"Speech Therapy is such a dynamic profession, where every day is different and every patient presents with unique challenges"
I was fortunate enough to have a number of very diverse placements that allowed me to learn how speech therapy works effectively alongside other professions. My first job was a rotational post working with adults with learning disabilities in the community. I also carried out two secondment placements to a local adult acute department and a paediatric mainstream service. The rotations and secondments gave me a very rounded and varied view of the profession: vital experience as a newly qualified therapist. I also attended some fantastic courses such as ELKLAN, Talking Mats, Talkabout and TEACCH and have gone on to copresent at a RCSLT conference and write for the RCSLT Bulletin. I have also been fortunate to work alongside some inspiring Speech Therapists such as Alex Kelly (Talkabout) to implement a whole school approach to social skills.
I currently work with pupils aged 8 - 19 years who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Knowledge of psychological approaches are therefore vital. My BSc (Hons) Psychology and Speech Pathology at MMU is the only one of its kind in the UK that offers this joint degree. Having the strong emphasis on psychology has given me the additional expertise that I need for working with pupils with challenging behaviour.
Speech Therapy is such a dynamic profession, where every day is different and every patient presents with unique challenges. Being flexible and having good teamwork skills are so important in this profession.
While knowing the theory and research is essential, interpersonal skills such as listening and the ability to build rapport with patients and their families are equally important. The biggest impact I have had on patients and their families have been through simply stopping and listening.
Believe in yourself. I had little confidence when I started the degree course but I completely surprised myself when I was successful at my first Speech Therapy interview and now throughout my career I'm still surprising myself. I never thought I was capable of achieving what I have so far.
The innovative Speech Therapists and Professionals that I met during my placements all supported and inspired me in very different ways. Meeting people who geniunely love and are passionate about the profession has always been refreshing and infectious! I hope I am able to inspire my students like many professionals inspired me.
I most appreciated the people I met during my four years at MMU, many of whom supported and inspired me to have the confidence to achieve far more than I ever thought I was capable of.