Why Speech-Language Pathologists Are So Needed

speech language therapist working with a child
Written by
Miranda Kay, RN
May 22, 2023

Table of Contents

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are professionals in great demand, and they work with patients from babies to adults who need help with communication and swallowing difficulties. 

SLPs help treat speech problems like having good pronunciation or combining sounds to make words and sentences. Also, people with speech problems can have difficulties with reading, writing, and spelling, among others. 

What Does a Speech Language Pathologist Do?

In the following list, we are going to mention some speech-language pathologist jobs or disorders that SLPs work with, which are problems with pronunciation, gesticulation, understanding writing, and reading, to name a few:

  •  Apraxia of speech, also called dyspraxia or verbal apraxia, means that the patient would have difficulties moving their lips or tongue in the right way to make the appropriate sounds to express what they need. This difficulty comes due to brain damage, because of which the message from the brain to the mouth doesn't reach as it should.
  • Dysarthria is a disorder in which some of the muscles used to talk are weak, making it harder for people with this disorder to speak and be understood.
  • Aphasia is usually caused by damage on the left side of the brain, which controls understanding, speaking, and signing language, making it harder to communicate thoughts. 
  • Stuttering is a disorder in which patients have problems with fluency and the flow of speech.  

What's the Average Speech-Language Pathologist's Salary?    

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a speech-language pathologist's average salary is $89,460 annually and $43.01 hourly. This profession has a projected growth rate of 21% until 2031, which means that there is a great necessity for SLPs since the average growth estimation for different professions in the United States is around 5%.

So SLPs will be in demand for many years to come, and there's no doubt of the importance of this profession. 

Why Are Speech-Language Pathologists Essential?

For many people who have difficulty communicating through speech, visiting  SLPs marks a before and after in their lives. SLPs give a chance to speak through different methods like sign language, gestures, and symbols, improving the quality of life of their patients.

Tips for SLPs 

In the following list, you will find some tips to help SLPs in their work environment and with their patients.

  • Use active listening skills, like asking specific questions, showing interest in what the patient is trying to communicate, and building trust with your patient so you can help them with your knowledge. 
  • Always have within reach the tools you have learned through your training—they are always helpful.
  • Be creative; as an SLP, you will need to know how to approach your patients because every person is different.
  • Develop patience. Sometimes stress and burnout can affect you negatively and could generate problems with your patients.
  • Establish boundaries. The relationship with patients and their families can become too close and overwhelming for an SLP, so don't feel bad about setting limits. You are important too. 
  • Take time for yourself. As an SLP, you won't be able to help someone if you are not ok, so taking care of yourself is essential for you and your patients.

How to Find a Speech-Language Pathologist Near Me?

SLPs can be found in the following places: 

  • Schools 
  • Private practices
  • Different healthcare facilities

One way to look for SLPs in your area is by contacting your insurance company and seeing what providers it works with. Also, if you live near a college that offers SLP programs, you can ask about their assessment options. Students shadowed by experienced professionals may offer low-cost assessments.

Another convenient tool is the directory of professionals that the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has compiled to help people looking for SLPs.

Per Diem Jobs for SLPs

To understand more what it means to have a per diem SLP job, it is necessary to explain what per diem is in medical terms. This term is used when clinicians work "per day" or by the shift, so with these jobs, you will be hired for a fixed-time job.

As an SLP, you should also consider the benefits that come with searching for per diem jobs, like the following:

  • Managing your time as you want
  • Taking shifts in different locations  
  • Making more money since the per diem hourly rates are higher 
  • Having the opportunity to broaden your work network 
  • Gaining experience in various types of institutions 
  • Having a greater chance to be hired in the institution you like
  • Making yourself known and gaining a reputation

There are many ways to access per diem jobs, but the most efficient is through apps where you can find and choose the position you like, know how much they are paying, where the job will be, and when. A great app that gives access to per diem jobs in the healthcare field is Nursa.

This is just a little bit of what per diem jobs can offer you; if you want to learn more, click here.

Miranda Kay, RN
Blog published on:
May 22, 2023

Miranda is a Registered Nurse, Medical Fact Checker, and Publishing Editor at Nursa. Her work has been featured in publications including the American Nurses Association (ANA), Healthcare IT Outcomes, International Living, and more.

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