Speech Pathology Subacute

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. 

Ready Why!

My Pros:

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.

2. Dysphagia                                                                                    

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!

5. Compensation                                                                                     

Typically, salary for speech language pathologists in this setting is the highest compared to all the other settings.

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My Cons:

1. Productivity                                                                                      

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.

Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference.

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