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
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist position is located in Kokomo, Indiana. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote positive health outcomes...
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist- Inpatient position is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote positive...
06.26.2019
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...
06.25.2019
Position Summary: The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), under the direction of the Rehab Director, is responsible for evaluating, planning, and implementing medically prescribed treatment for patients in the homecare setting. Responsible for...
06.26.2019
Full time 40 hours per week. Responsible for direct application of Speech/Language Pathology treatment modalities as prescribed by a referring physician. Evaluates, plans, directs and treats all patients referred to speech/language. Pathology...
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover Johnson and Shelby Counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote...
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover Marion and Hendricks Counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote...
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover various Indiana counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote...
06.26.2019
Basic Functions: This position embodies the Memorial Health System Performance Excellence Standards of Safety, Courtesy, Quality, and Efficiency that support our mission, vision and values. These standards are evident in the daily work, which...
06.26.2019
This position exists to provide excellent speech therapy services. The purpose of this position is to implement therapy programs for patients referred to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital as well as providing health and wellness education to the...
06.26.2019
In an environment of continuous quality improvement, the Speech-Language Pathologist is responsible for providing evaluative and rehabilitative services for communicatively impaired individuals. Exhibits the MHS Standards of Excellence and...
06.26.2019
Halifax Health is seeking a Speech Language Pathologist for the Rehabilitative Services Department. Summary The SLP evaluates pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients and medical history to determine appropriateness of...
06.26.2019
Halifax Health is seeking a Speech Language Pathologist for the Rehabilitative Services Department. Summary The SLP evaluates pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients and medical history to determine appropriateness of...
06.26.2019
Therapist Speech-Language Pathologist Job Locations US-OK-Norman ID 2019-4422 Category Allied Health Position Type Part-Time Department HealthPlex - Physical Rehabilitation Overview Norman Regional Health System is a team of...
06.26.2019
To function as a Speech/Language Pathologist and is qualified to evaluate and treat patients with communication, swallowing and cognitive linguistic disorders.
  1. Speech Language Pathologist Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Speech Language Pathologist position is located in Kokomo, Indiana. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote positive health outcomes...
  2. Speech Language Pathologist- Inpatient Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Speech Language Pathologist- Inpatient position is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote positive...
  3. 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...
  4. Speech Language Pathologist - Rehab Spartanburg, SC Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
    Position Summary: The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), under the direction of the Rehab Director, is responsible for evaluating, planning, and implementing medically prescribed treatment for patients in the homecare setting. Responsible for...
  5. Speech Language Pathologist Bar Harbor , ME Mount Desert Island Hospital
    Full time 40 hours per week. Responsible for direct application of Speech/Language Pathology treatment modalities as prescribed by a referring physician. Evaluates, plans, directs and treats all patients referred to speech/language. Pathology...
  6. Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover Johnson and Shelby Counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote...
  7. Speech Language Pathologist - Home Health Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover Marion and Hendricks Counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote...
  8. Speech Language Pathologist - Home Health Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover various Indiana counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote...
  9. Speech and Language Pathologist Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Basic Functions: This position embodies the Memorial Health System Performance Excellence Standards of Safety, Courtesy, Quality, and Efficiency that support our mission, vision and values. These standards are evident in the daily work, which...
  10. SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST Bozeman, MT Bozeman Health
    This position exists to provide excellent speech therapy services. The purpose of this position is to implement therapy programs for patients referred to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital as well as providing health and wellness education to the...
  11. Speech-Language Pathologist Marietta, OH Memorial Health System
    In an environment of continuous quality improvement, the Speech-Language Pathologist is responsible for providing evaluative and rehabilitative services for communicatively impaired individuals. Exhibits the MHS Standards of Excellence and...
  12. Speech Language Pathologist Daytona Beach, FL Halifax Health
    Halifax Health is seeking a Speech Language Pathologist for the Rehabilitative Services Department. Summary The SLP evaluates pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients and medical history to determine appropriateness of...
  13. Speech Language Pathologist Daytona Beach, FL Halifax Health
    Halifax Health is seeking a Speech Language Pathologist for the Rehabilitative Services Department. Summary The SLP evaluates pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients and medical history to determine appropriateness of...
  14. Therapist Speech-Language Pathologist Norman, OK Norman Regional Health System
    Therapist Speech-Language Pathologist Job Locations US-OK-Norman ID 2019-4422 Category Allied Health Position Type Part-Time Department HealthPlex - Physical Rehabilitation Overview Norman Regional Health System is a team of...
  15. Speech Language Pathologist 8086-002 Fergus Falls, MN Lake Region Healthcare
    To function as a Speech/Language Pathologist and is qualified to evaluate and treat patients with communication, swallowing and cognitive linguistic disorders.