Working in subacute care and/or long term care as a speech pathologist has many pros as well as a few cons. I enjoyed my time working in this setting very much.
1. Hours & Schedule
Your work day typical runs 7:30-4:00. I personally never worked at a facility where speech pathologists worked weekends or holidays. Due to medicare rules, it may be an issue now.
You must like dysphagia to work in subacute care. I enjoy working with patients who have dysphagia. I find the assessment and treatment process interesting and rewarding.
3. Continuum of care
In this setting, patients may be permanent residents or at least staying a few weeks. I saw my patients daily, created functional goals, and actually work on them! There is less worry about no-shows or insurance not approving sessions.
4. Develop strong relationships with patients and caregivers
You get to know your patients and their caregivers well. It is fantastic to have their input. Goals are based on what they WANT to work on and not just what we, as professionals, think is the most beneficial. When everyone is on the same page, therapy is more functional!
Typically, salary for speech language pathologists in this setting is the highest compared to all the other settings.
In most subacute and long term care facilities, there are high productivity demands. This can make a job all about the numbers and not about the patients. Luckily, I have not had first-hand experience with this.
2. Insurance and medicare
Meeting medicare minutes can be stressful. Speech therapy sessions tend to 1:1 which makes this even harder.
3. Patients pass away
There is more "end of life" issues in this setting which is difficult at times. The silver lining is all the patient advocacy and education you can do with end- of-life, quality of life, and dypshagia.