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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The List

It's official! I'm over half-way done with my last externship for grad school before I become a "real" speech therapist. Hooray. But, while I have been in the nursing home, I've come to realize that the classroom setting doesn't prepare you for most things that you learn out in the field.

Here are some things grad school didn't prepare me for the medical setting:
Funny
- you'll realize that things you say REALLY LOUDLY (because your patients are hard-0f-hearing) can be hilarious to someone else... like when you're doing oral motor exercises and say, "SUCK ON THIS REALLY HARD"
- it is ALWAYS funny when a disgruntled old lady yells "SHUT THE HELL UP" to the senile man who is talking loudly to his very committed spouse who is there to visit

Frustrating
- the pay isn't as good as you think
- if the pay IS good... it's because you're working a helluvalotta overtime hours
- having a "flexible" schedule means that yes, you can take off holidays to be with loved ones, but you will be making those hours up on a weekend
- when hallways are quarantined off due to something contagious, you will DEFINITELY be getting it... sometime.... somewhere
- Medicare sucks.
- writing a beautifully written 3-4 page client report is crap in the real world... no one wants to read that... you get 1-2 lines to tell staff a) what the problem is b) how you're going to fix it c) in what time frame will the patient be "cured"
- you have to be 75-80% productive during the day... but evaluations, meetings, writing time, and/or preparation doesn't count.

Endearing
- a client may want to spend a little extra time with you just so he can tell you how much he misses his wife and that she comes to visit him in his dreams
- the man in his wheelchair always in the hallway carrying a wooden backscratcher just wants to give you a back scratch... and you know what, it feels really good
- the man who can't remember his wife's name or his own phone number to the house he's lived in for 30 years can still tell you the topics of his research when he was getting 2 master's degrees

Misc.
- you will be feeding someone at any given meal of the day, and you will get good at it
- 50% of your time will be spent doing monotonous & repetitive paperwork (if you're facility doesn't have computer documentation)
- Speech Therapy is the lowest on the totem pole... no matter if the setting is school or medical
- 99% of the people in this world have NO CLUE what a speech therapist does ("Why does he need speech therapy? He can talk alright.")

3 comments:

Jen S. said...

My sis-in-law is a music therapist and I get that (what? why?) reaction a lot when I mention to other people what she does. But, she absolutely loves it and she's awesome at what she does. :)

Mom said...

You are so good at what
you do.You'll make a great
speech therapist(or is that
the rapist??? SNL!)

Please don't put
Dad and me in one of those
god-forsaken nursing
homes. I'll live in
your basement before
I am committed to
Shady Lawn or
Oak Haven "Retirement"
Home!
Mom

jb.little said...

Mom, I love that you're making SNL jokes :) Well done!