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10 Least Stressful Jobs of 2011 - 6: Speech Pathologist

  • 6. Speech Pathologist

    Stress Rank: 25
    Stress Score: 12.43
    Hiring Outlook Rank: 28 out of 200
    Hours Per Day: 8
    Income:

    $65,143.00

    Speech pathologists treat hearing, speech, and language disabilities. They assist individuals with communication disorders through diagnostic techniques. Most of the speech pathologists work in schools or in hospitals. With medical advances and the aging baby boomers, the need for speech pathologists is expected to rise as will the opportunities for jobs.

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Wow

I cant believe the comments.   I have been an SLP forever (really only 20 years).  Love my work.    I currently work in private practice with pediatrics.  The practice has administrative personnel to help with much of the extra paperwork.  I just a do SOAP notes, reauthorizations, evals.  it amounts to about an hour of paperwork each day.  I don't love paperwork, but I love working with children an families.  I actually spent more time on unpaid activities when I was a preschool teacher making lot less money.   I also love my flexible schedule! I highly recommend this profession!

COLLEGE STUDENT- NEED HELP

WOW! I am so glad I came across all of these comments! I am a college student seriously thinking about SLP. After reading all this I am not sure anymore. Is there anyone out there who has had a positive experience? Who would say NEVER do this, it's not worth it? What about the money? Are y'all not making as much as the websites say (50,000-80,000) Anyones advice/experience would be very helpful!

I work for a home health

I work for a home health agency and make anywhere between $75-$130 a visit. I usually see 6-7 people and day. I only work part time but made 80k last year. Good luck and hope that helps!

salary

Is this something that can be achieved? That sounds wonderful!

Um??

While reading this, I thought that perhaps I was doing something wrong. Then I read the comments... and I am glad to see that I am not the only one frustrated with the level of stress and other things that are beyond our control as service providers.  I need to find a way to provide a service as an SLP, without the billing and direct therapy. Being spread thin and providing watered down services indefinitely is not my cup of tea. 

maybe a long time ago....

But not now.  I'm so glad I came across this. I was feeling alone in my frustration. I've been working in the schools for 15 years. I'm 90% sure I won't be signing my contact for next year. Between the PLCs, collaboration meetings, team meetings, staff meetings, trainings on common core or how to administer/proctor the latest greatest state exam for the students, not to mention the iep and eval results meetings.  I have no time or energy to complete the report writing or plan fab tx session... Much less, be an active participant in my family's life! During the work day, if I eat lunch, it's as I'm working because it's  .5 hr less of work to take home.  There's now the movement to push in to the class for tx...I can see doing that for some kids, but not for all kids.  Co-teaching?  Not interested, if I had wanted to teach I would have become a teacher.The kids at school now have so many things they're dealing with at home, they're a mess at school...sullen, sad, swearing, disrespectful, hitting and throwing things, if they injure a teacher or staff member, it seems to be that persons fault.  Not ALL the kids are lashing out, but the ones who do get all the attention as we try to PBIS our way to get the kid to change his ways. The kids without behavior problems get lost in the chaos.It used to be that the rapport with kids and other staff kept me in the schools.  Not so much now. And The lack of admin support...retaliation has been a theme in our district the past few years too.I'm hunting for other slp possibilities, but I'm reading others' experiences... I want a job that allows me to help others, but I need to have a balance between the work and the home/family life. Oh, and workouts?   That seems to be less available.Discouraging because I still have student loans to get rid of. I feel so stuck.  (Vent vent vent) 

NOT TRUE

I have been an slp for 20 years and worked in a variety of settings to and it is, indeed, a very stressful job. i don't know one slp who thinks otherwise!

Least Stressful? Not True...

Don't believe this at all! Being in SLP has to be one of the most stressful jobs there is. $65,000 income??? 8 hours a day? In what fantasy land? I wish these stats were true... I don't even make close to that, and student loan payments eat up a third of each pay check. I'm a traveling speech therapist, meaning I have to drive to each of my clients' homes. Some of my clients are 30 - 45 mins away, and I don't get paid for driving time. Sure, you can use it towards taxes, but you'll get maybe $100 - $200 back, when I pay just about $100 in gas PER MONTH. Not to mention all of the paperwork that has short deadlines. Evaluations, re-evaluations, plan of care (POC) reports, addendums, daily progress notes for each session for each client, monthly progress notes, reports to service coordinators, unpaid meetings with service coordinators, random insurance requests for more information about your treatment plan. And I only get paid for DIRECT therapy hours. So, yeah. On paper, it looks like I only work 8 hour days, but that 8 hours is when I'm working with a client face-to-face. Doesn't include driving, paperwork, meetings, time I spend explaining treatment methods to parents/teachers/insurance reps. I have left my house at 6:30am and haven't returned home until about 7:30pm - 8pm. Don't even get a lunch break; pack lunch and have to eat while I'm driving. Then on top of all that paperwork, many of my clients' parents/spouses/guardians seem to think it's perfectly acceptable to call/text me whenever they please. Got a call from a parent at 1am (yes, AM. As in middle of the night 1am) on CHRISTMAS. Of course, I didn't respond right away (An SLP needs sleep too? Who would've thought?!) so the parent got irritated with me. What was this call about? Oh, apparently her friend who's child (with an entirely different diagnosis) also receives speech therapy from another company does this or that, and thinks I should too. I guess my masters degree doesn't mean sh-, huh? On top of that, many of my clients expect me to give them medical advice, and get angry when I'm unable to do so. Not to mention complete disregard for me as a person. Can't count the number of times I've driven 45 mins out to an empty house, after I talked with parent on phone to remind them I'm coming and stand outside for 10 - 15 mins only for them to call/text me and say they had to run an errand. So not only did I drive 45 mins out of my way for nothing, but I'm not getting paid for it either because I can only bill for direct therapy services, and since I was unable to work with the client, I get zilch. There is much more I could rant about, but my fingers are starting to hurt.

I feel for you

I'm also a traveling slp, except I go from school to school throughout the day. I couldn't imagine making house calls. How clear are you on your billing rules? I ask, because for a year I was supposed to count site-to-site driving time as therapy time but wasn't. Sounds icky, but that's how the county wanted it. You might also look into telepractice in your state, or any other state where you hold a license. Good luck to you!

Really?

I am a dietitian and honestly, I always thought it's so much better for the SLPs in terms of pay... Like every time I see my SLP coworkers, I immediately think that lucky them, they're currently making about 10$ more per hour right now... I googled SLP salary and almost want to go back to school for an SLP. RDs get paid like 50k, although I have seen new grads start at 40k, which is pathetic! Hence why I thought nobody makes less than an RD. How much do SLP grads start with in general if you don't mind sharing? Maybe RDs need to stop complaining about their pay, is what I'm thinking.

Don't believe this at all!

Don't believe this at all! Being in SLP has to be one of the most stressful jobs there is. $65,000 income??? 8 hours a day? In what fantasy land? I wish these stats were true... I don't even make close to that, and student loan payments eat up a third of each pay check. I'm a traveling speech therapist, meaning I have to drive to each of my clients' homes. Some of my clients are 30 - 45 mins away, and I don't get paid for driving time. Sure, you can use it towards taxes, but you'll get maybe $100 - $200 back, when I pay just about $100 in gas PER MONTH. Not to mention all of the paperwork that has short deadlines. Evaluations, re-evaluations, plan of care (POC) reports, addendums, daily progress notes for each session for each client, monthly progress notes, reports to service coordinators, unpaid meetings with service coordinators, random insurance requests for more information about your treatment plan. And I only get paid for DIRECT therapy hours. So, yeah. On paper, it looks like I only work 8 hour days, but that 8 hours is when I'm working with a client face-to-face. Doesn't include driving, paperwork, meetings, time I spend explaining treatment methods to parents/teachers/insurance reps. I have left my house at 6:30am and haven't returned home until about 7:30pm - 8pm. Don't even get a lunch break; pack lunch and have to eat while I'm driving. Then on top of all that paperwork, many of my clients' parents/spouses/guardians seem to think it's perfectly acceptable to call/text me whenever they please. Got a call from a parent at 1am (yes, AM. As in middle of the night 1am) on CHRISTMAS. Of course, I didn't respond right away (An SLP needs sleep too? Who would've thought?!) so the parent got irritated with me. What was this call about? Oh, apparently her friend who's child (with an entirely different diagnosis) also receives speech therapy from another company does this or that, and thinks I should too. I guess my masters degree doesn't mean sh-, huh? On top of that, many of my clients expect me to give them medical advice, and get angry when I'm unable to do so. Not to mention complete disregard for me as a person. Can't count the number of times I've driven 45 mins out to an empty house, after I talked with parent on phone to remind them I'm coming and stand outside for 10 - 15 mins only for them to call/text me and say they had to run an errand. So not only did I drive 45 mins out of my way for nothing, but I'm not getting paid for it either because I can only bill for direct therapy services, and since I was unable to work with the client, I get zilch. There is much more I could rant about, but my fingers are starting to hurt.

Who wrote this?

Is the stress score out of ten? Then I might agree with the 12.43 rating. Hours per day: 8.... in direct thearapy services maybe, but what about all the paperwork I constantly take home, reports I do over "breaks" and on weekends and meetings outside of my contracted work hours. Also what is a prep period? Is that like all the times I eat lunch at my desk trying to knock out one more progress note so I can hopefully leave work before 7pm that night? I have never seen a figure like that before because I am on the same salary scale as a teacher, whose work I don't dispute is important, but is in no way as demanding without all of the case management duties required as an SLP. If I get sick, or God forbid have a personal life crisis, I'm screwed because there are no substitutes for me and I have to make up missed services mandated by each child's IEP. I am attending less and less meetings sans advocates and more and more that continue for several meetings until the district caves to what parents what (my longest continuation meeting lasted 14 meetings over the course of 7 months). Whoever wrote this article is out of touch with the work we actually do... it was probably someone from the upper ranks of the district office of a school district :) And I'm sorry to the person toward the bottom who thinks we need to "get over ourselves". I feel really bad for your fiance- no wonder you never hear her complain about her job. If that was the reaction you give her, I wouldn't speak to you about my day at all. To the people on here looking for what else to go into I agree with comments below: Be a school psych and get paid way more to just test. Or just be a teacher- same pay and no case management duties. The job could be amazing, that is the sad part, but it has become less about the important things like providing good evidence based practice and more about satisfying increasingly litigious parent demands about whatever new buzzword they are on a soap opera box about now ("dyslexia" "executive functioning disorder" "full inclusion"), productivity and meeting IEP deadlines without getting caught on recording sayingn something you could make the school possibly liable for. It's gotten so far away the job we all went in to do.

Regarding teaching...

The powers-that-be have done the same thing to public classroom teachers that they've done to SLPs. I know from conversations with colleagues that being a SLP used to be a decent job maybe 8-10 years ago. I'm sorry that it's gone downhill. But the same thing has happened to teaching. Administration sees us as glorified office workers. They want us responding to tons of emails, testing, gathering data, inputting data, crunching data, reporting data, filling out endless forms, taking mandatory surveys, etc. This is on top of teaching 6 and a 1/2 hours a day, running off copies, planning lessons, gathering and preparing materials, attending lots of meetings, returning parent phone calls and emails, etc. We also work nights, weekends, and so-called "vacations."  Teaching has always been a demanding job, but it used to feel more rewarding. Now it just feels like never-ending punishment. I used to feel that SLP was the better choice of career, but now I wonder.

other possible career

Look into Physician's Assistant or Nurse Practioner--probably about as difficult in terms of program rigour, is about the same education cost, but heck of a lot more options, career ops, and pay!

How I am making the transition

I am a TSHH with a CCC-A. I have worked as an audiologist briefly, and have spent 20+ years workingas a school-based speech therapist. In 2002, already at wit's-end, I purchased a 2-family home, and became a small-time landlady. Now I own a second building, and when my apartments are fully rented, I bring home almost as much as I net a month teaching. No IEPS, no Medicaid, no bullies.I actually had t go to court to deal with former tenants who were dealing, and I have to tell you that it was not 1/100th as stressful as a single day being a pspeech path.I now sustain myself by keeping my eyes open for foreclosures, and the knowledge that I will keep at speech as long as I can, or until I can retire, whichever comes first. I love my students, but I will run, not walk, if given any chance to leave the field.

Agree with all the posts

Agree with all the posts above.  I entered this field to help people.  It has become nothing like that.  We are pushed to use people to make money.  Though no job is perfect, in healthcare or people service professions it is a shame, money is the bottom line.  I have been a hospital based SLP for about 17 years.  I loved my work.  Every description of the stress of each day is entirely accurate.  While each job has a productivity need, the system must change to allow healthcare workers to focus more on serving people and not money.  Yes, I want to leave the field and am currently in the deepest rut of my life grieving that a field I love is no longer what I knew it to be.  Unfortunately, for SLPs unlike other therapy professionals, we make life sustaning decisions all the time.  Feeding tubes, appropriateness to stay at home with family, etc... With such unrealistic demands, we condemn poor patients to a life sentence of never eating.  How would you sleep at night knowing the system did not allow you to do the job right.

The comments above are so sad.

I am a graduating Speech therapist and reading the comments posted here disgust me. Every job, EVERY job has a degree of stress. I can completely understand that the paperwork is horrendous, however this should not detract from how precious our ability to help people is. We are such a specialist group and seeing comments like this saddens me greatly. If you are not happy within your job then leave? And you do have a voice, if you are not happy with your conditions you must raise awareness, or the cycle will continue. 

Key words: graduating slp.

Key words: graduating slp. You have no idea what you're in for sweetie. Welcome to the real world. We'll see you back here eating your words in approximately 5-10 years.

oh come on...

Listen boo boo, when you've been doing it for more than 5 minutes, feel free to chime in. Until then, let the long time SLPs have the floor. It IS stressful, there is no time, and productivity kills your desire to do the job. 

It is draining

i have been a speech path for 16 years. It has become so difficult to juggle the amount of work that is given to me throughout the year with no more pay than a teacher. Our county is short on SLP's so collectively, we are required to pick up the extra students and are given assistants to do the therapy. This leaves the SLP's with doing paperwork and meeting with other professionals. The egos I have to deal with are draining. The teachers, administrators and parents want to dictate therapy and my opinion is secondary. I am pressured to keep students in therapy even though it is unethical for me to do so because they are not improving. I'm so tired of this hamster wheel but I live in a rural area so job opportunities are few and far between. I am trying to write a business plan now and investigate the entrepreneur opportunities available to me. 

re: comments above are so sad

That's what we are trying to do Dear, raise awareness.  But it is more depressing to US who have paid many thousands of dollars and spent years of our lives doing incredibly hard work and jumping through hoops to find the field we imagined has morphed into a monster.  I graduated in 1999 and except for the first few years I have found that working in the school environment is horrible.  The children are always wonderful, the seniors and other populations are NEVER the issue.  Schools have become paranoid slave factories where highly paid administrators are only concerned with avoiding lawsuits and flogging those below.  It is ever-increasing stress to handle a caseload that increases exponentially as everyone seems to think 30 minutes of speech therapy weekly is the difference between life and death for students with serious issues, and the Medicaid billing and other paperwork takes up all your time.  The worst part to me?  Administrators and co-workers.  For SLP's, the psychologist is a key figure for you.  If they are human beings, professional and friendly, you are all set.  You can work together and collaborate well.  If they have their own personality issues or agendas, you are screwed, there is no other way to put it. I would give anything to take back the years I spent getting this degree.  It is not easy.  It was very hard work and I still owe 66 THOUSAND dollars for it.  I am older now and will not likely make enough to pay it off, so if you want to talk depressing, there it is. I'm sorry, but I encourage no one to go into this ruined field.  Until someone creates laws that eliminate all this pressure to "raise scores" without taking into consideration the background or family of children, and also make it less easy to sue school districts over services, this will only get worse.  We have the knowledge to truly help children and adults.  I have experienced the satisfaction of making a life-changing difference for many, but that does not mitigate the misery this field has become.  I would never go into it again, and I would love to find a way to support myself without practicing it full time ever again.  Run, don't walk, to find a different field if you can.  I also think too often we women are put under pressure to "make the best of things" and "put lipstick on a pig".  If the job is misery, say so!  We have to stop being so Pollyanna.  It's one of the reasons this field has become such misery.  Too many people unwilling to state the truth. 

"Disgust?"

If you're a just a graduating therapist, withhold your "sadness" and "disgust" until you've worked awhile.  This is an incredibly stressful job with impossible demands for solving complex student problems with extremely limited time, not to mention huge paperwork demands, zero planning time, and increasingly litigious parents.  if you choose to work in it, great; but give some respect to people providing honest answers about the very real challenges of this job.

Addendum to AMEN!

$65,000 and 8 hours a day?????  Please tell me how to get that job!

AMEN!!

I came upon this ridiculous article while searching for a way to help myself with burnout as an SLP of nearly 30 years in a private practice.  While this job has NEVER been a cake walk, I have never felt the stress/depression/anxiety that I do now.  There has always been the demand of quotas, challenging clients and famlies, paperwork (with not nearly enough time to complete it)...  Now I am faced with increasing demands from management for daily treatment plans/results to be submitted, reports to be completed and submitted within 48 hours, a real division between management and employees, contracts that involve the ridiculous ETR and IEP demands the school SLP's have to deal with, parents who want me to get between them and their child's school therapist (which I never want to do!), school therapists who don't want to collaborate or have anything to do with me (very sad feeling, but I understand, as we are ALL stressed with very little to no time for communication and ideally need to be able to work together), insurance companies that ask for the moon and then deny coverage anyway...  It's amazing to see that no matter what our area of work/job setting, we all seem to be feeling the same way.  With being in a helping profession, I feel there is no one helping us.  Thank God for Linguisystems, Speech Pathology.com, and others for offering us no-cost to low-cost CEU's, as ASHA wants to rob us blind with the cost of courses.  In the past, I would have absolutely encouraged a young person to get into this field, because it is incredibly rewarding and our skills are so greatly needed, but I am afraid I can no longer do it.  How did we get to this and who will help us?? 

Days are full of stress!!!!!!!

I concur with the productivity push the constant searching for clients.  It is sad how our profession has changed over the years :(

That's funny. SLP career nonstressful.

I happened to come across this while searching for information about productivity. Currently, for a SLP in a nursing home or hospital, the productivity expectation is likely to be 90%. That meants that you walk in the door, get your stuff, run from patient to patient, don't take breaks, don't communicate to coworkers or families (unless the patient is there and you can bill for it), and you certainly don't develop any new programs or supervise students. Your day IS stress, because all you think about is how you're going to avoid non-billable time (time that you arent making $$ for your employer). I worry more about what I'm doing to affect my producitivity than what I'm doing with the patient. Sadly, this is what the businesses have created. The career has changed so much in the last 5 years. I have never been more dissatisfied, stressed, and depressed about my job. I'm not sure about working in a school, but if you work somewhere that you don't have a productivity expectation, then stay there!

SLP career non-stressful!

OMG!  I thought I was alone!  I thought I was crazy!  I thought I just was not fast enough to keep up or strong enough to deal!  The stress is outrageous!  I am anxious, depressed and unhappy!  The productivity quota not only puts stress on the clinician, but takes away from quality care!  All I can think about is how I will finish a report in time or what I'm going to do with my next patient, because I have very little time to write reports and no time to plan!  I do love what I do, but sadly I have been searching for other opportunities outside of providing speech and language therapy services due to the stress!  The problem is I am stuck right now, because I have two small children and a husband who also works hard.  In addition, I have student loans I have to pay (like a second mortgage)!  It feels good to read about so many others who feel like I do!  I currently work in a medical setting and eveeryone needs their job so nobody says a word about about how they really feel about productivity and the requirements of this demanding job.  Sadly, it only seems like it is about the MONEY anymore and nothing else!  We should all get together and try to make a change for the better!!!!!!

I did say something in my

I did say something in my facility about unreasonable caseload and ridculous productivity. I was told to do unethical things to meet demands. I asked for help with my caseload and was fired within a week.

Same here

We should not put up with this. Slps need to band together.

OMG I think about leaving the

OMG I think about leaving the field every single day! I'm almost finished with my CF (graduated May 2012). I worked in SNFs before switching to EI. Both settings are not enjoyable at all. The productivity, searching for clients, and terrible manager chased me out of the first job, and lack of guidance plus mountains of paperwork is making me want to leave my current job. I have stress headaches, bring work home, and generally am miserable. What do people end up doing who leave the field completely? I've been searching for ideas without much luck.  

OMG we are the same!! We need

OMG we are the same!! We need to talk..I graduated in May 2012 also. I completed my cfy in a nursing home..hated it, just like you. Then I switched to the school setting thinking I would then love my job..well 5 months later I hate it also and want to quit everyday.. :( now I have no idea what to do!! i have no direction and no thought for what to do now:( have you had any luck with ideas for new careers?? Help!!!

I'm only in graduate clinicals right now...

But I feel the same! I've actually made up my mind to quit graduate school at the end of this semester. Everything I've been feeling about this career has been enunciated by people on the internet feeling the same way, and I don't want to just "get through it" and then "get through" my cfy to hate it, and jump from job to job. It sucks to drop out with 90,000 in debt, but I will do whatever I can to stay sane!!I'm thinking about massage school... Then I'm helping people, I can work for myself, and NOT deal with insurance companies and mounds of unrealistic paperwork, meetings, etc. etc.Maybe you should consider other options... SLP is not the only way!

SAME!!!

seriously lets start a chat group. I graduated may 2013 but am in the same boat. what can we do with this degree that does not suck?

Ditto

Ditto!! (To everything)

Propaganda

This article was written to entice people to enter yet another field people are fleeing from thanks to endless governmental bureaucracy and corporate greed. Complete B.S.

Bunk speech therapy article

I stumbled across this article while looking for information about switching from the schools to an outpatient or nursing home setting.  Of course I'm feeling a little bitter about living through another "IEP season."  The bulk of my school's IEPs are done within several weeks.  Preparing the paperwork and attending all of those meetings is a full time job on top of an already full time job doing things like actually meeting kids to provide therapy.  The expectations can be really high, some teachers still see me as reading/writing specialist.  AAC is super time consuming, and even when you have come up with a solid communication system it can be a struggle to get it used properly in various environments with various people.  Oh, and I don't make $65,000.  I've been a school SLP for 5 years, and I'm eyeing the door. 

It depends of the "school climate"

I am finally, after an exhausting and debilitating 23 years of being a school-based SLP, retiring. Halleluja!It didn't used to be this bad. I actually enjoyed my job for the first, say, 10 years. Parents expectations and threats of Fair Hearing is rising exponentially. Districts are bending to demands. District is expecting us to be at 100% therapy compliance.We don't get subs so we need to make up all missed speech sessions if we take a sick or personal necessity day. In have one school three special day classes I serve in addition to the gen ed speech kids. I have parents dictating to me what tests to give, goals to write, (sometimes in excess of 10 goals), and service levels to provide (one student gets speech 5 times a week).Tell me about it. I get no support at the district level. They are cowardly and ducking lawsuits - instead of sticking up for their staff. Parents are calling the inclusion shots. Kids on the spectrum who cannot handle stress of being in gen ed are mainstreamed, as per LRE.These kids, many of them, are losing it in the classroom: tantrums, tearing up work, lashing out physically at staff and students. The entire classroom has to vacate because we cannot touch the kids.I'm sorry but if this offends anyone but if I'd known what a nightmare this job would become I'd never, repeat, NEVER have gone into speech. Better yet, school psych. Now there's a sweet job - better pay and all you do is test.

I completely hear you about

I completely hear you about school psychologists! It seems a cakewalk compared to what we SLP's have to do...testings, ARDs, IEPs, and providing therapy!

Doesn't sound like you know

Doesn't sound like you know what School Psych's do. Our case loads are much much higher than any SLP's I've seen. We do a ton of testing, including high stakes cognitive testing, also do IEPS and therapy, we consult with teachers about any kiddo they are having difficulties with, work one on one with impacted kiddos, do inservice trainings for all staff, do interventions/counseling for behavior kids (including FBA's and BIPs), many of us run RTI and do system wide change, not to mention being held responsible to watch the backs of everything in regards to legal aspects. Both jobs come with their own rewards and challenges! Don't knock another professional, especially when you work on a team with them, with (I would hope) the same end goal. Just wanted to make sure people weren't getting misinformed here :)

RE: Doesn't sound like you know

Sounds like it can vary widely between school boards. In the school board I worked at, the SLP's were pretty independent from the psychs, and the 2 psych's I worked with had very little work to do compared to an SLP -- just testing and reports.

I thought I was going crazy!!

I have lost it mentally and physically due to the stress of being a school SLP!  It wasn't like this twenty years ago.  I am sooooo glad to read these affirmations of my feelings about this profession.  I wish I could change this late in life but I am a single mom with three small children.  

Hi, I'm in school for SLP?

Hi, I'm in school for SLP? what would your advice to me be?

What Moron Came Up With This?

Least stressful job, my ***! I'm so stressed, I could press a diamond out of my rear end right now.

LOL!!!!!!

I have never read a comment that expressed the stress of this field better than that!  If you can press a diamond out of your rear, quit the dang job!  LOL....thank you so much for that laugh.I have been in speech since 1999.  It is, a HORRIBLE field.  In rehab, it is all about "productivity" and patient care and therapy.....far down the list of priorities of rehab managers.  It ticks me the way they make so much money from our services, then put the screws to us to be more "productive".  A miserable situation for our wonderful patients who DESERVE MUCH BETTER. In schools, it ALL depends on how long you've been there, and WHO you work with.  Most of my situations were so miserable after awhile I had to leave.  Most SLP's are quite mobile of course.  Often, it's the psychologists who make or break SLP positions.  They are either my best friends or I want to spit when they enter the room. Schools are just trying to avoid the mentioned lawsuits, and I have tried to get them to be aware of the "sustainability" issue.  It can't keep going like it is, everyone getting services and on and on and on.  Someone has to exit!  But if you have weak administrators....everyone caves.  Speech paths, I'm positive, have just about the toughest job in the building.  They have all these students all with DIFFERENT goals and objectives!  Too much paperwork and now....billing Medicaid to pay their own salaries.  It's the personality challenges that are the worst part of it, the kids, the best part of it.  Unfortunately, you end up seeing kids who will not benefit due to the co-existing conditions that nobody can mention, behavioral, psych issues, etc.   It's INSANE.  I have high blood pressure, and due to anxiety there have been times I have just had to leave, go to another position. I am positive that if our field were male dominated, it would be a much better field.  Men would never have put up with all the baloney women have been asked to do.  They would have balked and said NO and that would have helped.  But women tend to be "pleasers" and says yes, and here we are. I love what our potential is, or was.  We know alot about truly helping people with serious communication or swallowing problems.  But the times we get to actually do that are so rare, and frankly, most of the time people don't even realize what the students or patients are missing from what we could do for them.  They keep us so busy pushing papers around or tending to baloney we don't have proper time to do it.  Sad.I have never recommended ANYONE going into this field.  Twenty years ago?  A great job and good pay.  Now the pay is alright but more stress you will not FIND.  This article is NUTS.  Run, don't walk, and find another field if you are considering this, or even, in it.  If you don't love stress, you are heading in the wrong direction.  I owe a mortgate, need to work, and am not sure what to do, but I would love to get out of this insane field.  Life is too short.

WTH?

WHO in the world put this as a least stressful career?  Obviously this person isn't an SLP, because let me tell you, my SLP job gets more stressful with each year.  (I'm 5 years in already at a medical facility.)  Plus I only work 4 days per week, thank God for that.  The constant stress of patient expectations, ridiculous producitivity requirements, fighting with insurance and facility red-tape makes me want to pull my hair out.  At my currrent job we have to comple a computer module on how to properly WASH OUR HANDS.  I'm not kidding.  This is the first year I've been so stressed out from my job I'm considering anxiety medication.  

Amen!!

I am an SLP at a SNF. I've worked in the field 10 years and am so miserable. Ugh!! Feel so stuck as an SLP! 

Length of time as SLP

Next month it will be 20 years since I entered this field as an SLP Assistant and continued with school receiving a Masters 14 year ago.  I am exhausted of this field and I think the feeling gets worse after 3 children and more time constraints.  In the beginning and prior to having children, it seemed very manageable.  Now the caseloads are higher at work and the demands higher at home.  The pay does not increase proportional to the stress and education level, so this doesn't allow for paying for the help needed to enjoy this career.  I am leaving the field next year and I am relieved.  The better you get the more parents and patients expect you to have a magic wand and the pressure builds. As a primarily female dominated field it seems we were led to believe we can have it all, career and family, but I disagree.  I am not raising my daughter to believe you can have it all, all at once.

Stress free/I don't think so

SLP's are so in demand we find ourselves in very stressful situations. I work in a school with high-functioning autism and as the referrals come in I find I bring home work every night. Fill in the blank???? Where is this dream job?? Play with kids??? Working with high-functioning autism, I am hit, spit on, etc. Even is I am playing with the kids, I am assessing and taking notes, for a fun report that I will spend the weekend writing. Our reports and triennials are very lengthy.Because there is a lack of SLP's, the IEP's continue to pile. Many of these meetings the parents are sad, angry, in denial, have difficluties with the district, and lawyers are present. Stress free is a joke!!!!! My husband sees that I bring so much work home and there is so much demanded of me, he wants me out of the field. I am going to esthetician school soon. Maybe I can find a per diem SLP, job and work too days a week. I've had it!!!!! 

Good for you!!

I'm a graduate student in my clinicals, but I'm leaving after this semester. I can't take it anymore especially when I know that the "light at the end of the tunnel" is actually just a deeper pit into hell. I'm going to massage school soon. Maybe then I can actually help people. It's truly sad, because I'm sure I'd make a darn good SLP, but I don't have my whole life to waste feeling stressed, anxious, depressed and not having time to do ANYTHING.

A-men, from a Y-chromosome SLP

amen. If you are a male, prepare for social isolation and to be viewed as a curious oddity, than a person. Thebest to hope for on the professional peer front is to find another curious oddity like yourself, if you should be so lucky! Last statistics I read were less than 1% male in the field. The sad part is, if I'm exaggerrating, it's minimal. Prepare to be singled out and ostricized by peers AND professors (in my case), and sadly it does not end when you graduate. Nevermind the fact that ~75% of comm disorders in children occur in males. For a field that touts diversity and acceptance, in practice it's Anything but.

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