Where Do Travel SLPs Work?
Where Do Travel SLPs Work?
By Lee Soren, contributor
Speech-language pathologists can find work in a wide variety of settings, ranging from hospitals to preschools, and travel SLP work is available at many of the same places. Because salaries can vary widely based on the type of facility that's hiring, it's important to understand what short-term positions are available. Here are four kinds of facilities where speech-language pathologists can find temporary positions around the country.
Many speech-language pathologists work in school-based settings. These can include preschools, early intervention centers and K-12 schools.
SLPs who work in an educational environment can expect their job responsibilities to include:
- Performing screenings and diagnostic evaluations
- Working with individuals, small groups and classrooms
- Collaborating with educators, parents and other medical professionals to facilitate learning and social skills
- Developing Individualized Family Service Plans and Individualized Education Programs, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education
- Writing reports and attending reviews
- Educating families on treatments and home care
Schools looking for travel SLPs often prefer applicants with a background in education, and salaries can range from as low as $1,050 to as high as $1,850 per week, depending on the location and assignment.
Home health agencies
Travel SLPs can find plenty of positions at home health agencies across the country. Speech-language pathologists working for home health agencies provide services in a home setting, often working with older patients and individuals whose disabilities may keep them housebound. Home-care patients may include individuals with severe injuries, respiratory diseases and disorders of the central nervous system and patients who've had a stroke.
The job responsibilities of travel SLPs working in home health agencies generally include:
- Working one-on-one with patients
- Creating personalized care plans that incorporate environmental and social considerations
- Addressing functional real-life needs, including speech, swallowing and language comprehension
- Educating patients and families on disorders, treatment and home care
- Collaborating with an interdisciplinary team to deliver services
Home health agencies may seek candidates with specific backgrounds depending on the clients they serve, and salaries can vary widely by location and assignment, ranging from $950 to upwards of $2,000 weekly.
Residential care facilities
Residential care homes, including skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities, often employ travel SLPs to compensate for staffing shortages and sudden changes in the patient population. Depending on the type of residential care provided at the individual facility, SLPs may be responsible for:
- Evaluating residents' speech and language skills
- Diagnosing and treating speech- and language-related problems
- Creating and executing rehabilitative treatment programs
- Addressing functional needs such as swallowing
- Educating patients and families
Residential care facilities often seek candidates with a background in geriatrics. Salaries can vary by location and from facility to facility, but SLPs accepting an assignment in a residential care facility can expect to make somewhere between $1,050 and $1,900 each week.
Hospitals and acute-care facilities
Speech-language pathologists employed in acute-care settings such as hospitals often work with patients who have complex medical issues. They may treat patients who have swallowing disorders or those who are experiencing speech and language difficulties related to strokes, head and neck injuries, respiratory ailments and complications from surgeries.
Their job responsibilities may include:
- Evaluating and treating patients
- Collaborating with an interdisciplinary treatment team
- Consulting with physicians and other healthcare professionals
- Accurately documenting treatments and outcomes
- Educating patients and their families on disorders, treatment and home care
Acute-care facilities often look for SLP candidates with experience in dysphagia management and a firm grasp of medical terminology and procedures. Positions in hospitals and other acute-care settings generally require weekend hours. For a traveling SLP, pay for an acute-care assignment can range from about $1,250 to $2,050 weekly.
Other types of assignments
Although the bulk of travel SLP work can be found in these four types of settings, traveling speech-language pathologists may occasionally find positions at outpatient centers, physician's offices, hearing clinics and colleges. Periodically, corporations may also hire SLPs for short-term assignments as consultants and trainers.
Finding work as a travel SLP
Med Travelers has openings for travel SLPs in facilities all around the country. If you're ready to begin your search, visit our website today to browse our extensive list of available assignments.