5 Fears All SLPs Have–What it’s like being an SLP.
Categories: Increase Your Effectiveness - Tips for SLPs
I have a confession. On the outside, I appear to be a (somewhat) competent SLP. Once you get past the exterior, folks, I am a big ball of worry. And, you know what? My biggest fears have to do with what I have done for 40-50 hours a week for the last decade and a half. Here are 5 fears all SLPs have:
I forgot to renew my license!
The other day, I spent several hours trying to renew my license. Angst (and coffee) ran through my body as I tried to track down the necessary documents that horrid morning. Alas, my age had caught up with me—my eyes (containing bifocal contacts) misread the date. My license was not due for another year. Lesson learned? Keep all of the needed paperwork in a special device called a folder. They’re awesome tools.
I have to make-up a therapy session!
I recall being curled up in bed with a stomach bug. Between jaunts to the restroom and randomly moaning from pain, I would cry about how to make-up my missed therapy session. How do I keep up my already packed schedule and make-up therapy? After many years, I have learned that I can only do my best. And, I let go of the rest.
Did I get enough CEUs?!
I know, I know…I should be excited to learn new information about my profession. This is a quarter of the truth. The other 75% of my sentiments have to do with the fact that I go to trainings to keep my license. And, I have to keep track of these trainings (please refer to reason #1). Thank goodness ASHA and my state organization have ways for me to log all of this information electronically. There is also that handy folder tool for those who do not want to go the electronic route!
Data, data, DATA, DATA!!!
It has been drilled in me that as an SLP, I always need to keep data. I get this—we need to see if our students and clients are improving. But for whatever reason, this part of my job always worries me. Did I take enough data? Was that considered a prompt? Was my prompt minimal, moderate, maximal? Can someone else understand my data? Again, I am grateful for the people who have answered my dire-data questions: ASHA, Crazy Speech World and Simply Speech.
I’m not good enough.
A few months ago, I learned that one of my parents no longer wanted to have me as their SLP for their child. I kept telling myself that this decision could have been made for a variety of reasons…insurance change, scheduling conflicts? But deep down, I heard my inner voice questioning my skills and my competencies. Am I a good SLP? Am I giving enough to help those that need my help? Thankfully, I spoke to a friend (who also happens to be an awesome SLP), and I came to this realization:
I had to laugh as I read your post because I’ve been there for every single one of the fears, with an accompanying dream for most. Interestingly, for me, belonging to more than one ASHA SIG has been helpful in alleviating the angst. The longest discussions in SIG16 are often about data, missed sessions, and other bureaucratic issues, while the discussions in SIG 5 offer a counterbalance with most discussions focused on difficult cases, diagnosis and therapy. One reassures me that I am not wandering alone in the miasma school-based SLPs encounter, while the other offers opportunities to return to”classic” SLP territory.
Helen, I completely agree with you. THe SIGs are awesome! I belong to SIG 14 (Cultural and Linguistics Diversity) and SIG 16 (School-Based) myself. Our SLP community is surey supportive and validating. Here’s to productive SLP-days and restful nights! Thanks so much for your input.