Speech therapists, commonly referred to as speech language pathologists, diagnosis and treat patients for communication, speech and related disorders associated with neurological disorders. To start your career, you will have to obtain your speech therapy degree, usually a bachelor's degree. Although not all doctors who specialize in speech pathology also work with patients who need speech or language therapy services, there are schools that offer accredited training to students who want to pursue this career.
The school you choose to go to will determine the level of education needed for a speech therapy degree. Some schools may require specific courses, while others simply require students to attend lectures and participate in clinical assignments. The programs offered vary depending on the school and what type of education is required for the degree. Once you have received your bachelor's degree, you will then be eligible to apply for employment within the field.
The speech pathology program will typically include clinical instruction. You will be able to attend lectures and clinical work in a medical facility or clinic. You will also have the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities and labs. You will be expected to read diagnostic guides and participate in research projects.
In addition to clinical training, students will complete an internship and training in the school of your choice. Upon completion of the coursework, you will be prepared to pass a written exam and be considered for a certification exam. In order to pass this exam, you must demonstrate both theoretical knowledge and clinical skill. You will also need to complete an examination that will measure your understanding of the speech disorders you specialize in and the areas of speech therapy that you have studied.
If you are working toward a doctorate in speech therapy, there are several options for obtaining your degree. You can attend a four-year university or community college that offers speech pathology programs. You can also complete a Master's degree at a community college or a technical or vocational school that offers speech pathology programs.
As a speech pathologist, you will be responsible for diagnosing and treating speech and language disorders and their complications. Your main role in the treatment process will be to assess the needs of patients and recommend the best course of action. This involves working closely with the patient to identify his or her specific needs, providing communication strategies and educating him or her on how to improve his or her speech and language.