Updated: Oct 9
A comprehensive checklist for patients and caregivers while seeking a Speech Language Pathologist
For patients, parents, and caregivers, choosing the right therapist for their speech-related issues is probably the first imperative step toward treatment. This has become rather challenging, as many clinics employ staff who are underqualified or not suitably qualified for the role they are appointed.
It has become a matter of concern to see how non-qualified professionals provide services for issues that don’t fall under their expertise.
To make an informed choice, understanding what to look for in a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and knowing who is best suited for your needs is essential. And this is what our blog aims to address.
Understanding the scope of Speech & Language Therapy
Who is an SLP and what do they do?
Speech Language Pathologists specialize in speech sound ( articulation and phonology), language, fluency (e.g. stammering), voice, cognitive and social communication disorders, along with feeding and swallowing disorders. They work across all age groups right from the pediatric to the geriatric population helping them improve using well-planned, structured treatment techniques.
Things to keep in mind when seeking a Speech Language Pathologist
Check if the SLP
Has strong credentials and qualifications from a recognized university
Is certified and has the required license to practice the profession
Provides an online or offline bio or profile
Has good interpersonal and communication skills
Is trustworthy and experienced
Shows a sense of progress and is open to roping in or recommending other experts when required
Gives regular feedback and updates
Treats you and others politely
Makes you feel comfortable
Provides undivided attention during sessions
Provides proper and adequate clinical facilities.
Testimonials and reviews of other patients, parents, and caregivers.
FAQs to an SLP/ therapist
While meeting a new therapist, patients and caregivers often have umpteen queries. This is quite normal and one should not hesitate or have any inhibitions in doing so.
Here are some questions to ask when meeting or choosing a new therapist.
What are your qualifications and expertise?
Do you have experience or specialization in working with people who have similar concerns?
What will be the treatment plan and how will you be sharing the progress?
How long will each session be?
How many sessions would be required for adequate improvement?
Rights of patients, parents, and caregivers
Every individual has certain rights while seeking treatment for themselves or for their child. To obtain the best possible outcome, one should not hesitate from exercising these rights.
Using this, we have compiled a checklist relevant to rehabilitation services.
Right to Information: Professionals should have a certification and you can ask for their qualifications. A patient has the right to obtain authentic information regarding the health condition, method, and options for treatment. In the case of minors, parents and guardians have the right to observe a session or have access to it visually.
Right to records and reports: Patients, parents, or caregivers should get regular feedback and updates and access to all records and reports.
Right to safety: No professional has the right to verbally or physically abuse the patient.
Right to a second opinion: The therapist cannot deny you your right to change or seek another opinion from a different therapist.
Right to quality care according to standards: Patients, parents, or caregivers should ensure that the clinic or facility is a safe place and clean as per set standards.
Right to transparency in rates: All costs that are levied on patients for services, tests, and treatments rendered by medical establishments have to be made available to the public.
Right to non-discrimination: Doctors and medical personnel cannot refuse treatment to patients on the grounds of gender, sexuality, caste, religion, race, place of birth, or illness.
Right to be heard and seek redressal: If a patient or their caregiver has a grievance against a staff regarding the quality of treatment provided, they have a right to seek redressal for the same.
Right to choose alternative treatment options if available: Once a patient or their caregiver are informed of their treatment options, they are free to choose the course ahead and cannot be compelled to follow a certain treatment without their will.
In conclusion, you have the right to be involved in the therapy sessions of your child or family member, receive information regarding their goals and progress in therapy, and have access to the records.
If you feel that your rights are not being respected or that you are not being given adequate information about the treatment protocol, do not hesitate to speak up.
At ZM Speech Care Clinic, we provide complete care and transparency. Our team is well-qualified and has the required expertise to treat issues related to speech, language, communication, and feeding disorders. And you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.
For appointments, contact 99628 64000