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What Is a Skilled Nursing Facility Speech Language Pathologist and How to Become One

What Does a Speech-Language Pathologist Do at a Skilled Nursing Facility?

As a speech-language pathologist who works in a skilled nursing facility, you treat short- and long-term patients with a variety of health issues ranging from Alzheimer's disease to dysphagia. You also work with people recovering from strokes, surgeries, and traumatic injuries. Your duties and responsibilities include performing a speech assessment and developing a treatment plan to help each patient reach their rehabilitation goals. You work with other members of the health care staff, from nurses to occupational therapists and social workers. Once the facility releases the patient, you provide appropriate therapy plans to support their continued improvement at home.

How to Get a Job at a Skilled Nursing Facility as a Speech-Language Pathologist

Working at a skilled nursing facility as a speech-language pathologist requires advanced qualifications and skills. You must complete an undergraduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders and then earn a graduate degree in speech-language pathology or a related discipline from an institution accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. You must complete required supervised clinical hours as defined by your state, undertake a post-graduate fellowship, and pass a state licensure exam. Then, you can apply for jobs at rehabilitation facilities and nursing centers, and continue your education via annual, multi-day certification programs to meet state requirements and enhance your professional acumen.