01-25-2008, 07:39 AM
I'm currently working in the corporate world and even though my job pays very well, I can't see myself staying in the corporate environment for the next 35 years so I'm considering healthcare careers.
I was considering Speech-Language Pathology but after shadowing an SLP yesterday, I'm not sure if it's for mine. I was in a private pediatric office and I'm just not sure I could keep up the energy level to do 7 hours worth of therapy with kids, some of which are cognitively low. I think I might enjoy the medical aspect of Audiology more versus the therapy aspect of SLP. That said, here are my questions:
1. Is there any similarity between an audiologist and hospital-based SLP in terms of getting to do medical related stuff?
2. Is it difficult to find jobs with an Au.D?
3. How competitive is admission into a clinical audiology program? I graduated with a very low (below 3.0 GPA) in a science major from a super-competitive Ivy. I do plan on doing post-bac work to help raise my GPA. I'm kind of worried about this because I know that most audiology programs are pretty small.
4. Is it possible to work while going to school? I'm guessing it's fairly difficult but as a non-traditional student, I do have some bills that need to get paid, like my mortgage.
Thanks for taking the time out to answer my questions! I really appreciate it.
01-25-2008, 10:34 AM
1. Is there any similarity between an audiologist and hospital-based SLP in terms of getting to do medical related stuff? Not really. I would say audiologist do more medically related stuff because they do balance testing, as well as Auditory Brainstem Response testing, Biomapping, etc. While an audiologist cannot make a medical diagnosis of anything outside of their scope of practice, we refer to medical management. SLPs generally do therapy, and while they may deal with TBI patients, MR, etc., their scope of practice is even less outside of the medical field.
2. Is it difficult to find jobs with an Au.D? Pretty easy. The need is increasing because baby boomers are generally losing their hearing or developing balance problems. Although the number of audiologists leaving the profession annually is slim, there's always a need to audiologists across the wide variety of settings.
3. How competitive is admission into a clinical audiology program? I graduated with a very low (below 3.0 GPA) in a science major from a super-competitive Ivy. I do plan on doing post-bac work to help raise my GPA. I'm kind of worried about this because I know that most audiology programs are pretty small. It can be pretty competitive, depending on where you apply. Bigger name schools will obviously be more competitive than the smaller, lesser known schools. This does not mean they are BETTER curriculum and experience wise. I would recommend checking out every school you're applying to, and compare facilities and clinical opportunities you will have at each. In general the curriculum will be the same, maybe a few extra classes here and there (like my school offers 18 extra credits in intraoperative monitoring). Make sure that the clinic practicum ensures that you will EASILY meet your required 1800 ASHA clock hours, you don't want to be cutting it close. Most entry requirements are the same: 3.0 GPA, good letters of recommendation, and good GRE scores. I don't know if I would per se recommend a post-bac program to boost your GPA, some of them are pretty pricey and up to two years in length. Take your GREs, see how you do, and if you do really well, go on and apply as is. You might luck out, you never know, and it doesn't really hurt to try before you spend unnecessary money and time on such a program. Yes, programs are typically small. There's 8 of us in my class, 8 in the year ahead of me, and 9 in the year ahead of them. Each of the years generally started around 12-15, but of course dropped out due to academic and personal reasons. Smaller numbers means more competitive, however, in hindsight, there's generally not thousands of applications applying for those 15 spots. The number of applicants depends on the school, obviously.
4. Is it possible to work while going to school? I'm guessing it's fairly difficult but as a non-traditional student, I do have some bills that need to get paid, like my mortgage. I am not going to lie, it's tough. Even though classes are generally at night, you have clinic during the day, random clinic meetings, classwork that needs to get done, lectures/seminars, and even hearing aid rep meetings to go to. I speak for my school in all of the above. Everyone i know who works limits it to the weekends. Apply for a grad assistantship. Even though it doesn't pay much, it's something, and it's usually only 10 hours a week. You'll basically do research and/or be a professor's bitch, but it knocks money off of your tuition as well. Whatever you do, do not think you can tackle a full time job and a full time course load. I spend about 30-40 hours a week on campus over the course of 4 days. It's rough, and I've seen people drop out of the program because they couldn't do it.
01-25-2008, 02:38 PM
I'm still an undergrad, but I'm planning on doing med SLP. Some med SLPs I've encountered strictly see patients with swallowing disorders. They conduct bedside assessments and modified barium swallowing studies with a radiologist. I shadowed two SLPs who work at Children's Hospital Boston as members of the craniofacial team. Their schedule was ideal in my mind. They spend a few days a week at an outpatient clinic, a few days on the wards conducting assessments (including the NICU!) and one day a week attending the craniofacial clinic along with the plastic surgeons and the oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
As far as I can tell most people tend to favor either child or adult populations. Maybe pediatrics isn't for you? If you aren't completely turned off by speech pathology all together, try shadowing one who sees adults in the hospital setting - it's a totally different world!