A speech pathologist or a speech therapist or a speech-language pathologist is a specialist practitioner who deals with patients presenting with speech difficulties and language speaking inabilities. The job of a speech pathologist includes assessing and treating the patients who are suffering from problems with swallowing, fluency disorders, speech defects, and vocal irregularities. In addition, a speech pathologist guides the patients to practice alternative communication methods and psychologically adapt themselves to their restricted ability.
- Administer hearing, speech and language evaluations, tests and examinations of patients.
- Evaluate hearing, speech and language test results, medical background to diagnose and plan treatment for speech, language, fluency, voice and swallowing disorders.
- Develop, implement and monitor treatment plans for problems such as stuttering, delayed language, swallowing disorders and or voice problems, adjust treatments accordingly.
- Document the initial evaluation, treatment, progress and discharge of patients.
- Instruct patients in communication techniques and teach speech, muscle and breathing exercises.
- A four year course in Bachelor of Speech Pathology is required.
The pay scale of a speech pathologist in Australia ranges from AUD$43,077 – AUD$66,896 and the median being AUD$44,147