The job of speech pathologists is to diagnose, treat, and prevent speech, social communication, language, swallowing, and cognitive-communication disorders in both children and adults. They are responsible for providing aural rehabilitation for people with hearing impairment and hearing loss, and alternative and augmentative systems for people with severe language comprehension disorders such as progressive neurological disorders and the autism spectrum. Speech pathologists may also work with individuals without language, swallowing, or speech disorders, but are eager to know how to communicate more effectively.

Speech Pathologist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real speech pathologist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage staff development activities including sensory integration and IEP goal writing.
  • Provide speech and language therapy under the supervision and guidance of assign SLP supervisor.
  • Administer and interpreting diagnostic evaluations on children with a variety of speech and language disorders in an out-patient facility.
  • Develop specific treatment plans and family education plans for rehabilitation patients in anticipation of discharge home or to appropriate rehabilitation facilities.
  • Participate as a member of the acute care and outpatient rehabilitation team in diagnostic and therapeutic services to neurologically impair adults.
  • Develop policies and procedures to secure Medicare and Medicaid provider numbers.
  • Evaluate and treat congenital and/or acquire swallowing, cognitive, language, speech, and receptive/expressive communication deficits within geriatric population.
  • Participate in education for the team regarding SLP services, referrals, and appropriate diagnoses.
  • Perform MBS for inpatients and outpatients and communicate results to physicians, nurses and families.
  • Prepare require paperwork such as admission, review, and dismissal meetings, full individual evaluations, and Medicaid.
  • Assess, design, and administer therapy for adults with left CVA's and develop verbal and written reporting skills.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of Medicare and other reimbursement regulations.
  • Provide individual therapy to school-age children with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Document therapy session details and generate billing sheets for Medicaid.
  • Administer standardized assessments for dementia, cognitive-linguistic deficits, and dysarthria.

Speech Pathologist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 18% of Speech Pathologists are proficient in Patients, Language, and Speech. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Communication skills, and Compassion.

We break down the percentage of Speech Pathologists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 18%

    Performed Communication/Alternative Augmentative/Environmental Control Assessments to patients.

  • Language, 17%

    Evaluated and treated congenital and/or acquired swallowing, cognitive, language, speech, and receptive/expressive communication deficits within geriatric population.

  • Speech, 17%

    Leveraged experience and expertise in speech pathology to design individualized educational plans for communication disorders in students on a self-paced curriculum.

  • Patient Care, 8%

    Supervised two speech therapy assistants and guided them though quality treatment, documentation, and productivity expectations for optimal patient care.

  • Rehabilitation, 7%

    Participated as a member of the acute care and outpatient rehabilitation team in diagnostic and therapeutic services to neurologically impaired adults.

  • Home Health, 6%

    Worked for two home health care agencies serving nursing homes and in home care in Palm Beach County, FL.

"patients," "language," and "speech" aren't the only skills we found speech pathologists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of speech pathologist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a speech pathologist to have in this position are analytical skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a speech pathologist resume, you'll understand why: "speech-language pathologists must select the most appropriate diagnostic tools and analyze results to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan." According to resumes we found, analytical skills can be used by a speech pathologist in order to "supervised speech assistant, developed pertinent treatment protocols, analyzed and reported on patient progress. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform speech pathologist duties is the following: communication skills. According to a speech pathologist resume, "speech-language pathologists need to communicate test results, diagnoses, and proposed treatments in a way that individuals and their families can understand." Check out this example of how speech pathologists use communication skills: "obtained numerous computerized communication devices for home health clients. "
  • Compassion is also an important skill for speech pathologists to have. This example of how speech pathologists use this skill comes from a speech pathologist resume, "speech-language pathologists work with people who are often frustrated by their difficulties" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "represented organization in community, to parents, with compassion and empathy. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "detail oriented" is important to completing speech pathologist responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way speech pathologists use this skill: "speech-language pathologists must take detailed notes on progress and treatment." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical speech pathologist tasks: "completed detailed evaluations and treatment plans for children and adolescents with various speech and language disorders in the home health setting. "
  • Another common skill for a speech pathologist to be able to utilize is "listening skills." Speech-language pathologists must listen to symptoms and concerns to decide on the appropriate course of treatment. A speech pathologist demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "performed mbs for inpatients and outpatients and communicated results to physicians, nurses and families. "
  • See the full list of speech pathologist skills.

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    What Graduate Student Clinicians Do

    Graduate student clinicians can be a nurse practitioner, pharmacist, or doctor whose primary job is to work with patients and assist patients in managing their medical condition or illness. They perform varied duties and responsibilities that include maintaining a good relationship with patients, discussing the treatment progress to patients, and documenting patients' medical history. Additionally, they are also responsible for assisting physicians on non-surgical procedures, updating the medical information of patients on charts, and giving diagnostic tests.

    In this section, we compare the average speech pathologist annual salary with that of a graduate student clinician. Typically, graduate student clinicians earn a $2,973 lower salary than speech pathologists earn annually.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both speech pathologists and graduate student clinicians positions are skilled in patients, language, and communication disorders.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a speech pathologist responsibility requires skills such as "speech," "patient care," "rehabilitation," and "home health." Whereas a graduate student clinician is skilled in "motor speech disorders," "dysphagia," "group therapy sessions," and "hearing screenings." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    On average, graduate student clinicians reach lower levels of education than speech pathologists. Graduate student clinicians are 24.1% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Student Clinician?

    A Student Clinician is a healthcare practitioner who works as caregiver of a patient in a hospital or clinic. They integrate knowledge obtained in courses into the clinical practicum assignments.

    The next role we're going to look at is the student clinician profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $3,134 lower salary than speech pathologists per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both speech pathologists and student clinicians are known to have skills such as "patients," "language," and "language disorders. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that speech pathologist responsibilities requires skills like "speech," "patient care," "rehabilitation," and "home health." But a student clinician might use skills, such as, "group therapy sessions," "hearing screenings," "individual therapy sessions," and "speech-language therapy."

    In general, student clinicians study at lower levels of education than speech pathologists. They're 27.8% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Speech Correction Consultant Compares

    A licensed optometrist is primarily responsible for the vision and eye care of clients, treating different conditions such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. Their duties mostly revolve around performing eye and vision tests, diagnosing issues, providing consultations, prescribing corrective glasses and lenses, and educating clients on proper eye care methods. Furthermore, an optometrist must maintain records of all cases and treatment plans, and supervise support staff should they choose to work at a private clinic or a similar setting.

    The third profession we take a look at is speech correction consultant. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than speech pathologists. In fact, they make a $31,289 lower salary per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several speech pathologists and speech correction consultants we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "slp," "language disorders," and "communication disorders," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from speech pathologists resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "patients," "language," "speech," and "patient care." But a speech correction consultant might have skills like "public speaking," "professional knowledge," "data collection," and "academic schedule."

    Speech correction consultants typically study at lower levels compared with speech pathologists. For example, they're 18.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 2.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Optometrist

    Optometrists tend to earn a higher pay than speech pathologists by about $125,014 per year.

    According to resumes from both speech pathologists and optometrists, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "patients," "patient care," and "rehabilitation. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "language," "speech," "home health," and "slp" are skills that have shown up on speech pathologists resumes. Additionally, optometrist uses skills like customer service, diagnostic tests, pre, and visual acuity on their resumes.

    Optometrists earn a higher salary in the health care industry with an average of $163,075. Whereas, speech pathologists earn the highest salary in the health care industry.

    The average resume of optometrists showed that they earn lower levels of education to speech pathologists. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 40.1% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 25.6%.

    What a Speech Pathologist Does FAQs

    What Is The Difference Between A Speech Therapist And A Speech Pathologist?

    There is no difference between a speech therapist and a speech pathologist. Whether therapist or pathologist is used depends on the preferences specific to a geographical location or type of position (e.g., school vs. nursing home).

    Where Do Speech Pathologists Work?

    Speech pathologists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and outpatient clinics. In all of these settings, speech pathologists work alongside other medical personnel, such as doctors, nurses, and therapists.

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