Blog

Interview with an Expert: Dr. Erik Raj

If you haven’t heard the name Erik Raj, you are definitely missing out.  Erik is a common name in the social media world.  Dr. Raj recently earned the title Dr. and is professor in New Jersey.

Erik loves to teach SLPs how to have fun with therapy and with the use of apps and technology.  You will often find him presenting at state level conventions and the National ASHA Convention (held annually in November in various cities.)  This year Erik will be presenting in Los Angelos at the National ASHA Convention.

Dr. Raj recently started a company that sells fun swag.  Pins by Erik offers a variety of fun, Speech Pathology related pins for your lanyard, name tag or wherever you may wear a pin.

Erik writes a blog that is full of fun and exciting tips and ideas for creating exciting speech therapy sessions.

Erik specializes in fluency disorders or stuttering and often works at Camp Shoutout, a camp for school-age students with fluency disorders.

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ASHA Convention 2017

It’s that time of year again.  That time when SLPs all over the country are preparing for the annual trek to the ASHA convention.  This year the convention will be held in Los Angeles, California.

Whether you are a first-timer or a veteran at the ASHA convention, preparation is key for a successful time in LA!   Be prepared, either way, for thousands of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists to converge in an area and absolutely take over!

I won’t lie, the build-up from ASHA is enormous, but the let-down when it’s over is almost the same.  The jam-packed exhibit hall, spending time with people you see once a year and the rush to get to your next session becomes a part of your day.

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Interview with an Expert: Dr. Eric Blicker

Dr. Eric  Blicker,MA CCC-SLP.D BCS-S,  is a specialist in swallowing and swallowing disorders.   Dr. Blicker holds his Board Certification in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.  In addition to his daily duties as an acute care SLP, Dr. Blicker also owns his own continuing education company, teaching SLPs all over the country about FEES and issues related to swallowing disorders.

FEES is an instrumental assessment for swallowing.  Flexible Endscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) involves using an endoscope with a camera placed in the nostril and into the pharynx (throat) to assess the pharyngeal phase of the swallow.

Dr. Blicker also educates SLPs on patient’s that use  a ventilator (breathing machine) or that have had a trachestomy (artificial airway with a tube in the throat to keep the stoma open).

You can find Dr. Blicker’s continuing education courses here.   You can also find Dr. Blicker on Facebook and LinkedIn where he often shares great information regarding dysphagia (swallowing disorders).

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Expert Insights – Interview with an SLP

Over the next few months, I will be posting a series of articles interviewing Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) in various settings.

Katie Smead is a semi-retired SLP who currently owns her own practice.  What she didn’t state in the interview is that she is also the creator of some very innovative tools for dysphagia which you can find here.

Using her experience with the area of dysphagia (swallowing impairment) and evidence based practice, Katie has developed multiple tools at an affordable cost to assist Speech Language Pathologists in the treatment of dysphagia, in addition to providing journal articles to support clinical use of these tools for a variety of deficits.

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Continuing Education

As I mentioned last month, you can specialize in  3 different areas of Speech Language Pathology and 1 area of Audiology, which more specialty areas coming.  Specializing requires continuing education.  The bad (or good) news is that whether or not you specialize, continuing education is a requirement.

After six years or more in school. you feel like you are ready to conquer the world.  The reality is that you don’t learn everything you need to know in school.

Much of our learning comes from our jobs, from working with a variety of patients or clients and from our colleagues or supervisors.

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Specializing in Speech Language Pathology

I know what you might be thinking.  You go to school for six years, earn your Masters degree and after you graduate, you STILL have to learn!

The field of Speech Language Pathology is quite broad.  We have to know so much about so many areas that most SLPs tend to specialize.  SLPs work in the areas of swallowing, language, motor speech, aphasia, cognition, reading, fluency and voice just to name a few.

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Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking is defined as:  the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.

Critical thinking skills are essential in the field of Speech Language Pathology (SLP).  As a Speech Language Pathologist, your job is to evaluate the patient, determine the correct speech diagnosis and then develop a treatment plan that best rehabilitates that patient.

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Online Resources for the Aspiring Speech Language Pathologist

Whether you are a seasoned SLP or an SLP-to-be, there are numerous resources at your fingertips on the internet.

With the explosion of social media, there are ample opportunities to find employment, ask for completion of surveys for classroom assignments, ask seasoned professionals and make friends with colleagues all over the world.  Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat can be so much more than just an outlet to post pictures of your dinner or the events of your day.

Twitter has a community that has been active for many years known as the SLPeeps.  The SLPeeps is a group of SLPs that connect on Twitter and often meet at the annual American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) convention which is held every November.

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You Earned Your Degree in Speech Language Pathology, Now What?: 12 Settings for the SLP

If you have graduated from,  are currently enrolled in or plan to enroll in a program to become a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), you know that this program requires dedication and hard work.  One of the best feelings is to pass your Praxis exam, finish your Clinical Fellowship Year (the 9 months of paid work after your graduate from your SLP program) and start signing your name CCC-SLP.

While you are in school, you have the world at your fingertips.  This is the time you are trying to decide where you might like to work and what area you might want to specialize.  This is also a great time to start shadowing other SLPs in a variety of settings.

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How to Succeed in an SLP Program – Key Tips

Key To SuccessAs with most aspects of life, what you get out of a Speech Language Pathology (SLP) program is what you put into it. In other words, if you make the most out of your time in a SLP program, you will have a better chance of standing out in the sea of job applicants once you have graduated. Whether you are planning on attending or are currently enrolled in an online or traditional university, you can use these tips to help you succeed both in your degree program and in getting your career started.

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