Cally Stone – Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)
1. In 10 words or less…. What exactly do you do?
As a Speech Language Pathologist I evaluate and treat speech, language, swallowing, and cognitive disorders.
2. Why did you choose this health profession?
I always got in trouble for talking in school and visiting with my friends. I thought I‘d use that skill to make a living!
3. What do you find most rewarding about your health profession?
Making a difference in people’s lives. Communication is the foundation of everything we do as human beings and helping someone learn or regain the ability to participate in life by communicating is very powerful.
4. Is there anything that you don't like about being a Speech Language Pathologist?
Paperwork and documentation is a necessary evil that you have to do no matter where you end up in the profession.
5. Does it require a lot of college to become a Speech Language Pathologist?
Yes, you must have a master’s degree (typically 4 years bachelor and 2 years master) and a Clinical Fellowship Year that is paid but supervised prior to becoming certified as an SLP.
6. What was the best part of your college experience(s)?
I enjoyed my clinical practicums the most as I was able to “practice” speech therapy in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab centers to find out what kind of patient and work setting I liked the most.
7. What are your responsibilities on any given day/week?
My responsibilities vary greatly as I have many different roles as an SLP. As a practitioner, I evaluate and treat patients and complete the documentation for each visit and coordination with other providers such as doctors, nurses, therapists, and teachers. As a business owner, I oversee the staffing needs, scheduling, billing, marketing and management of a private practice SLP clinic, The Talk Shoppe. As a clinical instructor at Idaho State University, I supervise students in their on-campus clinical practicum, set up and oversee their off-campus clinical practicums and teach classes helping to train new SLP professionals.
8. What has been your best day as a Speech Language Pathologist?
I can’t choose a single day. Any day that I ‘m able to make a difference is my best day, whether that is as a practitioner, a business owner, or a professor. The best part of our profession is the versatility and growth it allows an individual to achieve. If I’m at my best as a professional and as a person, it’s a great day!
9. What is the craziest case/illness that you have seen as a Speech Language Pathologist?
Traumatic brain injuries can be pretty crazy because each person’s brain and personality is unique and different yet have some common characteristics. Because of their brain injuries they often say things that aren’t appropriate and have little awareness and usually a poor memory. A straight laced church going young lady who curses like a sailor to her mother always catches a family off guard and leads to a discussion about how the brain injury is talking rather than the patient.
10. Is there any advice you would give someone thinking about becoming a Speech Language Pathologist?
You need to like people. If you’re not a people person, this may not be the profession for you.
11. What can students do now to start preparing to enter into the Health Profession world?
Have a strong work ethic, enjoy learning and embrace change, classes in professional writing and the biological sciences such as anatomy and physiology are helpful.