Speech-Language Pathologist - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Speech-Language Pathologist

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Job Description

 

Speech-language pathologists work to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with speech and language disorders.  SLPs treat people that have swallowing disorders or speech, language, and communication complications.

Most of these issues are the results of stroke, hearing loss, brain injury, or pathological stress. For instance, a person with a stutter would work with a SLP to correct their speech and break the barriers that hinder their communication. 

Speech-Language pathologists also serve as teaching faculty at universities, occupy management positions at clinics or private practices, work to devise better treatments and diagnostic procedures for communications problems, research the behavior related to linguistic disorders, and study human communication processes to advance scientific research.

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Responsibilities

 

SLPs work with patients to evaluate needs and level of speech or language difficulty. They assess communication problems with basic reading and speaking tasks and work with their patients to find a suitable path to treatment. 

SLPs guide patients in a step-by-step treatment plan to enable recovery. Their patients may be unable to speak or have rhythm and fluency problems, like stuttering, and take many hours of treatment.

SLPs deal with a wide range of speech-language problems like stuttering, harsh and high-pitched voices, trauma victims, neurological disorders, and those born with a cleft pallet or cerebral palsy.

Because of this, they have many responsibilities that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Teach patients correct sounds and instruct them on how to improve their voices

  • Help patients with little to no speech capabilities learn alternative communication methods like sign language.

  • Teach reading and writing skills

  • Practice techniques to strengthen swallowing muscles 

  • Counsel patients and their families on how to cope with problems and overcome emotional stress that has derived from speech and communication issues

Along with creating treatment plans and working through the steps with their patients, Speech-Language Pathologists also have to take care of administrative tasks. These include:

  • Keeping records

  • Documenting evaluations and diagnostics

  • Track treatment progress

  • Record changes in condition

  • Complete final evaluations

For SLPs that work as professors in universities or colleges they usually carry out all the previously listed duties as well as creating curriculum for their classes, administering tests, and researching for writing, publishing, and advancing scientific data. 

Other SLPs, that work in K-12 school systems, collaborate with teachers, students, and parents to carry out individual or group programs and provide counseling when needed. 

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Skills

 

Speech-language pathologists often work with people who are frustrated by their difficulties and their treatment plans take time, so it's important they have certain interpersonal and emotional skills to deal with emotionally stressed patients and difficult situations.

Some of the necessary skills include:

Communication

Must be able to clearly convey thoughts and ideas about patient's treatment plans and diagnoses. Must correspond with other medical professionals to ensure patient care.

Compassion

Especially important when dealing with frustrated patients and empathizing with their journey.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Detail-Oriented

They must carefully listen and work with patients to enable treatment. SLPs must pay close attention and concentrate to understand and help patients. 

Listening Skills

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. Must listen to patients to determine problems and treatments.

Empathy

Must be able to empathize with a patient's pain and difficulties. Need to make people feel comfortable and meet them at their emotional level to humanize themselves since they deal with sensitive issues.

Patience

Since it takes long hours, close attention, and overcoming frustrations, a SLP must be calm and work through the process slowly.

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Working Conditions

 

Speech-language pathologists may work full-time for a single organization or may have a part-time job that could involve considerable travel time between job locations.

Almost half of all SLPs work in schools, so their environment consists of a classroom or small counseling office setting. 

Those with a full-time job usually work a 40-hour work week, frequently as the member of team made up of some mix of doctors, audiologists, social workers, rehabilitation counselors, and psychologists.

And if they work in hospitals, or private practices, they have an environment that is usually cool and well lit. Some have comfortable seats and a setting to help ease the anxiety that their patients have. 

A speech-language pathologist may work for a hospital, a private practice, or an educational organization. They work with a range of patients, from infants to elderly people, while coordinating and cooperating with other healthcare and rehabilitation professionals.

They provide counseling to individuals and their families, and use technology to more accurately diagnose and assess speech disorders.

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
04.13.2016
The Speech Language Pathologist evaluates patients regarding the application of a wide variety of therapeutic techniques for rehabilitation of speech, language, hearing and oral motor disorders Minimum Qualifications: Master's degree in Speech...
02.22.2017
Under general supervision, the speech language pathologist will assess and treat individuals with a variety of communication, cognitive and swallowing disorders. Major Duties: Meets organizational expectations as defined by the Employee...
02.22.2017
At Sunnyside Community Hospital & Clinics (SCH) we are passionate about our work. We have been serving patients in the Lower Yakima Valley for over 50 years. Join a team dedicated to providing comprehensive quality care to the region. JOB...
06.09.2016
Livingston HealthCare Speech-Language Pathologist provides outpatient care, in-patient care subacute (swing bed) care, home health, school based and clinic based pediatric care. Additional services may include but are not limited to hearing...
02.22.2017
Master's Degree BCLS - Basic Cardiac Life Support SLP - Speech Language Pathologist 1 Year of Experience Required If you are an energetic Speech Language Pathologist who enjoys being part of a collaborative and talented team then a rewarding...
02.22.2017
SLP - Speech Language Pathologist 1 Year of Experience Required If you are an energetic Speech Language Pathologist who enjoys being part of a collaborative and talented team then a rewarding career with Northeast Georgia Health System is...
02.02.2017
Baystate Healthis an integrated health care delivery system serving a population of nearly 1 million people in western Massachusetts. We are one of the largest health systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals, and over 60...
02.22.2017
Master's Degree BCLS - Basic Cardiac Life Support 1 Year of Experience Required If you are an energetic Speech Language Pathologist who enjoys being part of a collaborative and talented team then a rewarding career with Northeast Georgia...
02.22.2017
JOB QUALIFICATIONS Experience: Possess the education and experience requirements for a Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology granted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or has the educational...
02.22.2017
Department: NeurologyA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: Mayo Clinic Children's Center is rated in most US News & World Report pediatric specialty categories and is the highest rated children's hospital in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin...
02.22.2017
Provides services to patients ranging from the very young (newborn) to the elderly in order to prevent, assess, alleviate or correct communication, swallowing or other speech related disorders to both inpatients and outpatients. Responsible for...
02.18.2017
Boston Medical Center (BMC) is more than a hospital. Its a network of support and care that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in need each year. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New...
02.16.2017
Boston Medical Center (BMC) is more than a hospital. Its a network of support and care that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in need each year. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New...
02.22.2017
- Speech Language Pathologist - Daniel Drake Center - Speech & Hearing (041496) Job Description Speech Language Pathologist - Daniel Drake Center - Speech & Hearing(Job Number: 041496) Description Primary Purpose: Provides...
02.22.2017
Responsible for providing evaluation and treatment services for patients referred with speech, language, voice, cognitive-linguistic and/or swallowing disorders. Services are provided on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Essential...
  1. Speech Language Pathologist Hendersonville, NC Pardee Hospital
    The Speech Language Pathologist evaluates patients regarding the application of a wide variety of therapeutic techniques for rehabilitation of speech, language, hearing and oral motor disorders Minimum Qualifications: Master's degree in Speech...
  2. Speech & Language Pathologist Slidell, LA Slidell Memorial Hospital
    Under general supervision, the speech language pathologist will assess and treat individuals with a variety of communication, cognitive and swallowing disorders. Major Duties: Meets organizational expectations as defined by the Employee...
  3. Speech Language Pathologist Sunnyside, WA Sunnyside Community Hospital
    At Sunnyside Community Hospital & Clinics (SCH) we are passionate about our work. We have been serving patients in the Lower Yakima Valley for over 50 years. Join a team dedicated to providing comprehensive quality care to the region. JOB...
  4. PRN Speech-Language Pathologist Livingston, MT Livingston HealthCare
    Livingston HealthCare Speech-Language Pathologist provides outpatient care, in-patient care subacute (swing bed) care, home health, school based and clinic based pediatric care. Additional services may include but are not limited to hearing...
  5. Speech Language Pathologist Therapist (SLP) Gainesville, GA Northeast Georgia Health System
    Master's Degree BCLS - Basic Cardiac Life Support SLP - Speech Language Pathologist 1 Year of Experience Required If you are an energetic Speech Language Pathologist who enjoys being part of a collaborative and talented team then a rewarding...
  6. Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) - PRN Gainesville, GA Northeast Georgia Health System
    SLP - Speech Language Pathologist 1 Year of Experience Required If you are an energetic Speech Language Pathologist who enjoys being part of a collaborative and talented team then a rewarding career with Northeast Georgia Health System is...
  7. Speech Language Pathologist Per Diem Springfield, MA Baystate Health
    Baystate Healthis an integrated health care delivery system serving a population of nearly 1 million people in western Massachusetts. We are one of the largest health systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals, and over 60...
  8. Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) - PRN Gainesville, GA Northeast Georgia Health System
    Master's Degree BCLS - Basic Cardiac Life Support 1 Year of Experience Required If you are an energetic Speech Language Pathologist who enjoys being part of a collaborative and talented team then a rewarding career with Northeast Georgia...
  9. Speech Language Pathologist- Home Health Sunnyside, WA Sunnyside Community Hospital
    JOB QUALIFICATIONS Experience: Possess the education and experience requirements for a Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology granted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or has the educational...
  10. Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist Job Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic - Rochester
    Department: NeurologyA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: Mayo Clinic Children's Center is rated in most US News & World Report pediatric specialty categories and is the highest rated children's hospital in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin...
  11. Per Diem Speech Language Pathologist St. Cloud, MN CentraCare Health
    Provides services to patients ranging from the very young (newborn) to the elderly in order to prevent, assess, alleviate or correct communication, swallowing or other speech related disorders to both inpatients and outpatients. Responsible for...
  12. Speech Language Pathologist (Per Diem) (AFSCME) Boston, MA Boston Medical Center
    Boston Medical Center (BMC) is more than a hospital. Its a network of support and care that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in need each year. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New...
  13. Speech Language Pathologist (Per Diem) (AFSCME) Boston, MA Boston Medical Center
    Boston Medical Center (BMC) is more than a hospital. Its a network of support and care that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in need each year. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New...
  14. Speech Language Pathologist - Daniel Drake Center - Speech & Hearing West Chester, OH West Chester Hospital
    - Speech Language Pathologist - Daniel Drake Center - Speech & Hearing (041496) Job Description Speech Language Pathologist - Daniel Drake Center - Speech & Hearing(Job Number: 041496) Description Primary Purpose: Provides...
  15. Speech Language Pathologist - Adult Swallowing Specialist (Per Diem) Boston, MA Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    Responsible for providing evaluation and treatment services for patients referred with speech, language, voice, cognitive-linguistic and/or swallowing disorders. Services are provided on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Essential...