Speech pathology is a field that is dedicated to helping those who have problems communicating. What do speech pathologists do, where can they work and what type of education is required?
What does a speech pathologist do?
The job duties of a speech pathologist include: teaching patients how to make sounds, increase their oral communication skills and improve their voices. A speech pathologist may also help patients with their written communication skills.
What type of people need speech pathology?
Anyone who has trouble with their oral and written communication skills could benefit from speech pathology. Speech pathologists are trained to handle a wide variety of cases including: stutter, mental retardation, hearing loss, cleft palate, learning disabilities and the loss of speech be it after a psychological trauma, a stroke or brain injury.
Where can a speech pathologist work?
According to the 2010 Occupational handbook, the field of speech pathology is expected to grow much faster than the national average. Speech pathologists can work in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, outpatient centers, childcare centers and home health services. Some are also involved in support groups and associations like the NSA (National Stuttering Association). A small percentage of speech pathologists are self-employed.
What type of training is needed to become a speech pathologist?
Almost all speech pathology jobs require a Master’s degree. Many students get an undergraduate degree in a related field (such as special education) and then go on to earn their Master’s in speech pathology. The licensure requirements can vary depending on the state that the person is planning to practice in. However, most states require that a person complete 300+ hours of clinical therapy experience and pass the exam given by the Praxis Series of Educational Testing.
What other skills are needed to be a successful speech pathologist?
Speech pathologists have to work with patients and other health care professionals. That is why they have to have great listening skills. They should also be kind, caring, compassionate and patient.