Speech and Language Therapist
Speech and Language Therapists provide support with speech, language, voice, communication, eating, drinking and swallowing.
During my GCSEs, I knew that I wanted to work with people and children. I enjoyed biology and knew a few speech and language therapists who inspired me to explore this as a career.
I studied Biology, Maths and Psychology at A-level, and English Language at AS level. During my A-levels I also took opportunities to gain experience in related areas including classroom support, supporting reading with visually and hearing-impaired children and volunteering in stroke support groups.
After completing my BSc in Speech and Language Therapy at Newcastle University, I started working in the community within mainstream schools and clinics, and special schools.
In this role, I completed my paediatric dysphagia competencies before starting my role in the hospital. I have been working in the acute setting for 2 ½ years, where I’ve started a new developing role in working with neonates and will soon be starting my competencies to carry out videofluoroscopy swallow studies.
Before starting at university, I had no idea that Speech and Language Therapy was so broad! My placement in pre-school complex needs and acute dysphagia really inspired and influenced my journey to be where I am today. I feel so lucky to be a part of an incredibly supportive and driven team that really cares about the patients and families we support.
I love seeing the steps of progress that parents and infants make as you journey together with them – knowing that you played an important role in supporting them to have their first breastfeed or experience with solids can be incredibly rewarding.
I currently work as an acute speech and language therapist in a busy children’s hospital, developing my skills in working with neonates.
My role involves working with children and infants from pre-term to 18 years across several areas including neonates, intensive care, cardiology, respiratory and long-term ventilation, gastroenterology, neurology and neuro-rehabilitation, general paediatrics and surgery.
A typical day involves supporting infants and families with oral feeding and their journey leading up to oral feeds; assessing and managing infants and children with swallow / feeding difficulties and supporting communication.
I also work closely with members of the multidisciplinary team – including dieticians, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
I love seeing the steps of progress that parents and infants make as you journey together with them – knowing that you played an important role in supporting them to have their first breastfeed or experience with solids can be incredibly rewarding. I also enjoy the busy nature of the acute setting – every day is different and I’m always learning.