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
09.07.2017
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...
09.20.2017
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...
09.20.2017
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...
09.22.2017
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...
09.22.2017
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 of...
09.22.2017
The Speech Language Pathologist provides optimal speech-language pathology services to include evaluation, treatment, planning, patient/family education and discharge planning for patients with disorders of communication, deglutition and...
09.22.2017
Prior clinical experience in Speech Pathology preferred. The Speech Language Pathologist provides optimal speech-language pathology services to include evaluation, treatment, planning, and patient/family education and discharge planning for...
09.11.2017
Department: New Prague Clinical Therapy/Peds A Life-Changing Career Responsibilities: This position will be primarily working with outpatient pediatric population. The Speech Language Pathologist provides quality care to patients/clients...
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,...
09.22.2017
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...
09.22.2017
Provides direct patient care to adolescents, adults and geriatric patients with disorders of speech, language, cognition, voice and swallowing. A speech pathologist will plan and carry out therapy programs in order to restore injured or disabled...
09.22.2017
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...
09.13.2017
Mercy Hospital has an opening for a casual, day, 8 hour shift, Speech Language Pathologist. This person will evaluate all patients referred regarding language, communication or swallowing disorders. They will establish and provide treatment...
09.22.2017
Essentia Health is seeking a part-time Speech Language Pathologist to join the care team in Graceville, Minnesota! This part -time opportunity offers 8 hours per week with flexible scheduling available. Work hours are during the day Monday...
09.22.2017
Provides direct patient care to adolescents, adults and geriatric patients with disorders of speech, language, cognition, voice and swallowing. A speech pathologist will plan and carry out therapy programs in order to restore injured or disabled...
  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 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...
  3. 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...
  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 of...
  6. Speech Language Pathologist Newberry, SC Newberry County Memorial Hospital
    The Speech Language Pathologist provides optimal speech-language pathology services to include evaluation, treatment, planning, patient/family education and discharge planning for patients with disorders of communication, deglutition and...
  7. Speech Language Pathologist-PRN Newberry, SC Newberry County Memorial Hospital
    Prior clinical experience in Speech Pathology preferred. The Speech Language Pathologist provides optimal speech-language pathology services to include evaluation, treatment, planning, and patient/family education and discharge planning for...
  8. Speech Language Pathologist Job Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic's Campus in Rochester, MN
    Department: New Prague Clinical Therapy/Peds A Life-Changing Career Responsibilities: This position will be primarily working with outpatient pediatric population. The Speech Language Pathologist provides quality care to patients/clients...
  9. 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,...
  10. Speech Language Pathologist 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...
  11. Speech-Language Pathologist St. Paul, MN Regions Hospital
    Provides direct patient care to adolescents, adults and geriatric patients with disorders of speech, language, cognition, voice and swallowing. A speech pathologist will plan and carry out therapy programs in order to restore injured or disabled...
  12. 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...
  13. Casual - Speech Language Pathologist Moose Lake, MN Mercy Hospital - Moose Lake
    Mercy Hospital has an opening for a casual, day, 8 hour shift, Speech Language Pathologist. This person will evaluate all patients referred regarding language, communication or swallowing disorders. They will establish and provide treatment...
  14. Speech Language Pathologist - Graceville, MN Duluth, MN Essentia Health
    Essentia Health is seeking a part-time Speech Language Pathologist to join the care team in Graceville, Minnesota! This part -time opportunity offers 8 hours per week with flexible scheduling available. Work hours are during the day Monday...
  15. Voice Speech-Language Pathologist St. Paul, MN Regions Hospital
    Provides direct patient care to adolescents, adults and geriatric patients with disorders of speech, language, cognition, voice and swallowing. A speech pathologist will plan and carry out therapy programs in order to restore injured or disabled...