The ability to speak is something that defines most of us, and it’s how we express ourselves to the world around us. Unfortunately, there exist conditions that hinder our ability to speak and make communication much more difficult. For these individuals, there exists a hope to overcome these impediments through counseling with a speech-language pathologist. These professionals are trained to help overcome speech impediments on a psychological level.
However, the nature of a speech pathologist requires a degree of vetting to ensure they are the best for the job. There are certain skills and qualifications to look for before hiring one in your clinic.
#1: Up to Date Training
Perhaps one of the most critical details when hiring a mental health professional, speech-language pathologists included, is that they are up to date on their education. For instance, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) changes as more is discovered about existing mental health conditions. In addition, other steps can be taken to improve and build upon techniques and skills that will ensure your chosen pathologist can handle any contemporary impediments.
To accomplish this extended education, they should be willing and able to attend conferences and take supplementary classes throughout their professional career. Doing so will enable them to keep up with contemporary practices. So, when considering a candidate as a speech-language pathologist, ask them about their plans and practices on continued education and see what lengths they will go to enhance their knowledge further.
Speech impediments are not easily conquered, and it often takes a great deal of time to do so. Patients will struggle and stumble over their words as they attempt exercises or try to explain their situation to their pathologist. This means that the pathologist must retain a great deal of patience and understanding for their client.
If they are short-tempered and prone to frustration when results are not immediate, they will be a poor fit for the position. That lack of patience could backfire and lead to them taking it out on the client who has sought them out for assistance. So, question your candidate’s capacity for patience and make sure they do not have a short fuse before hiring them.
Perhaps the most straightforward aspect of vetting a potential pathologist, verifying their education, is vital to ensure they are the most qualified for the job. Specifically, a qualified speech-language pathologist may need to have:
- A master’s degree relating to speech-language pathology
- An excellent score on the GRE General Exam
- Completed a clinical fellowship
- Successfully passed the Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology
- Obtained a state license for independent practice
- Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
If your candidate possesses all of these qualifications, they are likely to be a worthy addition to any clinic. However, the other qualifiers discussed here are equally important to ensure they are the best possible candidate.
HealthCare Recruiters International (HCRI)
Speech-language pathologists are part of a field that is as much about compassion and understanding as science. This makes judging a candidate’s character in addition to their qualifications a vital practice when hiring for the field. Obviously, it can be challenging to vet one’s personality fully, and there will always be a little bit of trial and error. This is especially true in recent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us to re-evaluate even basic health services.
However, if hiring a speech-language pathologist is proving to be an insurmountable challenge, we at HCRI excel at finding healthcare professionals for all fields. So, if you need a speech-language pathologist, contact us and let us see how we can help you.