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
10.05.2017
The Speech Language Pathologist diagnoses speech, language, communication, cognitive and swallowing disorders. Provides therapy, counseling and education as needed.
11.16.2017
Administers treatment to patients per Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) guidelines, communicates with Speech Language Pathologist with regards to patients progress and expected patient goals, provides patient documentation in...
11.17.2017
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...
11.17.2017
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...
11.17.2017
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...
11.17.2017
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...
11.17.2017
A part-time (48 hours per bi-weekly pay) position for a Speech Language Pathologist licensed in Illinois. Provides evaluation and treatment of patients requiring Speech Therapy in a variety of settings: Inpatient, Outpatient and Home Health.
10.13.2017
- SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST (PER DIEM) (SPE000ZU) Job Description SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST (PER DIEM)-SPE000ZU Description Position: Speech-Language Pathologist Location: Center for Rehabilitation Care/Durham Hours: PER DIEM,...
10.28.2015
Experience: At minimum, three years' experience providing evaluation and therapy. Experience with budgeting, managing staff and SLP operations. Education: Graduate of an accredited Speech Pathology Masters degree program....
11.13.2017
Make the most of your clinical skills at an organization that has earned numerous awards for clinical excellence. Based in Roanoke, Virginia, our community-based healthcare network encompasses seven hospitalsincluding a U.S. News & World...
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...
01.30.2017
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 requirements and is in the...
11.17.2017
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...
11.17.2017
Essentia Health is seeking a full-time (1.0 FTE) Speech Language Pathologist to join the therapy services team in Fargo, ND! The Speech Language Pathologist will see adult patients in the hospital setting. Primary works hours will be during the...
11.17.2017
RFGH Rehab & Fitness Services has an opening for a full-time, 40 hour per week, Speech Language Pathologist to work in both our outpatient and inpatient settings. Experience and interest in pediatric therapy preferred; willing to train in...
  1. Speech Language Pathologist Clinton, OK AllianceHealth Clinton
    The Speech Language Pathologist diagnoses speech, language, communication, cognitive and swallowing disorders. Provides therapy, counseling and education as needed.
  2. Speech Language Pathologist Nantucket, MA Nantucket Cottage Hospital
    Administers treatment to patients per Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) guidelines, communicates with Speech Language Pathologist with regards to patients progress and expected patient goals, provides patient documentation in...
  3. 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...
  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 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...
  6. 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...
  7. Speech Language Pathologist Olney, IL Carle Richland Memorial Hospital
    A part-time (48 hours per bi-weekly pay) position for a Speech Language Pathologist licensed in Illinois. Provides evaluation and treatment of patients requiring Speech Therapy in a variety of settings: Inpatient, Outpatient and Home Health.
  8. SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST (PER DIEM) Chapel Hill, NC UNC Health Care
    - SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST (PER DIEM) (SPE000ZU) Job Description SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST (PER DIEM)-SPE000ZU Description Position: Speech-Language Pathologist Location: Center for Rehabilitation Care/Durham Hours: PER DIEM,...
  9. Speech Language Pathologist Sunnyside, WA Sunnyside Community Hospital
    Experience: At minimum, three years' experience providing evaluation and therapy. Experience with budgeting, managing staff and SLP operations. Education: Graduate of an accredited Speech Pathology Masters degree program....
  10. Speech Language Pathologist - Pediatrics Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Make the most of your clinical skills at an organization that has earned numerous awards for clinical excellence. Based in Roanoke, Virginia, our community-based healthcare network encompasses seven hospitalsincluding a U.S. News & World...
  11. 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...
  12. Speech Language Pathologist- Home Health Sunnyside, WA Sunnyside Community Hospital
    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 requirements and is in the...
  13. 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...
  14. Speech Language Pathologist- Fargo, ND Fargo, ND Essentia Health-Fargo
    Essentia Health is seeking a full-time (1.0 FTE) Speech Language Pathologist to join the therapy services team in Fargo, ND! The Speech Language Pathologist will see adult patients in the hospital setting. Primary works hours will be during the...
  15. Speech Language Pathologist Skowhegan, ME Redington Fairview General Hospital
    RFGH Rehab & Fitness Services has an opening for a full-time, 40 hour per week, Speech Language Pathologist to work in both our outpatient and inpatient settings. Experience and interest in pediatric therapy preferred; willing to train in...