Speech and Language Therapy AssistantJob Description:
Speech and language therapy assistants support people who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking or swallowing.Job Category:
What you will do:
As a speech and language therapy assistant, you could:
- Work with clients on a one-to-one basis
- Run group work and activities
- Update patient records
- Work closely with speech therapists and education professionals
- Advise clients and colleagues on cultural and language differences if you’re bilingual
- knowledge of psychology
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
As well as:
- Sensitivity and understanding
- Excellent verbal communication skills
- Active listening skills
- To be flexible and open to change (adaptable)
- Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- The ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
- The ability to understand people’s reactions
Restrictions and Requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks
You’ll need to be able to speak a second language that is spoken in the community to work as a bilingual speech and language therapy assistant.
The specific GCSE subjects required to become a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant may vary depending on the institution and country you are in.
However, generally speaking, the following GCSE subjects are often recommended or required for a career in Speech and Language Therapy:
- English Language: Strong communication skills are essential for a career in speech and language therapy, and a good foundation in English language is important.
- Science: Some programs may require or recommend a science subject such as Biology or Psychology, as these subjects can provide a solid understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
- Mathematics: While not always explicitly required, a GCSE in Mathematics can be beneficial for understanding data analysis, statistics, and some aspects of assessment and treatment planning.
- Additional Language: Having proficiency in another language may be an advantage, as speech and language therapy can involve working with individuals who speak languages other than English.
It’s important to research the specific requirements of the institutions or organizations offering Speech and Language Therapy Assistant programs in your area.
Some programs might have additional requirements, such as work experience or relevant volunteering, in addition to GCSE subjects.
You can get into this job through:
- A college course
- An apprenticeship
- Working towards this role
- Applying directly
You could do a college course to get into this job. Relevant subjects in the UK include:
- Level 2 Certificate in Health and Social Care
- Level 2 Certificate in Healthcare Support Services
- Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support
Most health and social care courses include work placements so this could be a good way to get practical experience.
You can do a Healthcare Support Worker Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship or a Senior Healthcare Support Worker Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.
You could start as a healthcare assistant and move into speech and language therapy assistant work, through further training and promotion.
You might have an advantage when looking for jobs if you have volunteering experience in a healthcare setting.
You can apply directly for jobs if you’ve got relevant skills and experience from working in a healthcare setting. Some employers may ask for a qualification in healthcare and high school subjects like maths, English and science.
Remember that requirements can change over time and can vary from one place to another, so it’s a good idea to directly contact the educational institutions or professional associations that oversee speech and language therapy in your country for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 37 to 40 hours of work. You could be required to work between 8am and 6pm.
You could work at a health centre, in a government or private hospital, at a client’s home, in a nursery or at a school.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience, you could:
- Become a team leader and supervise other therapy assistants
- Train to become an assistant practitioner
- Study to qualify as a speech and language therapist