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...
05.05.2017
Job Description - Speech Language Pathologist (1700012G) Job Description Speech Language Pathologist - (1700012G) Description Under the general supervision of the Manager and according to the established policies and procedures, plans and...
05.14.2017
Job Description - Pool Speech Language Pathologist (17000149) Job Description Pool Speech Language Pathologist - (17000149) Description Under the general supervision of the Manager and according to the established policies and procedures,...
05.29.2017
The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is responsible for the clinical aspects of the speech/language therapy services including accurate diagnosis of communication deficits; evaluation of communication, cognitive and swallowing functions; and...
05.29.2017
Status: PRN Schedule: Variable Summary: The Speech and Language Pathologist is responsible for providing and coordinating comprehensive care to patients of all ages through the proper utilization of evaluation, planning and implementation...
05.29.2017
The Speech Pathologist I is licensed by the state of Virginia and demonstrates competency in the evaluation, planning, implementation and re-evaluation of patient treatment to maintain or restore patients to their maximum functional performance...
05.12.2017
The Speech Pathologist is responsible for assuring that the PNHS values of Head + Heart, Together, are achieved through daily departmental operations. This includes, but is not limited to, direct patient care, professional growth and development,...
05.29.2017
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...
05.29.2017
Work where you make a difference! If youre looking for a place where you can grow in your personal life, in your career, and in your community, St. Lukes may be just the place for you. A strong, talented staff is at the heart of St. Lukes...
05.28.2017
***PEDIATRIC SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST*** Supports Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities. Confirms and interprets physician referrals, performs patient assessments, plans and implements...
05.29.2017
For a career in the health care field, there is simply no better choice in Idaho than St. Lukes. We are the states largest private employer, with more than 12,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 1,300 physicians. St. Lukes enjoys an...
05.08.2017
Job Description - Speech Language Pathologist (Part-time) (1700012F) Job Description Speech Language Pathologist (Part-time) - (1700012F) Description Under the general supervision of the Manager and according to the established policies...
05.29.2017
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...
04.17.2017
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...
05.29.2017
Work where you make a difference! If youre looking for a place where you can grow in your personal life, in your career, and in your community, St. Lukes may be just the place for you. A strong, talented staff is at the heart of St. Lukes...
  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 Tampa, FL Tampa General Hospital
    Job Description - Speech Language Pathologist (1700012G) Job Description Speech Language Pathologist - (1700012G) Description Under the general supervision of the Manager and according to the established policies and procedures, plans and...
  3. Pool Speech Language Pathologist Tampa, FL Tampa General Hospital
    Job Description - Pool Speech Language Pathologist (17000149) Job Description Pool Speech Language Pathologist - (17000149) Description Under the general supervision of the Manager and according to the established policies and procedures,...
  4. Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) Elkin, NC Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital
    The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is responsible for the clinical aspects of the speech/language therapy services including accurate diagnosis of communication deficits; evaluation of communication, cognitive and swallowing functions; and...
  5. Speech and Language Pathologist Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Status: PRN Schedule: Variable Summary: The Speech and Language Pathologist is responsible for providing and coordinating comprehensive care to patients of all ages through the proper utilization of evaluation, planning and implementation...
  6. SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST HH Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    The Speech Pathologist I is licensed by the state of Virginia and demonstrates competency in the evaluation, planning, implementation and re-evaluation of patient treatment to maintain or restore patients to their maximum functional performance...
  7. Pathologist, Speech and Language St. Louis Park, MN Park Nicollet Health Services
    The Speech Pathologist is responsible for assuring that the PNHS values of Head + Heart, Together, are achieved through daily departmental operations. This includes, but is not limited to, direct patient care, professional growth and development,...
  8. 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...
  9. Speech Language Pathologist Boise, ID St. Luke's Health System
    Work where you make a difference! If youre looking for a place where you can grow in your personal life, in your career, and in your community, St. Lukes may be just the place for you. A strong, talented staff is at the heart of St. Lukes...
  10. SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    ***PEDIATRIC SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST*** Supports Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities. Confirms and interprets physician referrals, performs patient assessments, plans and implements...
  11. Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist Boise, ID St. Luke's Health System
    For a career in the health care field, there is simply no better choice in Idaho than St. Lukes. We are the states largest private employer, with more than 12,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 1,300 physicians. St. Lukes enjoys an...
  12. Speech Language Pathologist (Part-time) Tampa, FL Tampa General Hospital
    Job Description - Speech Language Pathologist (Part-time) (1700012F) Job Description Speech Language Pathologist (Part-time) - (1700012F) Description Under the general supervision of the Manager and according to the established policies...
  13. 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...
  14. Speech Language Pathologist Full time 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...
  15. Speech Language Pathologist - New Hospital Boise, ID St. Luke's Health System
    Work where you make a difference! If youre looking for a place where you can grow in your personal life, in your career, and in your community, St. Lukes may be just the place for you. A strong, talented staff is at the heart of St. Lukes...