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Being a speech and language therapist can be a very rewarding career, especially when you get to witness the progress your client has made as a result of your treatment plan. It does, however, take a certain type of person in order to be successful. In this blog, we look at 5 key skills you need in order to become a successful speech and language therapist.
- Excellent spoken and written communication
Unsurprisingly, communication is a pretty integral part of being a speech and language therapist. In order to succeed in this profession, you need to have excellent communication skills, both written and spoken. Not only will you be communicating with patients, but will also be expected to keep their carers/teachers/family up-to-date with the progress being made. Plus, as someone modelling ‘correct’ language delivery there is little room for error so it is paramount that you are a clear and coherent communicator.
- Strong organisation
Are you the type of person to misplace your keys, lose your phone and leave your lunch at home? If so, speech and language therapy might not be the wisest career choice. However, for those nutritious for their impeccable organisation skills – this could be your dream role! Part of your day-to-day will involve managing caseloads, prioritising patients, dealing with referrals, monitoring outcomes, discharging service users…you get the drift, it’s busy.
- Interpersonal skills
Some service users may be feeling frustrated about their situation, especially if the onset was sudden or unexpected. It is your responsibility to build that confidence back up and motivate the client to get to their desired destination. This will take time so it is crucial that you are patient and naturally empathetic. Design solutions that are bespoke to each client, and be reassuring throughout.
- Listening is your forté
Listening is an acquired skill that takes time to master – it’s more than just being physically present and requires patience, concentration and emotional intelligence. In this role, you will talk to a variety of different clients, tackling a variety of different issues. Learning how to truly engage with each individual and digest the information they provide can make or break your success as a speech and language therapist. Sometimes this will be a challenge, especially if the patient has learning difficulties or a physical impairment which affects their speech. It is your job to identify the speech and communication difficulty or disorder and devise a treatment plan as necessary.
- Team player
As a speech and language therapist, you’ll likely work in a multidisciplinary team alongside doctors, dietitians, nurses and psychologists. Therefore, being able to work collaboratively in order to improve the outcome for your patient is key.
Thinking of applying for a speech and language role? Talk to our recruitment team now on 0203 929 4000 and we’ll find your perfect role.
Alternatively, you can browse our full list of vacancies here!