Friday, December 17, 2010

Advice for Medical SLP Newbies part 3

It's Kristin.

Well, if you've been following the blog, you kow that a few new SLPs or grad student readers have asked some specific questions re: how to get things started. My previous post covered "Planning." This one's going to be about carrying out the session itself. Hope it helps! Feel free to add your own comments and advice!

The Session: I personally like to start sessions by asking a few questions first.  Before I just jump in and start drilling them I want to see how they've been since our last session, how they're feeling, if they think speech therapy is helping, if they understand what we're working on, if they did any
"homework assignments" I gave them, etc.  This may seem obvious, but sometimes it's easy to skip this stuff when you get into automatic mode.

Then as we get going on our therapy tasks, I try to remember that if I'm bored, so is the patient.  I like to keep things interesting and meaningful for them.  I let them know what we're working on and why.  I try to switch activities every 10 minutes or so (but that can vary depending on their attention span).

Well, that seems really brief, but many of the other things I thought of mentioning seem too obvious and boring: taking data, dealing with different personalities or family.  Comment if you think I'm missing anything!

Merry Christmas!


  1. Good advice. I'm going to incorporate some of this with my voice students.

  2. This blog is great! I'm a newbie SLP about to enter the medical setting and any advice is valuable. Can you give more examples of treatment sessions, or materials and resources that you use with clients? That would be wonderful!


  3. Hello! Just found you through some random link we were both listed on. I'm mom to a little boy with cp who gets lots of speech therapy, and has been using an iPad to communicate Your blog is filled with great insights for parents, too!

  4. Hi Kristen! Don't you wish we would have had a blog like this to refer to when we started?
    I, too, use the first few minutes of a session to catch up with the patient/client and help them feel a little more comfortable. I also use the time to covertly assess memory (what they did that day, if they remember what happened in our last session, etc) and also some problem solving (why weren't you able to do your homework? what can you do to make sure it gets done? etc) by working it into the conversation. I am able to gain some important information about the client without them feeling like I am "testing" them.

  5. Hello Kristen! I am a new SLP and I am in the process of doing my CF at a SNF. I love the experience but would love some inventive and fun ideas to work with Dementia patients. I am feeling particularly challenged in this area. Can anyone help please!