Speech therapy subacute setting has many pros and cons. I personally have worked in this setting and there are many benefits to this job setting. However, as with everything in life, there are a few cons as well.
If you are thinking of working in this setting, read below to see if it is a right fit for you!
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 the every changing medicare rules, I don't know if this is still true.
You must like dysphagia to work in subacute care. I enjoy working with patients who are suffering from dysphagia. The ability to chew and swallow food safely in necessary for life, obviously. However, eating brings comfort, opportunities for socialization, and a better quality of life. Therefore, I find this work very rewarding.
3. Continuum of care
In speech therapy in subacute settings, patients may be permanent residents or at least staying a few weeks. This extending period of time allows a speech therapist to see patients daily, create functional goals, and actually work on them! In hospitals, patients may be discharged before much therapy happens. Therefore, this continuum of care if nice. There is less worry about no-shows or insurance not approving sessions as well.
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 subacute settings 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. If you are considering doing speech therapy in a subacute setting, I suggest inquiring about the productivity expectations.
2. Insurance and medicare
Meeting medicare minutes can be stressful. Speech therapy sessions tend to 1:1 which makes this even harder to see all your patients and making sure their minutes are met.
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.