Speech-Language & Audiology Canada's Student Speak
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This is the last issue of Student Speak for the 2014-2015 school year. Look for the next issue this fall!
In This Issue
Careers in Communication Health: Where Will Your Degree Take You? (Part Three)

Sign Up for This Week in the News!

Congrats to the 2014 Scholarship Recipients

Laurentian University Student Update

Laval University Student Update

McGill University Student Update

University of Montreal Student Update

University of Ottawa Student Update


Western University Student Update
Important Dates

April 2, 2015: CSD Evidence-Based Practice Poster Day at Western University
May 1, 2015: Speech and Hearing Month begins

May 13, 2015: Swallowing Awareness Day
June 30, 2015: Deadline for applications for the fall clinical certification exam
July 31, 2015: Deadline for changes or cancellations for fall clinical certification exam
September 12, 2015Fall clinical certification exam

Upcoming Professional Development Events

April 17, 2015: Workshop in Calgary, AB: Meeting the Needs of  Students with Language Impairments Within an RTI Framework
April 23, 2015: Webinar: First Steps for the S-LP: The Infant-Toddler Showing At-Risk Signs for ASD
April 24, 2015: Workshop in Halifax, NS: Individualizing Hearing Aid Selection and Follow-Up: This Isn't Your Father's (or Mother's) Audiology Anymore
May 29, 2015: Workshop in St. John's, NL: Children Who Struggle to Speak: Establishing Effective Vocal-Verbal Skills for Children with Apraxia of Speech and Other Speech Sound Disorders
June 3, 2015: Webinar: Approaches to Voice Therapy
June 10, 2015: Lunch & Learn (FREE to SAC student associates): Professional Liability Insurance — What Is It and Why Do I Need It? 
August 5, 2015: Webinar: Dysarthria in Progressive Neurologic Disease: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
September 11, 2015: Workshop in London, ON: Aphasia Treatment Across the Modalities


For the most up-to-date information about all of our upcoming PD opportunities, please visit the Professional Development section of the SAC website. 
Careers in Communication Health: Where Will Your Degree Take You? (Part Three)
Communication health professionals working in private practice often enjoy more flexibility and freedom
than those in public service, but their workload can also be less consistent.
You've already made the decision to become a communication health professional, but do you know where you want to work after graduation? This article is Part Three of our "Careers in Communication Health" series, designed to give you a glimpse into real-life careers in speech-language pathology and audiology across different settings. Part One looked at what it's like to work in a medical setting as a hospital-based clinician and Part Two focused on education-based communication health professionals. Part Three, below, explores a day in the life of communication health professionals who work in private practice. 

 
Private clinics make up an important part of the Canadian health-care system. Hundreds of communication health professionals work in private settings across the country, working with individuals of all ages to improve their quality of life. 
 
To get a sense of what it’s like to work in private practice, we talked to three professionals — one speech-language pathologist, one audiologist and one communication health assistant — about their typical workdays. All three had initially planned to pursue careers in other fields, but eventually ended up in communication health. And they couldn’t be happier about where they are now.
 
Starting Out    
 
Paula Moss, S-LP(C), had originally thought about studying medicine but switched to speech-language pathology instead. She took the first job she was offered upon graduating, splitting her days between a head injury clinic and specialized preschools, before working at a community hospital outside of Toronto. Now, she primarily works with children and adults who are on the autism spectrum or who have significant learning disabilities, though she maintains a clinical interest in stuttering. 
 
Moss is grateful for her early experience at the hospital: “My community and hospital colleagues were wonderful mentors and helped me hone my skills in the field of fluency. They taught me how to work with non-verbal and minimally-verbal young children. I couldn't have learned what I did without the wonderful mentoring from more experienced clinicians in and around Toronto.” The position provided Moss with the time she needed to develop her skills and to choose an area of focus. She eventually left to open her own private practice with a clinical psychologist she worked with at the hospital.
 
Jillian Ryan, Aud(C), actually worked as a nutritionist for a year after earning her undergraduate degree, and then decided to study audiology. She landed her first job working in a private practice almost immediately upon graduating. “I was picky about my first job because I saw it as an extension of my training. I wanted a ‘mentor’ audiologist who would further help develop my skills; those you don’t get within a classroom. Thankfully, there were lots of options to choose from and I went into private practice as it allowed for in-depth rehabilitation as well as diagnostic audiology,” Ryan explains.
 
Like Moss, Ryan ultimately decided to open her own private practice, partly so she would have more flexibility and control over her work. “After years of learning various aspects of audiology I felt I wanted to create my own patient care model, run aural rehabilitation classes and determine my own schedule.” She hasn’t looked back since making the decision in 2012: “It has been the best thing I have done. I love what I do.”
 
Cheryl Booker, a communicative disorders assistant (CDA) in Hamilton, Ontario, planned to go into teaching after getting her undergraduate degree. However, she volunteered in classrooms while in school and discovered that teaching wasn’t for her: "I realized that I was more interested in being a resource for teachers, to help students achieve their full potential," she explains. Booker completed the CDA program at Georgian College in 1993 and spent about a year looking for work before taking on a temporary contract with a school board.
 
For Booker, looking for a job was an eye-opening, and sometimes difficult, experience. Two decades ago, “the idea of an interprofessional team in speech or audiology was relatively new; not everyone saw the benefit of having staff that could support S-LPs in therapy.” Booker now works at a private practice part-time to supplement her primary position at the McMaster Children’s Hospital, having gained the clinical skills and confidence she needed to branch out into the private sector from her experience at a community health centre in west Toronto. She genuinely enjoys what she does: “I’m so thrilled that I found this field that I knew very little about.”
 
All in a Day’s Work
 
After spending years working long hours to set up and effectively market her private practice (“the equivalent of three jobs at one point”), Moss now spends three days each week at work. She frequently spends a fourth day working with community agencies and takes a lot of paperwork home with her, since the nature of her patient and client base requires extensive documentation. Moss also devotes a lot of time to professional development: “I spend many hours looking for resources and new research, seeking out people with expertise and looking at the latest in technology. I believe you're never too old to learn!”
 
Ryan’s varied days usually run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, and consist of seeing 8–9 patients or clients each day. She performs diagnostic assessments and hearing aid evaluations and fittings, engages in product discussions and follows up with those who already have hearing instruments. These follow-ups ensure her patients and clients are receiving appropriate counseling and benefiting from their amplification. Ryan also completes assessments for cochlear implants, hosts lunchtime learning sessions with family physicians and offers education sessions to long-term care facilities to teach staff and residents about amplification and hearing needs.
 
Outside of her regular job at the hospital, Booker sees 1-2 clients during evenings or on weekends. These sessions require her to allocate time for preparation and to do follow-ups with the supervising S-LP. In her opinion, the best part about her job is knowing she makes a difference. “The most rewarding aspect is seeing the change both in the children I work with and their families.” Her clients have made a difference in her life, too. “I also feel I am still learning all the time, from my clients and their families as well as the great clinicians I have worked with.”
 
What to Expect  
 
Communication health can certainly be an emotional line of work. For Ryan, the most rewarding part of her job is being a part of her patients’ successes. “I love helping them become better communicators, and getting to know them and their families. We laugh and cry a lot… it’s truly wonderful!” Moss admitted that she still cries each time she receives a thank you note. “It’s wonderful to see clients who we thought would never talk become radio presenters and high school valedictorians, or when a person who stuttered so severely she asked me to find a course at university in which she didn't have to talk, goes on to become a doctor.”
 
Of course, that’s not to say that working in private practice doesn’t come without its challenges. Both Booker and Ryan noted how difficult it has been to understand the business aspect of providing private services. Booker said without hesitation that “the ‘business’ side of private practice work is by far the most difficult.” The second hardest part is the unpredictability: “It’s stressful when you don’t have as many clients as you want or need. The number of clients you have often goes up and down as people reach the limits of the medical benefits they have through work.” Ryan also found she had to learn a lot of business management on the job, since in her experience, “Canadian university programs do not provide enough teaching in the area of private practice.”
 
Ryan said that the hardest part of her job is not being able to help everyone. “You may realize that amplification will improve someone’s quality of life, but they may not be ready for it. It’s frustrating when you know how much they can gain but we have to remember that it’s our job to show them how they can have more independence, better communication, better relationships and more.” Still, she never tires of trying to improve her patients’ and clients’ quality of life.
 
How to Succeed in Private Practice  
 
So what does it take to make it in the private sector? Booker says there are five skills communication health professionals need to succeed: critical thinking, adaptability, openness to feedback, patience and the ability to work with people who have varying, complex needs and learning styles. Her advice to students who want to start their own private practice is to get into business with clinicians who share similar values. Booker also emphasized the importance of being prepared for inconsistencies in your workload, since the number of clients and working hours can fluctuate greatly.
 
Ryan, meanwhile, says the single most important trait a professional needs in private practice is to be a good listener. “Get to know your patients, pay attention to their needs and, most importantly, listen to what they don’t say. Listen to your colleagues too; they might have a better way of doing things and you could learn something new.” Furthermore, Ryan suggests experiencing as many different aspects of the profession as possible to find your specific passion, and to never stop learning. “Continuing education is important as you grow as a clinician. The minute you think you know everything, you know nothing!”
 
After working in the private sector for 25 years, Moss agrees that being patient and understanding are key. Empathy is essential too: in her experience, making an effort to see things from a client’s perspective — ensuring that they don’t feel judged and that they know you care — can make a huge difference. And the most important thing Moss has learned is to value her work. “Too often we give things away for free or don't charge for reports, trying to undercut other S-LPs… we need to act like professionals to be treated as such. Always value yourself, your time and what you do.”
 
In closing, Moss offers one final piece of advice to the next generation of private practice-based clinicians: learn how to market yourself and your business. “I did a marketing course when I went into private practice, and honestly it was best thing I ever did,” she explains. “You may be a great clinician but if you don't promote yourself, if you don't have business goals, you won't succeed.” Moss recommends doing your best to connect with your community, by building up strong relationships with other professionals (like doctors and daycare staff, for example) through networking, offering workshops and giving presentations.
 
In fact, most of her referrals come from other clients or local physicians. Though her practice does advertise, it attracts new clients primarily through word-of-mouth. Moss concludes, “I don't think we do enough to promote our profession. That doesn't necessarily mean advertising; it means reaching out and showing people what you can do to help, to enable them to see the value of what you do.” Although this may sound like a lot of work, the communication health professionals we talked to thought the rewards were well worth it. The road to success isn’t always easy, but then, the best things in life rarely are.
 

Interested in starting your own private practice? Read our next PD Bulletin to find out how you can access a FREE webcast of Tracie Lindblad’s Lunch & Learn: Starting a Private Practice. 


We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this three-part series and that you feel more prepared for what awaits you in your careers. Special thanks go to the following individuals for their assistance with Part Three:

Cheryl Booker, BA, CDA
Cheryl is a communicative disorders assistant (CDA) who works part-time at Little Talkers, a private practice in Burlington, Ontario. She also works at the Chedoke Site of the McMaster Children’s Hospital and monitors CDA students on placement at Georgian College. Cheryl is a former president of the Communication Disorders Assistant Association of Canada.

 
Paula Moss, B.Med.Sc.(Hons), S-LP(C)
Paula is a speech-language pathologist and one of the founders of Moss, Rowden, Freigang & Associates, a multidisciplinary practice in Brampton, Ontario.
 
Jillian Ryan, M.Sc., Aud(C)
Jillian is an audiologist and the owner of NewLife Hearing Health Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

 
Sign Up for This Week in the News!
During your summer break, stay up-to-date with the latest news stories relevant to speech-language pathology and audiology by signing up for our weekly newsletter, This Week in the News

This new and exclusive publication has quickly become a favourite among our members; in fact, many have said it’s one of the most valuable services we offer:

"This is a great service — thanks for initiating it!"

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Read the latest issue of This Week in the News here. 

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Congrats to the 2014 Scholarship Recipients
SAC is pleased to announce the 2014 scholarship recipients. Congratulations to the following student associates:

Elks & Royal Purple Susan Lane Scholarship     
  • Valerie Marshall – University of British Columbia
Elks & Royal Purple Deborah Kully Scholarship
  • Alexandra Schwabe – University of Toronto
Elks & Royal Purple Gordon Leslie Memorial Scholarships:
  • Clara Liu – University of British Columbia
  • K. Casey Kennedy – Dalhousie University
  • Céliane Trudel – McGill University
  • Anne Marie Heard – McGill University
  • Madelaine Ingles – University of Toronto
  • Paige Borger – University of Alberta
  • Stéphanie Sarah Drouin – Laval University
  • Anahita Ruston – University of British Columbia     
  • Katherine Hamilton – Dalhousie University
  • Jaspal Brar – University of Toronto
  • Keri Ng – University of British Columbia
  • Madeleine Tait – University of Ottawa
  • Kathleen Engel – University of Alberta
  • Stéphanie Vachon – University of Montreal
KIDSPEECH™ Scholarship 
  • Andrea Tkalec – University of Ottawa
Grace Margaret Harris Scholarship 
  • Khalil Surahyo – Western University
SAC Scholarships 
  • Cassandra McCaig – Western University
  • Miriam Heavenrich – Western University
  • Jacqueline Smith – University of Alberta
  • Allison MacEacheron – Dalhousie University 

For more information about our scholarship program, please visit the SAC website.
Laurentian University Student Update
Club d'orthophonie: Lipdub 2015
Watch the LipDub created by Laurentian University's S-LP club, with help from
undergraduate and graduate students in the school's S-LP program. 
The fall semester was busy for the speech-language pathology program at Laurentian University. The inaugural class of students to join the master’s degree program graduated and the Speech and Language Clinic officially opened its doors on October 9. The clinic offers training to graduate students and communication health services to the Greater Sudbury community in French and English.
 
The Speech-Language Pathology Club has also been very active this year. Our undergraduate and graduate students have been hard at work, organizing and taking part in various activities including fun events like Yoga Night and Club Days and, more recently, the filming of a LipDub! Our student club representatives have also generously organized fundraising activities: we have raised $1,500 for the program’s second Fluency Camp, which will be offered to school-aged children in our community this summer.
 
We have several other fun events happening soon: a Porketta Bingo to raise funds for clients in need of S-LP services, a St. Patrick’s Day fundraising event and our first-ever S-LP Ball Night to celebrate the end of the 2014-2015 school year. We will also be proudly represented by three of our graduate students at the second International Conference on Language and Territory at Ilia State University in Tbilissi, Georgia this August. The students will present the theses they worked on during their graduate studies.

Roxanne Pelchat, S-LP Student Representative
rpelchat@laurentian.ca
 
Laval University Student Update
The first-year students at Laval University have spent a lot of time at our fantastic simulation centre this semester. Our classes have focused on the clinical application of the theoretical knowledge base we have been building since September, and the simulation centre supports our clinical training in three ways:
  1. The centre is our principal meeting place for large- and small-group workshops. The workshops include learning stimulation and therapy techniques, in-depth case study discussions and intervention plan development.
     
  2. The centre is filled with games, therapy materials, textbooks, standardized testing materials and even iPads. As future clinicians, it is valuable for us to become familiar with the kinds of materials we'll be working with in clinical practice.
     
  3. The simulation centre has rooms where we can practice our clinical skills. The rooms have been set up to mimic clinical settings and have one-way mirrors so that our professors can evaluate and give us feedback on our newly-acquired skills. We are fortunate to have such a safe, positive and welcoming space where we can develop into well-trained clinicians!

Liziane Bouvier, S-LP Student Representative
liziane.bouvier.1@ulaval.ca
 
McGill University Student Update
The new location of the school of communication sciences and disorders at McGill University.

Following the excitement of our 50th anniversary, the school of communication sciences and disorders at McGill moved into the 8th floor of a beautiful office building in the heart of downtown Montreal. Our new facility has classrooms equipped with the latest technology and includes practice therapy rooms, conference rooms, a sound proof booth and even a student lounge. The new location is allowing students to work on group projects more effectively and has made it easy to access all of the wonderful resources and materials that are available. This facility is sure to nurture the clinical and professional development of future S-LP students at McGill!

Right now, students in the S-LP program are busy preparing to host a public hearing screening in the new facility. We are also organizing an event for World Voice Day in April that will promote healthy vocal hygiene and provide voice screenings for the McGill music and education students. As the semester starts to wrap up, everyone is getting ready for their clinical experiences; the first-year students are about to begin spring practicums and the second-year students are heading off to their final internships.

Priscilla Ally, S-LP Student Representative
priscilla.ally@mail.mcgill.ca
 
University of Montreal Student Update
Over the past few months, the University of Montreal’s school of speech-language pathology and audiology (ÉOA) has been helping its students discover the world of research.
 
On March 17, the ÉOA held a “Research Happy Hour” to give master’s and doctoral students the chance to present materials based on recent research. The event gave students the chance to see what’s happening in the ÉOA’s research laboratories and to engage in stimulating discussions. There were about 20 presentations in total to help students learn more about scientific advancements in the professions.

We are also working on developing a similar project in partnership with Laval University that will allow us to exchange the knowledge we've gained through research
with students from different schools.

Natalie Savoie, Audiology Student Representative
natalie.savoie@umontreal.ca
 
University of Ottawa Student Update
The winter semester is in full swing and the audiology and speech-language pathology students at the University of Ottawa are in research project mode. The first-year students will soon be assigned their project supervisors, and the second-year students are preparing posters to present their research findings thus far.
 
To further their learning within specific areas of study, speech-language pathology students are participating in clinical training workshops this year. They attended a two-day workshop about the Lidcombe Program’s Early Intervention for Stuttering in November and will participate in a two-day workshop for the Hanen Centre’s “It Takes Two To Talk®” program this April.
 
Both first- and second-year audiology students learn about various hearing aids from different manufacturers throughout their studies. This year, they broadened their horizons: in October, they travelled to the Canadian Academy of Audiology's 17th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Whistler, B.C., where one audiology student had the privilege of presenting a poster. In April, the students will also have the chance to participate in a clinical training workshop in wax management here in Ottawa.
 
With spring just around corner and clinical placements about to begin in May, the first-years are looking forward to their first placements and the second-years are eagerly awaiting their last ones. Time sure does fly!
 
Alexandra Fiorino, S-LP Student Representative
afior092@uottawa.ca
 
Dominique Côté, Audiology Student Representative
dcote024@uottawa.ca
 
Western University Student Update
First-year audiology students with Professor Moodie at CSD9520 2014 poster day.
Photo compliments of R. Henderson.

In December 2014, the first-year audiology students presented posters of their literature reviews from an evidence-based practice course at Western University’s National Centre for Audiology. The posters covered a range of topics and the event had a great turnout, with many students, staff and faculty attending.

In February 2015, the second-year audiology students performed in-service delivery for the speech-language pathology students. S-LP students rotated around six stations, each one providing them with a hands-on activity or a live demonstration on a topic related to audiology. S-LP students improved their understanding of certain aspects of audiological management and assessment, and audiology students gained valuable interprofessional collaboration experience.

Throughout this school year, students at Western have been busy fundraising for the South Africa Initiative and the Operation Smile foundation. The South Africa Initiative was founded by Taslim Moosa, S-LP(C), and provides S-LP services to less privileged communities, while also fostering a sense of social responsibility within students at Western. Students have committed to collecting and fundraising for resource materials not readily available in South Africa. This July, three second-year S-LP students and their clinical supervisor will work with three non-governmental organizations who service impoverished communities in the country. 

Western students have long been dedicated to raising public awareness of, and fundraising for, Operation Smile, a worldwide children’s medical charity that funds life-changing surgeries for children born with various cranio-facial anomalies in developing countries. This year, we hope to raise enough money to fund 25 surgeries (which will cost approximately $6000) and we are well on our way to achieving our goal!

Katie Findlater, S-LP Student Representative
kfindla4@uwo.ca

Ricky Chow, Audiology Student Representative
rchow23@uwo.ca
 


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