Helen - Speech and Language Therapist

Who’s this?

Helen is an acute Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) working with patients with acquired swallowing and communication difficulties, and is based at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT)

What’s the story of their career to date?

Helen first heard about the role of a SLT whilst at school studying her GCSEs. Helen did lots of research into this role as well as securing work experience in this area in order to decide this was the role that she wanted to do. Helen successfully achieved the required A-levels going on to University to complete a four-year degree course achieving a BSc in Speech and Language Sciences. Helen successfully secured her first post as a newly qualified SLT taking up a rotational post, gaining lots of experience in many areas before specialising in adult, acute and critical care

What do they do?

Helen receives daily referral of inpatients with swallowing difficulties from across the hospital including medical, surgical and critical care wards. Helens team is extremely busy; therefore, she has to prioritise her work load to ensure that patients are seen as soon as possible. Helen assesses the patient, looking at previous medical conditions that may be relevant, encouraging the patient to try to swallow different consistencies of fluid and diet to confirm that the patient is able to swallow correctly and that things are going down the correct way, also to see how well the patient is protecting their air way during swallow and not at risk of choking. Helen refers patients if needed for a videofluoroscopy and also puts management plans in place based on the initial assessment, looking at different manoeuvres or strategies to support the patient in swallowing as well as giving advice, suggesting a softer or pureed diet in order to support the patient until they are more stable. Helen works as part of a multi-disciplinary team consulting with nurses, doctors and consultants to decide on the overall treatment of the patient

What’s the best thing about their role?

Helen definitely feels that the best part of her role is the patients, seeing them improve each day after the patient has initially been admitted into hospital in a negative situation

Where are they going from here?

Helen has already completed a Master’s degree since qualifying and would like to continue in the area of research, balancing a clinical / Academic career going forward, supported by the NHS

Where can I go from here?

This profile has been created by the Greater Manchester NHS Careers & Engagement Hub in partnership with Central Manchester Foundation Trust. If you’d like to find out more about career opportunities and working in the NHS then email us: careers.hub@cmft.nhs.uk or visit our website www.cmft.nhs.uk/GMCareersHub

How does a role like this pay?

The role of Speech and Language Therapist normally starts at a Band 5 on the Agenda for Change Pay Scale.

The National Careers Service have a section for Speech and Language Therapist where you can find out information about the average pay for the role as well as information about the job and its responsibilities.

Where can I find out more?

This profile has been created by the Greater Manchester NHS Careers Engagement Hub in partnership with Manchester Universities NHS Foundation Trust (Central & Trafford Sites). If you have questions then feel free to contact us.

You can find out more about this role by visiting the Speech and Language Therapist section of the Health Careers website. The site gives information about the role and responsibilities, pay and conditions as well as any qualifications that are required and what the relevant courses or entry requirements are.