I'm torn between becoming a Speech Language Pathologist or Occupational Therapist?

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Learning Something New Everyday in Stockton, California

62 months ago

I have been trying to make up my mind for the longest. I have a personality that is suited to both careers. The SLP program is near me and I can take that in Sacramento. But I was also interested in OT and was wondering what would be a better choice. I was wonder which would be a better field of work? Do you think I should go with SLP, then later if I choose go into OT? The OT program i'm looking at is in San Antonio,TX thats really the only college I'd want to go to. SLP also looks quite boring and I just wanted to know if you've heard or seen this? Sorry for the long post I have alot on my mind and i'm trying to decide before fall session.

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lisa in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey

62 months ago

Learning Something New Everyday in Stockton, California said: I have been trying to make up my mind for the longest. I have a personality that is suited to both careers. The SLP program is near me and I can take that in Sacramento. But I was also interested in OT and was wondering what would be a better choice. I was wonder which would be a better field of work? Do you think I should go with SLP, then later if I choose go into OT? The OT program i'm looking at is in San Antonio,TX thats really the only college I'd want to go to. SLP also looks quite boring and I just wanted to know if you've heard or seen this? Sorry for the long post I have alot on my mind and i'm trying to decide before fall session.

I personally would not recommend either. They are both quite boring. Do you want to watch people eat, choke on and swallow pureed food, or do you want to watch people go to the toilet and put on their pants. If both options sound exciting to you then.. hey go for it.

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lisa in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey

62 months ago

carrie prejean in Joshua Tree, California said: By the way, since all the pageant stuff, I'm out of a job - maybe OT is for me since my beauty isn't gonna pay the bills anymore!

huh. What pageant stuff? What you talkin about anyways? Also I can't figure out what is a TCU in your above post. Oh well I have to go to the dumb job now so I can pretend to do something and bill mucho dollars for whatever it is. Have a half way decent day you poor people out there that still believe the therapy propaganda talk and think therapy is actually something.

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

62 months ago

If you like working along side other co-workers, then OT may be a better option, since many SLPs I know work alone throughout the day. But I think both jobs are pretty boring. If I could do it all over again.....law enforcement all the way!

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

62 months ago

I do have to agree that the caliber of the OT education at the entry-level Master's is ridiculous. I feel I didn't learn THAT much. I did receive good grades on tests and papers, however that is no reflection of how much I know. I feel I do not know that much now after practicing 10 yrs. Do yourself a favor and look into areas outside of healthcare just to make sure that healthcare is something you want to get into. It's not what its all cracked up to be. FYI, both my parents are physicians and my sister is an RN. There is definately security in the jobs however, not guaranteed satisfaction either. But what is guaranteed to give satisfaction anyway?

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Christopher Vanburn in Montesano, Washington

62 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: I do have to agree that the caliber of the OT education at the entry-level Master's is ridiculous. I feel I didn't learn THAT much. I did receive good grades on tests and papers, however that is no reflection of how much I know. I feel I do not know that much now after practicing 10 yrs. Do yourself a favor and look into areas outside of healthcare just to make sure that healthcare is something you want to get into. It's not what its all cracked up to be. FYI, both my parents are physicians and my sister is an RN. There is definately security in the jobs however, not guaranteed satisfaction either. But what is guaranteed to give satisfaction anyway?

I am an OT who specializes in upper thoracic and shoulder impairments. I am a full time consultant to three group orthopedic practices and to national steel fabrication company. I have only a BS in OT. You see, it is up to you.

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lisa in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey

62 months ago

Goodness me original poster Learningsomethingneweveryday, if you didn't want to know the truth why did you ask? You asked if it was boring and we told you yes it is very boring. Carrie was right when she said you can tell them the truth and they don't want to hear. You don't do it yet and you asked people that do it. She was being nice enough to tell you about her experiences. She is not the only one believe me. I hear from people all the time who are so unhappy in OT but cannot change their lives because of circumstances. Many (most?) people hate this job and wish they hadn't wasted their lives on it. It seems you are still a student and are mad that someone tells you how awful the field you have chosen is and you want to deny it and defend your decision. Obviously you have doubts or you wouldn't have posed the question to begin with. I could say you are very immature because you fought back at the person answering your question because she told you what you didn't want to hear. Go ahead into the career we really don't care what you do, we were just stating our opinions.

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Learning Something New Everyday in Stockton, California

62 months ago

Well, goodness me lisa telling me that OT or SLP is boring is not telling me the truth. I wanted to know the full story, why its boring? Carrie is not right because she hasn't told me anything, she just said one thing, then wraped her opinion around that. How do you even know this person is in the field? What cause they said it was boring, that it, it must be easy then to sway you. And I am not swayed by someone telling me the truth I have heard far worse believe me. And I don't have doubts, I have concerns, I have questions like any other student. And you say I am immature for fighting with someone because they are randomly posting on here and not answering my question. Why post? And I can say you are an idiot for following someone's banter like that. And trust me I am more than an adult, so calling me immature, childish, whatever only makes me laugh. Jennifer and OTdude are giving information, you and the other people on here are just looking for a fight.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

62 months ago

Oh, I'm laughing!!!! Carrie, you're cool. It's always good to have a sense of humor. It has saved many a person in the perils of despair.

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

62 months ago

lisa in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey said: OK I will answer why it is boring as best I can from OT standpoint. I thought I did but to me it is very boring because it is tedius and involves constant repetition. I just am not into involving sick people to play with the same babyish toys over and over and over. I am not into ADLs which is the emphasis in nursing homes. (90% of the jobs now are in SNF which is acromym for nursing home). I am not into having the rehab manager harp on and on and on about increasing productivity when you are over 90% average a day. I know they get in trouble if the productity is low and get bonus' if it is high, but they should help out more. I am tired of the sickness and depressing situations encountered everyday. This is just me, hate me if you want for stating my opinion. I really am just doing it to get it off my chest since it is so stressful a job.(to me). People who are on power trips seem to often enjoy this job for some reason.

That pretty much sums it up. Although, I do work for the same company the past 8 years so my job isn't THAT bad. I work in a SNF and have productivity but not as much as many other companies. It does get rote after awhile; although other therapists can argue, "Its what you make of it." Such as the BS thoracic guy...its great he's a consultant and has maximized his learning/teaching potential....my hat goes off to him. However, many students these days are going to be starting their careers in the SNFs since that is where MANY of the jobs are, and what Monmouth Junction OT said is the TRUTH for MANY OTs out there. To the original poster, unfortunately you will get the negative opinions and advice, but you will also get some positive ones too. I actually from week to week on how I feel about what I do for a living. I like the co-workers I work with.....that is a PLUS....for any job you do. I also like the idea that I have helped many people regain their lives again......although what

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

62 months ago

we do IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! Patients do appreciate the help they get, however many will say,"I don't need this or that" i.e.) I know how to put on my shoes! These silly exercises do nothing for me! I'm just here to walk! I'll just have my family/helper get me washed and dressed once I'm home! I'm only here to walk! Occupational what?...I already have a job! I just need to get my legs strong and walk! My aide will wipe my butt! You again? I just wanna walk!!!!!!! So to summarize, I like OT and I get sick of OT at times. If I had to do it all over again in life, I wouldn't chose it again. Kids, mortgage, bills keep me going. I realize I have to RESPECT the career because its what helped me afford to get married, have 3 kids and purchase my condo then house.
Think about what you like to do in life that is enjoyable to do but try to get paid doing it. Good Luck!

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Learning Something New Everyday in Stockton, California

62 months ago

Thanks OTdude I think i'm going to go to school to become an SLP. It seems to be a better fit for me, personally. Then afterward i'll see what else I can do. Then if i'm still interested i'll progress into other areas of therapy.

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rose colored glasses in Ocean Shores, Washington

62 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: we do IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! Patients do appreciate the help they get, however many will say,"I don't need this or that" i.e.) I know how to put on my shoes! These silly exercises do nothing for me! I'm just here to walk! I'll just have my family/helper get me washed and dressed once I'm home! I'm only here to walk! Occupational what?...I already have a job! I just need to get my legs strong and walk! My aide will wipe my butt! You again? I just wanna walk!!!!!!! So to summarize, I like OT and I get sick of OT at times. If I had to do it all over again in life, I wouldn't chose it again. Kids, mortgage, bills keep me going. I realize I have to RESPECT the career because its what helped me afford to get married, have 3 kids and purchase my condo then house.
Think about what you like to do in life that is enjoyable to do but try to get paid doing it. Good Luck!

Do not dispair! Maybe you could instruct those patients in energy conservation techniques in their ADL's so they will have the energy for their dragulation in physical therapy.

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jthurow22@yahoo.com in San Antonio, Texas

61 months ago

Hey LearningSomethinNew gal, I just graduated from OT school in San Antonio. Email me privately at jthurow22@yahoo.com if you would like my impressions of OT and the school here. Good Luck in your decision, it is a tough one, I debated between the two as well.
Take Care,
JT

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cs in Romulus, Michigan

61 months ago

I am a speech therapist in a SNF and I have also done work in the schools. I LOVE MY JOB. I DO NOT FIND IT BORING AT ALL!! If you are not an SLP please do not state that the speech therapy is a boring job; it is insulting to all speech therapist that love their jobs. If people find their jobs boring maybe it is time for a change on their part.

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cs in Romulus, Michigan

61 months ago

Christopher Vanburn in Montesano, Washington said: You will have a wider utilization and way higher job opportunity if you become an OT. Unless you are at a school-based employment, or at a large acute care hospital you will have difficulty to find an 8-hr day job as an SLP. But if you are planning to work only about 4 to 5 hours a day, a less stressful work and with about the same pay scale you should go for being an SLP. As an OT, your have the opportunity to go into physical rehabilitation and cognitive rehabilitation. Ot will also have a wide application into Ergonomics and Industrial application. With the excepetion of gait training you will be working very similar to a physical therapist. But,for a considerably less stressful work go for Speech.

You obviously do not know the field of speech language pathology. There is a huge shortage of speech language pathologist throughout the United States. SLP's can work in schools, hospitals, SNFs, private practice, home care, contract companies, or start your own practice. SLP's can work with children,people with language impairments,speech impairments, stuttering, strokes, aphasia, traumatic brain injury patients, and dysphagia patients, etc. The statement "difficulty to find an 8-hr day job as an SLP" is completely incorrect. I know at least 20 SLP's who have full time jobs in a variety of settings.

As for changes with healthcare payment, the SLP profession gives you other options/job choices. I love working with adults and children, so for me it is a wonderful field with many choices.

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chico in Chico, California

60 months ago

I, too, am in the decision phase about speech therapy vs. occupational therapy. I've watched both professions work, asked lots of questions, and checked out the college coursework, and I hate to say it, but I am still walking the fence as to which one I'd like better. Since I already worked a previous career that I attended college for, I feel that, for some people and some careers, it's really hard to know for sure if you're going to like it/love it until you actually do it for a few months. However, the comments I heard recently from a therapist (not o.t. or slp) who works with o.t.'s and slp's all day really haunt me. She said o.t. can be a real emotional bummer, that the circumstances around so many people who need o.t. can be really be so heavy to deal with. She said she thought speech therapy was much more fun to do, she thought working with kids was fun, and she said speech therapy didn't carry the heavy emotional burden that o.t. does. People get better quicker with speech therapy and are motivated to do so, while they sometimes don't on o.t. I'm leaning heavily towards slp after her comment. If anyone who has worked either profession or done their research I'd love to hear from them. thanks.

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Learning Something New Everyday in Stockton, California

60 months ago

I'm sorry OTdude but it seems as though OT does carry more emotional burden than SLP. And whats wrong with saying that, some jobs are more stressful than others. Don't take it as an attack but more as a statement that can be true given most of the OT jobs posted are dealing with SNF positions. I have never read more upset or emotionally burdened people on here than I have on the SLP forum. And for Megan OT, I read both forums on here and everywhere else. I am certainly not waiting around for new information to be posted because that would be dumb. I have though been fortunate enough to start a SLPA program at my local community college that will give me insight into SLP as a profession. And SLP gives me alot of what i'm looking for in a career, that I don't think i'll get with OT.

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

60 months ago

CC in Utica, New York said: I think both options seem like good careers. When looking at OT and Speech try to remember how broad they can be. It is hard to say if one is more depressing than the other, unless looking into the context. I work in a hand clinic as an OT, and do not find it very depressing, while working at a skilled nursing facility as a speech pathologist may be. It all depends on your setting.

Thank you, that is exactly what I was referring too. Don't worry, LearningSomethingNew, I don't feel attacked. Actually, I didn't feel anything from your post just had to clarify that your thinking is a bit narrow-minded. If I worked in outpt hands making splints all day, then I would think I would be less emotionally disturbed than an SLP in a school with many CP kids. Anyway, good luck in SLPA school. I'm gonna try and get a job with the post office.

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Learning Something New Everyday in Stockton, California

60 months ago

I'm glad OTdude that you don't feel attacked or threated by my post. And I am actually quite open-mined that might explain why I am here listening to different opinions on an OT forum. Anyway good luck in getting a post office position.

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Learning Something New Everyday in California

57 months ago

Thank you KDogg, for your post! I am still leaning more towards OT because like you said it looks at the whole person not just there speech. Also OT looks to be more hand-on than being a speech pathologist.

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KDogg in San Mateo, California

57 months ago

First of all, "Kyle" I love SLPs and have worked with quite a few of them. That comment was directed at you because of your incredulous remarks about OTs. I was saying that is the kind of SLP YOU must be.

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KDogg in San Mateo, California

57 months ago

Van in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: In all good faith I could never recommend to anyone to become an occupational therapist. It is just a field pretty much consisting of nothing. And to be in a nothing field it is very stressful to have to pretend to be doing something. And worse yet is to have to pretend to be doing something of importance. All CNAs know a lot more about ADLs than OTs, but people become OTs to make supposedly more money. OK so if you love CNA work then maybe be an OT.
As far as speech, I wouldn't recommend that either. In my observation it consists mainly of watching people eat and recommending diets to prevent choking, with some cognitive skills thrown. It probably is better than OT because what could be worse than OT. (no ADLs).

There is a difference between completing ADLs for someone and being skilled in retraining someone to complete ADLS independently. CNAs can practice with just a High school diploma and a short program at a vocational school. They do not learn anything about anatomy, physiology, neuroanatomy, biomechanics, cognition and visual processing, etc. etc. Most CNAs I have encountered are in a hurry to "make their rounds" and think dressing someone is teaching them to be independent in adls.

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Suzie Que in Fort Collins, Colorado

57 months ago

Kyle in Salt Lake City, Utah said: (Con't)...

First, you need to grow up and learn how to communicate as an adult with writing and thinking/reasoning skills beyond a fourth-grade level. Then, you have to wake up and find out what is involved in the training of real health professionals - not the make-believe health-care field called OT. You have no opinion about the subject and the more you try to defend your position, the more you expose your profound ignorance and immaturity. And, the more it confirms my long-held beliefs about the type of people who are drawn to this very lame and inadequate "profession." Only thing that keeps OT afloat is Medicare footing the bill - only reason that there's such a "need" out there for OTs everywhere - except in psych where reimbursement is limited at best. So, don't get too full of yourself wearing your OT badge and thinking that you're really doing something - the Medicare and insurance rug could be pulled out with upcoming health care reform in an effort to cut out the waste in the healthcare. And, OT is a big waste of time and money for everyone involved.

So anyone who disagrees with your opinions does "not have a valid opinion about the subject of professionals such as SLPs or PTs?" Isn't this a forum where we are supposed to discuss differing opinions? If I may recall from your previous posts, aren't you an "ex-OT?" Don't you have that same "shallow knowledge base?" What makes you think your opinions so much more "valid?"

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Suzie Que in Fort Collins, Colorado

57 months ago

And where, may I ask, have your "skills and knowledge in the health-care arena" come from if you only have a degree in OT? Since you have the same education as the rest of us, you are unqualified to "have an opinion" because you don't understand what "real therapy" is. Please note that I am not disagreeing with you, I am only questioning your logic.

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NAD in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

57 months ago

I'm have a hard time deciding between the two. Which one would pay more? Be easier to find a position with a hospital? Which one has the highest starting salary? Which one is easier to advance in? Any answers would be well appreciated.
FYI: I've checked all the career websites, looking for some info from some one who personally knows.

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KDogg in San Mateo, California

57 months ago

NAD in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: I'm have a hard time deciding between the two. Which one would pay more? Be easier to find a position with a hospital? Which one has the highest starting salary? Which one is easier to advance in? Any answers would be well appreciated.
FYI: I've checked all the career websites, looking for some info from some one who personally knows.

Hello NAD,

You shouldn't really think about the $$, but more what area of rehabilitation you are interested it. Read descriptions of programs at different schools and interview actual practitioners in areas you think you would like to work - shadowing is great too.

Please be aware that there is a person, this time named "K" who posts the same anti OT rhetoric with different alias over and over in multiple forums. If you notice you don't need a unique email in order to create different alias. One clue, is this person is obsessed with grammar and corrects his or her own grammar and others on discussion boards. I think this person was such a terrible OT clinician his/herself and cannot keep any decent jobs and therefore takes it out on the OT profession. Therefore, I wouldn't take any advice you get here very seriously - even mine. You must see for yourself.

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Nadege in Hollywood, Florida

57 months ago

Hi Kdogg

Even yours?? woaa.. Are u an OT??? If you are... Did you specialize? I'm thinking doing hand therapy

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KDogg in San Mateo, California

57 months ago

I'm just saying be cautious around this blog.

I am a student in my second year and have spent 3 years working with OTs and SLPs as an aide prior to attending school. From what I understand, hand therapy takes some time and it may not be achievable right out of school. I know in CA it is an advanced practice area and requires more coursework after the masters.

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capgirly in New Baltimore, Michigan

56 months ago

I just received my Masters in Speech and Language pathology. I absolutely love the fact that I have sooo many options. I can work in schools, hospitals, and rehabilitation clinics. If you decide you hate working with sick people, you go into working with children. I started out working in a large area hospital. The hospital does not direct hire, they use a subcontract company. However, I have really enjoyed it. I haven't decided if I am going to continue in this area, but its nice to know that I can go into the schools (an area district has already approached me). I don't know enough about OT to comment, but thought I would give you my 2 cents. Good Luck.

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Learning Something New Everyday in Modesto, California

56 months ago

capgirly in New Baltimore, Michigan said: I just received my Masters in Speech and Language pathology. I absolutely love the fact that I have sooo many options. I can work in schools, hospitals, and rehabilitation clinics. If you decide you hate working with sick people, you go into working with children. I started out working in a large area hospital. The hospital does not direct hire, they use a subcontract company. However, I have really enjoyed it. I haven't decided if I am going to continue in this area, but its nice to know that I can go into the schools (an area district has already approached me). I don't know enough about OT to comment, but thought I would give you my 2 cents. Good Luck.

Thank you for the comment!

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SLP4 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

56 months ago

I am an SLP and I have worked for several large therapy companies and let me tell you that none of the SLPs I work with use standardized tests, nor do I sit down for more than 15 minutes on any given day. In fact, I worked ten hours today without a lunch - that is normal for many SLPs to have CRAZY days. ST is extremely difficult now secondary to productivity- which is much more difficult to obtain as an SLP because we don't have large gyms, usually there is only one SLP, maybe two compared to OT and PT, many treatments have to take place in rooms because that's where patients eat, and it takes a lot more encouragement to do therapy with these patients. The patients yell at me all day about being on puree- once in a blue moon do you get to do speech therapy with adults - the rest of the time it's doing swallowing therapy or trying to help some patient with dementia somehow retain his/her memory center. I have had both OTs and PTs from all my jobs ask me how I can stand my job. I keep leaving large companies because it's really disillusioning. Plus, OT and PT make more money even though our jobs are life and death when it comes to patient's airway. I would have done PT any day of the week - I often have to move patients to get them up for therapy. OT- not down with the toileting but they sit down WAY MORE than SLPs and they eat lunch!

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Learning Something New Everyday in Modesto, California

56 months ago

SLP4 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: I am an SLP and I have worked for several large therapy companies and let me tell you that none of the SLPs I work with use standardized tests, nor do I sit down for more than 15 minutes on any given day. In fact, I worked ten hours today without a lunch - that is normal for many SLPs to have CRAZY days. ST is extremely difficult now secondary to productivity- which is much more difficult to obtain as an SLP because we don't have large gyms, usually there is only one SLP, maybe two compared to OT and PT, many treatments have to take place in rooms because that's where patients eat, and it takes a lot more encouragement to do therapy with these patients. The patients yell at me all day about being on puree- once in a blue moon do you get to do speech therapy with adults - the rest of the time it's doing swallowing therapy or trying to help some patient with dementia somehow retain his/her memory center. I have had both OTs and PTs from all my jobs ask me how I can stand my job. I keep leaving large companies because it's really disillusioning. Plus, OT and PT make more money even though our jobs are life and death when it comes to patient's airway. I would have done PT any day of the week - I often have to move patients to get them up for therapy. OT- not down with the toileting but they sit down WAY MORE than SLPs and they eat lunch!

Thank you so much for the comment, it still gives me alot to think about.

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SLP4 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

56 months ago

No problem - I really wanted to address the other comments regarding speech seeming like a piece of cake - it's not in a SNF/hospital - you are actually dealing with life and death sometimes with aspiration/trachs/vents. I don't really sit down a whole lot, maybe a little to write notes, but these contract companies have productivity rates that you do have to adhere to and so you wind up trying to do large groups too so you don't have to clock out and stay late without being paid to meet productivity. All contract companies have productivity if you work for one, and it's a lot harder for SLPs to meet the rates for the aforementioned reasons (my current one wants 90% and evals don't count, only treats). No one really talks about that in grad school - especially mine that was very pediatric-centered. Schools are busy but not as scary license-wise, but it has it's own set of rewards/problems. OT and PT are also busy and yes, more physical and you will have to do with toileting, but I do oral care, which I still try not to gag during. Just being honest, lol. I do have to lift people with CNAs/other therapists, and position people to feed them properly. I think you should definitely shadow as many people as possible to decide- see them in different settings- hospital, SNF, schools, clinics, and grill the people you are with to find out what they ike, what they dislike. Good luck!

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Learning Something New Everyday in Modesto, California

56 months ago

Thank you for the advice,I will try to shadow a few professionals when I can. I was thinking of going for the SLPA program that is offered at my community college and then go from there. But its hard not to also go for nursing, seeing as so many people are going into it. But I don't want/need the pressure, not that kind anyways. I like the idea of being independent and working on my own. Is your being so busy have to do with the fact that Florida as I heard it was a hot bed for SLPs? Meaning very high demand? I want to work in Chicago and possibly be a traveling SLP if life permits. Can you tell me about other settings you've worked in? How was your experience with them?

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Learning Something New Everyday in Modesto, California

55 months ago

SLP4 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: No problem - I really wanted to address the other comments regarding speech seeming like a piece of cake - it's not in a SNF/hospital - you are actually dealing with life and death sometimes with aspiration/trachs/vents. I don't really sit down a whole lot, maybe a little to write notes, but these contract companies have productivity rates that you do have to adhere to and so you wind up trying to do large groups too so you don't have to clock out and stay late without being paid to meet productivity. All contract companies have productivity if you work for one, and it's a lot harder for SLPs to meet the rates for the aforementioned reasons (my current one wants 90% and evals don't count, only treats). No one really talks about that in grad school - especially mine that was very pediatric-centered. Schools are busy but not as scary license-wise, but it has it's own set of rewards/problems. OT and PT are also busy and yes, more physical and you will have to do with toileting, but I do oral care, which I still try not to gag during. Just being honest, lol. I do have to lift people with CNAs/other therapists, and position people to feed them properly. I think you should definitely shadow as many people as possible to decide- see them in different settings- hospital, SNF, schools, clinics, and grill the people you are with to find out what they ike, what they dislike. Good luck!

Thank you for the advice,I will try to shadow a few professionals when I can. I was thinking of going for the SLPA program that is offered at my community college and then go from there. But its hard not to also go for nursing, seeing as so many people are going into it. But I don't want/need the pressure, not that kind anyways. I like the idea of being independent and working on my own. Is your being so busy have to do with the fact that Florida as I heard it was a hot bed for SLPs? Meaning very high demand? I want to work in Chicago and

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SLP Lady in Antioch, Tennessee

54 months ago

I have been a practicing SLP for 10 years and I love my job. I work in a SNF (nursing home) and I eat lunch every day. Productivity has not been an issue for me, but I work for a company that has it's own rehab team. My job is not boring. I do use a lot of standarized tests to show progress and to get patient baselines. As far as being a SLP aide is concerned the American Speech and Hearing Association does not certify and the pay is really low for these postions. Most people who become aides have a very difficult time finding a job. As far as salary is concerned, I am the highest paid of all the therapists (OT and PT). As far as being less stressful than OT I can't believe that. Try explaining to a patient that they may never regain normal speech again or explaining that a patient must eat blended foods for the rest of their lives. I do make excellent money and I have great benefits. I make $88,000 per year. How's that for a career?

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OT09 in Columbus, Ohio

54 months ago

I am a practicing OT and I LOVE my job. My sister is an SLP and loves her job as well. Sure there are things we don't like but that's just part of being in the working world haha! Each job requires similar personalities. I debated between OT and SLP for a LONG time too. I chose OT because I felt as if I could make a difference in someone's life more effectively through this profession vs. speech therapy. That's just me. My sister chose speech for the same reason. SLPs and OTs usually work very closely with each other in most job settings. If you haven't already, I think you should job shadow both to get a better idea. I shadowed an OT in 3 different settings and a SLP in 2 different settings before I made a decision. I had some very rewarding experiences while shadowing an OT, which I also played a big role in swaying me towards their side! If you are a caring, compassionate, patient, creative person you will do GREAT in this field. There are days when there is a lot of paper work but the rewarding factor of this job definitely outweighs the boring part!! Overall, I am COMPLETELY happy with my career choice. By the way...our salaries are very similar. Good luck with your decision...I think either way you will be happy!! :)

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Aries Girl in Modesto, California

54 months ago

OT09 in Columbus, Ohio said: I am a practicing OT and I LOVE my job. My sister is an SLP and loves her job as well. Sure there are things we don't like but that's just part of being in the working world haha! Each job requires similar personalities. I debated between OT and SLP for a LONG time too. I chose OT because I felt as if I could make a difference in someone's life more effectively through this profession vs. speech therapy. That's just me. My sister chose speech for the same reason. SLPs and OTs usually work very closely with each other in most job settings. If you haven't already, I think you should job shadow both to get a better idea. I shadowed an OT in 3 different settings and a SLP in 2 different settings before I made a decision. I had some very rewarding experiences while shadowing an OT, which I also played a big role in swaying me towards their side! If you are a caring, compassionate, patient, creative person you will do GREAT in this field. There are days when there is a lot of paper work but the rewarding factor of this job definitely outweighs the boring part!! Overall, I am COMPLETELY happy with my career choice. By the way...our salaries are very similar. Good luck with your decision...I think either way you will be happy!! :)

WOW! Thank you so much! I like both fields and think I would be perfectly matched for both as well.

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Aries Girl in Modesto, California

54 months ago

SLP Lady in Antioch, Tennessee said: I have been a practicing SLP for 10 years and I love my job. I work in a SNF (nursing home) and I eat lunch every day. Productivity has not been an issue for me, but I work for a company that has it's own rehab team. My job is not boring. I do use a lot of standarized tests to show progress and to get patient baselines. As far as being a SLP aide is concerned the American Speech and Hearing Association does not certify and the pay is really low for these postions. Most people who become aides have a very difficult time finding a job. As far as salary is concerned, I am the highest paid of all the therapists (OT and PT). As far as being less stressful than OT I can't believe that. Try explaining to a patient that they may never regain normal speech again or explaining that a patient must eat blended foods for the rest of their lives. I do make excellent money and I have great benefits. I make $88,000 per year. How's that for a career?

Thanks for the info!

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SLPer in Denver, Colorado

54 months ago

As an SLP in a SNF that is transferring over to a TCU, I can say very definitively that I have a full work day and definitely do not sit on my butt and do nothing. I am sorry to you, OT who posted that you hate your job/life, that you are so unsatisfied in your job and, I suspect, our life. Maybe you should look for a new job/career path and give your job to someone who wants it and will be willing to work hard. It is disgusting to me that you would give such horrible advice to an up-and-comer in out field. How about giving yourself and fellow therapists some credit. Lord know we work hard enough for it.
My first love was acute rehab and I have been looking for a job in that setting for a while. In the meantime I work in a SNF/TCU and enjoy it more than I thought I would. I enjoy the medically complex patients and feel I have learned a lot. It is true you deal with life and death, moreso than in PT or OT. At this facility I deal wih swallowing, speech, language as well as cognition. In fact, I do more cognitive therapy than the OT in my building. I also work PRN in and acute care hospital and love it. I love doing MBSs and the constant learning that takes place in a hospital.
There is also the pediatric route or working in schools, which by no means is an easy job for an SLP. All the SLPs I know in schools are totally overstretched and underpaid.
I would say go SLP. I live my job and can't imagine doing anything else.

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Aries Girl in Modesto, California

54 months ago

SLPer in Denver, Colorado said: As an SLP in a SNF that is transferring over to a TCU, I can say very definitively that I have a full work day and definitely do not sit on my butt and do nothing. I am sorry to you, OT who posted that you hate your job/life, that you are so unsatisfied in your job and, I suspect, our life. Maybe you should look for a new job/career path and give your job to someone who wants it and will be willing to work hard. It is disgusting to me that you would give such horrible advice to an up-and-comer in out field. How about giving yourself and fellow therapists some credit. Lord know we work hard enough for it.
My first love was acute rehab and I have been looking for a job in that setting for a while. In the meantime I work in a SNF/TCU and enjoy it more than I thought I would. I enjoy the medically complex patients and feel I have learned a lot. It is true you deal with life and death, moreso than in PT or OT. At this facility I deal wih swallowing, speech, language as well as cognition. In fact, I do more cognitive therapy than the OT in my building. I also work PRN in and acute care hospital and love it. I love doing MBSs and the constant learning that takes place in a hospital.
There is also the pediatric route or working in schools, which by no means is an easy job for an SLP. All the SLPs I know in schools are totally overstretched and underpaid.
I would say go SLP. I live my job and can't imagine doing anything else.

Thank you for taking the time to reply, I love all the info you guys are giving me. I really like the SLP field and think I might give it a shot after all.

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Fozail Raja in Boca Raton, Florida

54 months ago

Aries Girl in Modesto, California said: Thank you for taking the time to reply, I love all the info you guys are giving me. I really like the SLP field and think I might give it a shot after all.

I think there are a lot of jobs out there for Occupational Therapists.
www.ardorhealth.com

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Aries Girl in Modesto, California

54 months ago

Fozail Raja in Boca Raton, Florida said: I think there are a lot of jobs out there for Occupational Therapists.
www.ardorhealth.com

Your right I do see more jobs for Occupational Therapist, I think the best thing for me to do is get my associate's degree and then go from there. I feel drawn to Occupational Therapy for some strange reason and I don't know why. Maybe its the psychology aspect that is attracting me to the field.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

53 months ago

Has anyone ever thought of "following their passion"? I think both careers seem very interesting as well as PT because you are involved in a process that makes life easier for your patients. You get to see some improvements with people you work with right? I mean, that is great to me! I think it all about what interest you more. Me, I am torn between OT and SLP, but probably going with SLP because I have a strong interest in cognitive function as well as communication techniques. I am an LPN and finishing my BS degree in Psychology. I am not sure where to go from there, but I am attracted to the behavioral and cognitive aspects of healthcare more than anything else. I still have much to learn too, but obviously, I will learn the most by shadowing because these posts are more rants than anything. Nothing personal to anyone in particular.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

53 months ago

Oh also, to comment on some things said earlier about prereqs for OT, yes, there are prereqs for OTs AND prereqs for SLPs. From my research in schools, BOTH claim that you can have an undergrad degree in anything. They just require different prereqs so the process of entering either graduate program is about the same with the exception of the subjects studied.

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jmatthews31 in Memphis, Tennessee

53 months ago

Hi,

I saw this thread and wanted to add my insight as to the SLP in the school setting. I am working on a waiver for a school district completing pre-requisites and graduate program for SLP. SLP in the schools is the most overworked, overstretched, work I have done yet in life. I was offered the job and accepted with only knowing little of SLP and what the actual work consisted of. While the work with the students and seeing them improve is rewarding, the amount of work placed on me is next to impossible, and with the everchanging laws and restraints placed upon school personnel, it has been very very stressful. If I continue in SLP I will hope to work in hospital setting as soon as possible, because from my shadowing of an SLP in that setting, the work while busy of course was nothing compared to exhausted workload of an SLP in the school setting. I have 70 students across 4 schools and I am barely able to see them during the week with the overload of paperwork (which is astronomical). If I could suggest one thing, do not become SLP in the school setting, sure the time off and vacations are nice, but teaching would be the way to go if that is your incentive. If you have any questions whatsoever let me know. I know what it means to struggle with career decisions.

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Aries Girl in Modesto, California

53 months ago

Thank you everyone! I love all the information that all of you are giving me and contributing to this thread.

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chris s c in Sacramento, California

53 months ago

ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia said: Has anyone ever thought of "following their passion"? I think both careers seem very interesting as well as PT because you are involved in a process that makes life easier for your patients. You get to see some improvements with people you work with right? I mean, that is great to me! I think it all about what interest you more. Me, I am torn between OT and SLP, but probably going with SLP because I have a strong interest in cognitive function as well as communication techniques. I am an LPN and finishing my BS degree in Psychology. I am not sure where to go from there, but I am attracted to the behavioral and cognitive aspects of healthcare more than anything else. I still have much to learn too, but obviously, I will learn the most by shadowing because these posts are more rants than anything. Nothing personal to anyone in particular.

although only about 4 or 5 percent of OT's work in mental health settings today that doesn't negate the fact that that is where the profession began! People may work more in SNF's because theirs more money there and because there aren't that many mental health jobs around. But honestly as a holistic profession that began in mental health that is the first thing we usually look for. There is a heavy emphasis on mental health in the curriculum and all those things get implemented in phys dys settings as well! I'm not sure what SLP's learn in school but OT is definitely, even MOSTLY dealing with cognitive disorders, so I'm not sure why you would go to SLP for that reason.

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SLPer in Denver, Colorado

53 months ago

SLPs treat cognitive disorders in subacute settings far more often than OTs do. I work in subacute and that is a big part of my caseload. In that setting OTs work primarily on ADLs.

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