If you have ever wondered whether there are alternative career options for Speech Language Pathologists, then you are not alone in this thought. Stay with me, as I bring the essentials you need to know on this subject matter.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are highly specialised, although they may also pursue other occupations in communication, treatment, and other fields.
A speech-language pathologist may pursue a variety of occupations in a variety of work categories. Even though SLPs has their own career path some other people will still want to look out for alternative career option.
In this article, we will be focusing on other career options for speech-language pathologists (SPLs).
Before we look at other career options, we need to understand what a speech-language pathologist is all about, what they specialise in, and what their career path entails.
Speech-language pathology; an overview
Speech-language pathology, often known as speech therapy, is a medical specialty that assesses, diagnoses and treats patients of all ages to enhance communication, especially in situations of speech or hearing impairment.
Speech therapists help persons who have problems with their hearing, voice, or speaking, vestibular system abnormalities, orofacial myofunctional disorders, or dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
These disorders may affect persons of any age, and a speech-language pathologist can assist them in developing, regaining, or improving their communication abilities.
Focus areas for speech-language disorders
The job of the speech-language pathologist varies widely based on their area of specialty and the problem or condition of the patient.
Their involvement may be necessary for both hospital facilities to address neurological or organic difficulties, as well as educational facilities to correct challenges with speech, language, or social skills.
The following are some of the primary areas of emphasis in the discipline of speech-language pathology:
- Adult neurogenic communication problems: This includes dementia patients, brain traumas, cognitive disability, and older adults experiencing normal cognitive decline.
- Voice therapy: it encompasses anything from treating dysphonia (speaking issues) to utilizing the voice as a professional resource.
- Deglutition: a therapy that provides skills and answers to those who have difficulty swallowing.
- Hearing and audiology: These are concerned with the prevention, identification, evaluation, and diagnosis of hearing problems.
- Speech and language development in children: concentrating on proper speech development and addressing any difficulties or disorders in early children.
Where Can You Find a Speech-Language Pathologist?
Speech-Language Pathologist positions are available around the country and are often employed in the following settings:
- Preschool, K-12, and postsecondary institutions are examples of educational contexts.
- Hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient facilities are examples of healthcare environments.
- Private firms and other professional organisations are examples of corporate environments.
- Municipalities – Governmental entities such as public health departments.
Alternative Career Options for Speech Language Pathologists
After knowing what a speech-language pathologist is all about, now let’s focus on the other career options available for individuals looking for alternative careers.
One will wonder if they’re other career paths for speech-language pathologists, well the answer is yes. Since SLPs evolved around communication, this makes it easy to look out for other career options. Let’s check out the list of other available options.
In terms of sales and marketing, a rehab liaison position might be a good match for SLPs wishing to move away from direct patient care.
These are the people who work with hospitals and other institutions to keep census rates high. They strive hard to maintain their facility’s beds filled.
In this position, you will interact with physicians, social workers, and case managers. You may also perform community outreach, teaching the local populace about the care and services your business can provide. As you would expect, there is some sales and marketing involvement, but you also use your clinical abilities every day.
This is a career that allows you to continue interacting with patients and healthcare professionals. And you get to assist individuals receive the treatment they need. It may be a perfect transition for SLPs who desire to stay in the rehab field.
Translators and interpreters
Speech-language pathologists that are interested in communication and speech may pursue a career in interpretation or translation.
Interpreters specialise in translating spoken or signed languages into other languages, while translators translate written languages into other languages.
Although interpreters may give simultaneous, sequential, or whispered interpretation, both interpreters and translators must be clear and precise when speaking or writing in the converted language. These professionals must be bilingual, have a bachelor’s degree, and have completed on-the-job training.
Audiologists do many of the same or comparable activities as speech-language pathologists, however they deal with patients who have hearing and/or ear impairments rather than those who have speech and swallowing challenges.
These specialists begin by evaluating their patients with hearing tests and examinations to identify the issue, and then they evaluate what therapy is appropriate for each patient, whether it be a hearing aid, implant, or another kind of treatment.
They also educate and speak with patients and their families about their condition, other methods to communicate, and measures to avoid additional hearing deterioration. Audiologists must be licenced in their state of work and have a PhD in the area.
Academia is a natural career transition for clinical Speech-language pathologists wishing to try something new. After all, part of their job as Speech-language pathologists is to educate patients, families, carers, and employees.
When you think of academic professions, you typically think of universities. Speech-language pathologists may pursue new options in schooling at community colleges and universities.
While this is a fantastic opportunity for Speech-language pathologists migrating from clinical employment, there are so many other options in education.
Speech-language pathologists might also explore for employment on online educational platforms.
Working with firms that give direct teaching and training in their technologies is another method for SLPs to migrate into the education field.
Speech-language pathologists may be acquainted with components of physical therapy that they employ on their patients, which might be useful in the physical therapy profession.
Physical therapists employ several modalities, such as hands-on therapy, exercises, stretches, and others, to assist their patients improve pain or mobility in a specific portion of their body.
These professionals often work with patients who are recuperating from disease or injury, and they must diagnose the patient’s condition, design a treatment plan, and continuously monitor the patient’s progress. Physical therapists must be licenced by the state and have a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
Speech-language pathologists may also work as recreational therapists, assisting patients with impairments, injuries, or diseases in improving their communication and social skills via various activities.
Recreational therapists may employ aquatics, sports, arts and crafts, music, and other activities to keep their patients active and emotionally involved during their illness.
These therapists strive to create programmes that match the requirements of their patients and regularly monitor them to make any required changes to the treatment plan. Professional certification and at least a bachelor’s degree are often required for recreational therapists.
Large rehabilitation organisations often want SLPs to transfer into non-clinical jobs in management and staff training. This might be at the facility or corporate level of healthcare.
Because Speech-language pathologists are communication professionals, they are a great match to assist with corporate workplace culture and communication.
Speech-language pathologists thrive in employee training and onboarding because they understand language and communication. When you’ve worked in a clinical setting, you understand how everything fits together. SLP trainers may aid in the development of a culture of excellent workers who deliver valued services.
Telehealth is an excellent option for SLPs wishing to branch out in their careers. For starters, the business is booming, with numerous new telehealth firms popping up all the time.
For another, there is a rising need for telehealth services not just in the United States, but across the globe.
Unlike traditional clinical positions, telemedicine allows for scheduling and geographical flexibility, which standard clinical SLPs would give their eye teeth for. You’re fine to go if you have a solid internet connection.
If you still like patient care but want a break from the monotony of working in healthcare facilities, telemedicine may be for you.
Informatics in clinical practice
Health/clinical informatics is a relatively young area with several career paths available. Essentially, you are aiming to enhance the flow of information inside healthcare systems.
You can work as an electronic medical record systems EMR trainer (some overlap with the clinical trainer roles) and teach others how to use electronic medical record systems, or you can become more of a workflow specialist, focusing on identifying problems and collaborating with coders to resolve them.
You may also work as a clinical data analyst, where you adjust behind the scenes rather than talking about them.
A final thought about Alternative Career Options for Speech Language Pathologists
There are several opportunities for speech pathologists who want to attempt a different profession or change occupations.
A foundation in speech pathology may provide essential skills that can be transferred from one sector to another, such as communication skills, medical terminology, and problem-solving abilities.