Before graduating, a speech language pathology student must take a clinical fellowship year. This year is an opportunity for speech language pathologists to apply their theoretical knowledge from academia into real life situations. Applying these skills helps the speech language pathologist recognize possible strengths and weaknesses, helping her focus on what skills to develop and refine. The clinical fellowship requires 36 weeks of full-time work, with 35 hours of work each week. 80% of the time invested in this training should involve direct contact with a patient who fits within the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s scope of practice.
Demands for speech language pathologists is expected to grow 21% over the next several years. The soaring rate is primarily due to increasing lifespans. As senior patients can expect to live longer, there is greater potential for them to develop speech and language impairments. Yet, when you become a speech language pathologist, you are not limited to helping the elderly. A significant amount of growth is also occurring in pediatric care. Children with autism need help to communicate; in addition, kids who have suffered accidents and sports injuries may develop language problems..
As a clinical fellow, you will be working under a mentoring speech language pathologist. The speech language pathologist should communicate openly with you about expectations and performance. Your mentor ultimately decides whether or not you should be accepted as a practicing speech language pathologist. As you carry out your tasks, he or she will alternate between direct supervision and indirect management. During indirect management, your mentor will review your reports, records, and treatment plans. He or she mentor must be someone who has ASHA certification, holds a current CCC-SLP, and is not related to you in any way.
When they are accepted to practice, speech language pathologists can work in a wide number of environments including hospitals, speech clinics, and schools. A clinical fellow’s work environment depends on where her mentor is located. Schools are the most common settings for many clinical fellows, but with such high demand you are likely to find a work environment that fits within your specialties. Find the position for your clinical fellowship year at Ardor Health today. View the job listing on our website for clinical fellowship openings or call us at 866-425-5768 for more information.