What is it really like being a Student Speech and Language Therapist?

Hey Guys!

I have had quite a busy month with all my University work, and mainly trying to find things to write about. So I thought this month I would give you a bit of an insite into what it is like being a Student Speech and Language Therapist!

What does a Speech and Language Therapist actually do?!
Well they help children and adults who have difficulties with communication or with eating, drinking or swallowing. They are allied health professionals and work closely with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and doctors. Within the UK, there are nearly 14,000 SLTs based in a variety of settings, including the NHS, schools, charities and private  practice. SLTs work in community health centres, hospital wards and outpatient departments, mainstream and special schools, assessment units and day centres and in their clients’ own home. Some now work in courtrooms, prisons and young offenders’ institutions. So as you can see, it’s a very varied career!!!

I am currently in my fourth and final year of being a ‘Psychology and Speech Pathology’ Student. What is that!? I hear you ask. Well it is similar to a combined honours degree, however when I graduate in July, *fingers crossed I will graduate* I will have a degree in Psychology and a Degree in Speech Pathology! It has definitely been a long hard slog, but I think it will be worth it. I’m not really going to go into depths about completing a degree in Psychology, because really that is very similar to completing any degree (AND I have a little post about it HERE!) It is quite challenging, but it does not compare to the challenges of being a Speech Pathology (well a Speech Therapy) student!

Being a student Speech Therapist (SST) is very different to being say a philosophy student. Your timetable is mainly 9-5, 5 days a week, for the duration of the course. Despite that there are some times, when you do have an off day, but that is placement day! Oh and the odd afternoon off, is when it is time to complete placement preparation. So you really do not get a day off to get any work done. It is quite challenging so you really need good time management skills just to get everything done!

It is fantastic having the experience of being on placement, but it is very difficult getting up at 3am to trail across half of the UK on public transport! The days are long, it is very tiring, but working with a client and them achieving a long term aim of theirs is fantastic! It makes the whole job worthwhile! The opportunity of placements has also helped introduce a wide variety of areas on my CV which are vital when I am looking for my first Newly Qualified Practioner (NQP) role!

Despite being constantly tired and stressed, having no time to socialise, or even care for yourself. I would not choose to study anything else. It is a very rewarding degree and I cannot wait to become a NQP with my own caseload. Yes It is going to be very scary, but I think that I can do it!

After 4 years of studying I finally feel ready to enter the real world!


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3 thoughts on “What is it really like being a Student Speech and Language Therapist?

  1. What do you feel that the extra year has helped you with, is it easier to relate to patients? why would you recommend doing that extra year? Or what motivated you to do it?


    1. I feel like the extra year has helped me to develop my knowledge of the psychological aspects of Speech Therapy. It has helped me understand / relate more to adult clients, and bring it into context.
      I found doing an extra year very difficult, as it is obviously extra work and commitment. When I decided to do the extra year, I thought it would be easier, and that I would not be doing much more than my peers who only did single honours speech therapy.
      I love doing the course but honestly, I cannot wait to graduate and put everything into practice!


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