|Specialist Speech and Language Therapist|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
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A day in the life of a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist in the United Kingdom
Do not be afraid to ring around businesses or companies and ask for some work experience.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I work for an NHS foundation trust. The trust provides community healthcare for a large geographical region
What do you do?
I work as a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist in an Intensive Support Team. I work with adults with learning disabilities who have a range of speech, language and communication difficulties.
I also work as a Speech and Language Therapist at a charity for children and adults with Down Syndrome.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I enjoy working with people and with families, and I always wanted a job where I could make a positive impact on others. I love working on different projects and this jobs is very varied. No day is the same! Although my job is fast paced, working for a large NHS Trust means I have opportunities to get involved in lots of different aspects of service delivery and research, which is so interesting.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
No, when I graduated from York I got a job as a secondary school teacher. After a year of teaching, I decided to retrain to become a Speech and Language Therapist.
Describe your most memorable day at work
Doing my first video therapy session during the pandemic was definitely a memorable day!
It sounds really cheesy but most days in my job are memorable - in this job you get to make a huge impact on people's lives and the lives of their families, which is something you don't forget easily.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
Sometimes this job can be quite upsetting, as you work with people who are sometimes quite poorly or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is hard not to take this home with you at the end of the day.
Working in the NHS has its challenges, in terms of staffing levels, sickness and long waiting lists.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
I am very lucky and I work in a very supportive team. Our management understands the pressures and promotes a good work/life balance. Working in the NHS is challenging, however everyone looks after each other and it is a great place to work.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
My placements at University in secondary schools helped me to further develop my time management skills, my planning skills and my interpersonal skills.
What would you like to do next with your career?
I would like to take on more responsibilities and undergo research projects within the department.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Do not be afraid to ring around businesses or companies and ask for some work experience. I rang 6 NHS Trusts before one agreed to give me 2 days work experience in their department. This work experience helped me to get on a University course to train to become a Speech and Language Therapist.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
If you like the look of Jessica’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Jessica a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Jessica to be your mentor.