Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Hello prospective Speechies!
My name is Sonally Kaur Nyotta. I am a third year BSc Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) student. The first part of my article sheds some light on what the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy (RCSLT) is, and the second gives you an insight to some of my experiences as a second year SLT student, and my future aspirations.
The RCSLT is the Professional body for SLTs in the UK. For SLT students, it is important, as it promotes our education and training. Thus, it is worth visiting both physically, and online to find out more about it, and get more information about what it does for SLTs as a Professional body. As students, you can become members at a subsidized fee, and receive its monthly magazine ‘The Bulletin’, as well as journal articles. It helps you keep up with current events in the ‘Speechie’ world, which is always changing and developing for the better. The RCSLT is also involved in hosting training for qualified and student SLTs to increase their knowledge and clinical skills in the field. In addition, there are several benefits to becoming a RCSLT member, one crucial one for students and newly qualified therapists, is affordable insurance. (This linkhttp://www.rcslt.org/about/docs/member_benefits expands on the benefits of the RCSLT membership further). Hope this may encourage you to decide to become a RCSLT student member in your years of study, and your journey in becoming part of the Professional body.
SLT student and her future
How is my course going? At this stage, I have to admit, it is definitely becoming intense. Not to scare you, but rather prepare you, the second year is definitely a leap from first year. In the first year, you gain lots of knowledge around the subject area, in the second year, most of what you’re learning is more applicable to what you may pursue as a Speech and Language Therapist, once qualified. Both Academic years are very important, and equip you with the skills to help you balance your academia with your placement. Yes, second year is also the year where you commence your clinical placements…
In both second and third year, we have a (term time) weekly placement and a block placement in the summer. As SLTs work with a variety of client groups, the University tries to give you a variety of placement settings and client groups. Currently, I am on my weekly clinical placement, working under a SLT at an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) resource base at a Key stage 1 and Key stage 2 school., I personally enjoy working with children, it’s been very interesting and refreshing to work with this client group, as I haven’t had this kind of exposure before. During placement, as a SLT student, you are given ample opportunities to pick up various clinical skills as well as it being an exciting element of the course. J
I am still not sure what line I will follow as a professional SLT, working with children or adults. I’ve really enjoyed my recent placement working with children with autism, , but at the same time, learning about speech disorders and swallowing this year has made me curious about working with adults, or in a specialist field like voice or stammering. I would love to think I know exactly what area I would want to work in by now, but to be honest, for a first job I would not mind a rotational position (although rare). At least this way I can get the opportunity to decide which client group I prefer working with. Alternatively, recently my interests have gone towards research and intervention. And I have to say I like the idea of early SLT intervention in improving and managing communication disorders.
I hope you can take something from the insight I’ve given you into my SLT student world.
Lastly, from one SLT student to another, I wish you success and happiness in all your future endeavors in this new world! Enjoy the ride!