I said not that long ago that I was pursuing Speech-Language Pathology as a passion first and a profession second. As compelling as that sounds, the passion I have turned somewhat to panic when the reality of meeting my client was upon me. Of course, I had the knowledge base to help me here, but at the same time, this is someone’s kid in my hands.
Over the winter break, I diligently organized a binder full of resources and materials. Since I did not know what type of client I would have, I was stabbing in the dark and hoping something I pulled together would work for me. My parents supported the efforts and gifted me a monogrammed bag that is now known as my therapy bag that carries all my supplies to and from the clinic.
From the outside looking in, one might have thought I had it all together. Surprise! I did not. During our first clinic meeting, we were assigned our first client. Some of my prep work would be put to good use, but I still had many things to do before my first session.
Some of my best ideas come during those hypothetical situations when they will never be executed, and nothing is at stake. The night before my first therapy session had me in a pinch. For all the times I was given a fake client file and asked to come up with therapy ideas and best approaches, I could crank some out, but when it came time for the real deal, I was coming up short. After a few hours had passed and some frantic texts were exchanged, I regrouped and was as prepared as I would ever get for my first therapy session.
Walking out of the session, I felt good. The things that needed to get accomplished got done, and I could begin to better plan out the rest of the semester. It also helped that my kiddo is super sweet and likes to talk. What more could a speechie ask for?!
After everything was said and done that night, a thought came to my mind. The session that took place that night was my one and only first client. I will never have a first session again. I mean, I will have many first sessions with new clients, but this was the big first that nothing will ever compare to during my career. It is a crazy feeling to know from that night forward I will never have the same butterfly feeling or jittery excitement of having my first client. That thought hit me hard. I took one giant step towards my future, and it made me proud of my fourteen-year-old self for choosing a career path that I would grow to love.
I still have a long way to go before I ever get good at what I am doing, but this is a start. I still have degrees to earn and years of practice ahead of me. The old saying is “choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” I think I am well on my way to having this feeling. This does not mean I will not have to work hard to achieve the things I want to achieve, but it does mean that I will cherish the days when I am deep in a career and have an overflowing caseload.
A lifetime is ahead of me as I embark on this adventure towards real adulthood and Speech-Language Pathology as a profession. Reaching the status of being perfect is totally unrealistic in the realm of speech for both the client and clinician. Learning will forever be in my job description. I would not have it any other way because for as long as I am living the speechie life, I will be a work in progress.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018