When hiring a speech-language pathologist, you may want to know what personal characteristics and attributes a speech-language pathologist job candidate needs to succeed. The right candidate will not only possess the required knowledge and skills specifically for the job, but they will also include skills such as the following:
- Practical oral and written communication skills
- Organizational and time management skills
- Physical stamina
- Hearing acuity to identify, discriminate and understand speech
- The ability to collaborate with others on a team
- Exhibit professional conduct in all professional settings
- Enjoy working with people while displaying compassion and empathy
- Possess honesty, integrity, and a willingness to uphold ethical standards of the profession
While these traits are important, there are three important factors to look for during the hiring process. When hiring a speech-language pathologist, primary considerations include their professional credentials, experience, personality, and ability to provide exceptional care consistently.
The Top Three Considerations When Hiring a Speech Pathologist
A speech pathologist must hold a bachelor’s degree from a credentialed institution. Although most speech pathologists come from various academic backgrounds, common undergraduate majors include communication sciences and disorders, linguistics, language development, and education. A non-negotiable requirement for a speech pathologist is a master’s in speech-language pathology accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The educational program should include clinical or internship experiences. The candidate must hold a license to practice in your state.
Look for a candidate with experience relative to your needs. It is vital that you hire a speech pathologist who has experience treating your specific client base, be that adults or children. The best candidates are those possessing experience in more than one treatment approach for the same disorder enabling them to switch therapy approaches if necessary. Remember to ask all speech-language candidates you consider hiring what type of treatment approaches they possess relevant to your institutional needs.
Clinical strength and experience are meaningless if a patient does not click with a speech-language pathologist. It is crucial to hire a speech pathologist with an engaging personality who can develop a rapport with clients. When hiring an employee who will work with preschool children, seek a therapist who can be silly and fun. For the teenager, pick one who can relate to the teen and get on their level. For adults, look for pathologists who are kind, patient, and have a good sense of humor. Proper matching of personality types is essential for successful therapy, so hire candidates for the demographic you serve.
Hiring for home visits means it is vital you hire a speech-language pathologist who can provide consistent visits. Look for a therapist who offers weekly sessions at a set time on the same day each week. This consistency allows for the therapist to become a part of a family’s routine. When therapy is erratic, you will not see the results you are seeking. Consistency is key to building relationships and providing effective speech-language services to patients.
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