Speech Therapist

A speech therapist (or speech language pathologist) assists a patient..

Speech Therapist

What does a Speech Therapist do?

Median Pay $74,680
Growth Rate 21%
Citation Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org

A speech therapist (or speech language pathologist) assists a patient with problems with swallowing or communication disorders caused by hearing loss, strokes, brain injuries, birth defects or a variety of other medical diagnosis that may cause difficulties swallowing or a speech impairment.

Speech therapists are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.They test the person’s initial ability and improve their ability over time with treatments and various interventions. The focus on communication skills to include language, cognition, and social abilities.

How to Become a Speech Therapist

speech therapist working with a child

A speech therapist must earn a master’s degree, however one must first earn a bachelors degree. There is not a specific undergraduate degree that graduate speech pathology programs require you to have, but it is encouraged you include communication, language arts, or a related coursework while pursuing your bachelors degree. During your graduate training you will receive coursework in speech and language development, age-specific speech disorders, alternative communication methods, and swallowing disorders. Both of these degrees can be earned at a state or private college and university.

To work as a speech therapist you must also obtain a license in the state you of plan to practice in. Every state varies on the requirements to practice as a Speech Therapist. For more information check with the state licensure office where you reside more information.

Job Description of a Speech Therapist

Speech therapists diagnose and develop treatment for people with oral or communication difficulties. They implement treatments and interventions based on their own assessment of the problem and from the referrals they receive from social workers, physicians, or psychologist.

As part of the evaluation of the patient, a speech-language therapist conducts specific tests. These assessments can be standardized, unstandardized, or based off of observations observed. They write and keep on-going documentation of every case from the initial evaluation through the diagnosis, treatment, progress or adjustments, and a patient’s discharge. They carry out the coordination of scheduling, case management, writing lesson plans, or any complete any paperwork that is necessary for documentation. They assist a patient with their effectiveness in communication with aids such as lip reading, sign language, or voice improvement using a variety of techniques and strategies.

Part of the speech therapist duties also incorporates treatment for patients’ that involve and/or educates family members. A speech therapist gathers information from several relevant sources and is able to document and/or record the findings through electronic or written form. They need to remain current technically and use new information on the job. It would be important for a speech-language therapist to assist and care for others, provide emotional support, give medical attention,, and establish interpersonal relationships.

Speech therapists require knowledge in psychology, the english language to include, spelling, structure, content, and composition. They also need to be trained in counseling, therapy methods and medicine. They should have strong social perceptiveness, have good decision and judgement, and must be an active listener.


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