My dream job while I was in grad school was to work in hospitals. It was why I studied speech pathology in the first place! ! There are many pros to this setting as well as some cons.
Due to life changes and relocation, I no longer work in hospitals. Read below to learn about my experiences.
Since all of my hospital jobs combined inpatient acute care, inpatient rehab, and outpatient rehab...I will group them together here.
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1. Every day is new
Working in hospitals, especially acute care, is exciting. Every morning brings a list of new patients and cases. For some one who gets tired of routine like me, this is a HUGE pro.
Liking dysphagia is a must. You will see a lot of it! Personally, I enjoy working with patients who have dysphagia. I find the assessment and treatment process interesting and rewarding.
3. Less paperwork
By default, paperwork is less. Reports and progress notes should and need to be done quickly and concisely. Most hospitals are online as well which makes charting easier.
4. Productivity is less of an issue
For acute care, productivity is less of an issue. I NEVER had difficulty with high productivity demands in an outpatient setting, but I have had colleagues who said they had to clock out if a patient did not show.
5. Hours/schedule (in acute care)
When working in acute care, I worked 7:30-4:00. This was an ideal schedule for me.
6. Interesting assessment and treatment
I have always been very interested in aphasia, apraxia, cognitive communication disorders, and dysphagia.
7. Patient and family education
In acute care, patients stay about 2-3 days. In outpatient rehab, insurance sometimes only covers a few sessions. Therefore, your time with patients is limited. This is a con; however, the most effective and helpful "therapy" is good patient and family education I enjoy this! So it is a pro or a "silver lining!"
1. Working weekends and holidays (evening hours for some outpatient facilities)
This one speaks for itself! I didn't mind working weekends and holidays as much before (the pay is great!), but with my growing family, it is really a deal breaker.
2. Insurance and medicare
Dealing with insurance companies can be FRUSTRATING to say the least. Also, meeting medicare minutes puts a lot of pressure on patients and therapists.
Tracking down and getting orders for video swallow studies, bedside swallow studies...whatever you need, can be a hassle. I'm sure this is facility specific though.
4. Limited therapy sessions
As I mentioned before, inpatient stays are short. Insurance companies may severely limit the number of outpatient therapy visits. Progress can be limited and slow due to these factors.