Shadowing a DoctorJune 10, 2016
Speech and language therapy deals with diagnosing and treating disorders related to communication. This includes speaking and hearing. A therapist in this field specialises in helping people communicate better and gives them the confidence to express themselves to other, thereby making life easier for them and helping them improve their quality of life.
As a speech and language therapist, you would be dealing with patients across all ages who suffer from stammering problems, speech difficulties due to injuries or voice impairments along with numerous others often need speech therapy for various reasons.
Skills That Will Help You In This Field
If you are looking at a career in speech and language therapy, there are a few skills that you should possess or work on before you become a professional in this field.
Good listening skills are the foremost requirement. As you will be working primarily with clients who suffer from communication disabilities, you need to have the skills necessary to be able to understand where the problem lies. You can only devise an effective treatment plan for them if you can get to the root of the problem.
A calm and friendly attitude is equally important as you need to make your client feel comfortable with you and trust you enough so that they can express themselves confidently without being embarrassed or afraid.
The ability to solve problems and tackle challenges is another essential skill that is necessary for you to be successful in this career. A speech and language therapist is faced with different challenges when it comes to patients and you should be able to think quickly and figure out different treatment methods that will give your client the best results.
This is not a career path for someone who wants to see quick changes. As a speech and language therapist, you will need to have immense patience to study results over a period of time and appreciate small changes in communication.
You will need to complete a four-year under-graduation course in speech and language therapy through an accredited programme. If you have already obtained an educational qualification in a health science related stream, you may be eligible to enrol in certain programmes that offer graduate level training courses in speech and language therapy.
The practical training component is often done in a hospital, school or some other kind of community setting.
Once you have finished your education and completed your training, you need to register with the HPC (Health Professions Council). Continued education remains an important aspect of your career after you get registered because you will need to learn about new developments in the field and stay up to date with new research and technology.
A career in this field can be very rewarding if you enjoy working with people who face difficulties in communication and you want to make a difference to their lives. Professionals in this field are highly in demand and they have the option of being employed by hospitals or other care facilities or they can choose to work independently and set up their own practice where they get their own clients based on advertising and referrals from other doctors.
Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.