patients for additional medical or educational services
  • Talk using sign language or computer technology with non-speaking individuals
  • Design and develop communication devices/strategies or computer applications for alternative diagnosis.
Abilities & aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Speech-Language Pathologist?

  • Speech-Language Pathologist must be able to listen and communicate actively and attentively to the needs of the patients. They need to ask the right questions and be non-judgemental to interpret the information. They also regularly interact with other professionals and administrative staff. Thus, having good communication, in written and verbal as well as interpersonal skills is necessary.
  • They must be sensitive, calm, polite, patient, and empathic to patients’ needs and concerns. They need to make their patients feel comfortable and let them know they care, which requires them to have emotional intelligence.
  • They also need to be creative, innovative, and flexible with their treatment plans as not every type of treatment will work for every patient, thus, having the ability to be resourceful is essential. In order to find a diagnosis based on connecting different symptoms, requires analytical thought, problem-solving, judgement, and decision-making skills.
  • They must show dedication, eye for detail, determination, persistence to commit to years of intense practice.


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Career Outlook

What does the future look like for Speech-Language Pathologist?

Speech and Language Pathologist can find a full-time job in Government and private hospitals, community health care centers, or clinics. They can even start their own practice or be on-call hospital consultants. They can also choose to provide home health care services where patients are unable to leave their homes, which require travelling. They tend to work with teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and rehabilitation counselors. One can also work in educational or research institutions to teach aspirant SLPs or perform medical research.

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