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The right people for the job.

The right people for the job.

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Wood L. (2002)
In a profession with recruitment and retention difficulties, there is a need to be proactive in encouraging the right people into the profession. This article describes the author's experience in coordinating observation requests, providing information to prospective speech and language therapists, and coordinating student placements at King's College Hospital. The content of a two day "Speech and Language Therapy as a Career" course, costing ú40, which is offered to local people is decribed. A total of 33 people have attended two courses, mainly female postgraduates. The responses received from questionnaires filled in at the end of the courses are listed. Direct observation was felt by participants to be the most important part of the course. A follow-up questionnaire was sent to participants six months after the first course. Nine of 13 questionnaires were returned, and showed that all but one of those who replied had applied to study speech and language therapy, had been offered interviews, and seven were offered places (one interview was "too late"). Suggestions of things departments can do to attract people who are right for the job are made, even when they are not in a position to run courses.
Wood L. (2002)
In a profession with recruitment and retention difficulties, there is a need to be proactive in encouraging the right people into the profession. This article describes the author's experience in coordinating observation requests, providing information to prospective speech and language therapists, and coordinating student placements at King's College Hospital. The content of a two day "Speech and Language Therapy as a Career" course, costing ú40, which is offered to local people is decribed. A total of 33 people have attended two courses, mainly female postgraduates. The responses received from questionnaires filled in at the end of the courses are listed. Direct observation was felt by participants to be the most important part of the course. A follow-up questionnaire was sent to participants six months after the first course. Nine of 13 questionnaires were returned, and showed that all but one of those who replied had applied to study speech and language therapy, had been offered interviews, and seven were offered places (one interview was "too late"). Suggestions of things departments can do to attract people who are right for the job are made, even when they are not in a position to run courses.

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Published by: Speech & Language Therapy in Practice on Jul 04, 2013
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SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY IN PRACTICE
SUMMER 2002
20
in my experience
if youwant to recruit the rightpeople to the professioncannot accommodate allobservation requestshave lost sight of thepositive aspects of theprofession
Read this
everal years ago I took on the role ofcoordinating observation requests andinformation to prospective speech andlanguage therapists in addition to coor-dinating student placements at King’sCollege Hospital. As well as developing the helpwe can offer to these people, I have becomeincreasingly aware not only of the importance ofbeing able to offer such help, but also of the asso-ciated difficulties for busy services.There seems to be a great variation in theamount and variety of observation that prospec-tive speech and language therapists manage toachieve: some have tried contacting many differ-ent services with no success whatsoever; othershave been provided with a long, varied and infor-mative programme of observation in their localarea. The reported difficulties are mainly asexpected: lack of time, caseload pressures, confi-dentiality and the need to commit to studentspeech and language therapist training.Whilst these problems are clearly very real it con-cerns me that, with the profession’s current recruit-ment and retention difficulties, we need to ensurewe are attracting the right candidates for training.Those embarking on a training course should bedoing so with as clear and realistic an idea as possibleabout speech and language therapy, and should besure that it is the right decision to suit their skills,interests and personality. For this reason it is impor-tant that they are able to meet and talk to speechand language therapists and are able to get asbroad an idea as possible of the range of work.It is also vital that, as well as promoting the pos-itive aspects of speech and language therapy, wemake people aware of the difficulties and frustra-tions that they might encounter. It is very disap-pointing to hear about trained speech and lan-guage therapists who only stay in the professionfor a short time. This is a huge waste of resources,
S
In a profession withrecruitment andretention difficulties, weneed to be proactive inencouraging the rightpeople into theprofession. As
Lucy Wood 
foundthrough organisingspeech and languagetherapy as a careercourses, such effortsalso bring personalbenefits by remindingus that our work isinteresting, variedand challenging.
of valuable clinical placements and, not least, ofthe individual’s time, effort and money.Although, like everyone else, we have time pres-sures and a primary commitment to our patients,we are lucky at King’s in being a fairly large hospitalservice, with 15 speech and language therapistsanda range of adult specialisms. This has been helpfulin organising our two day
Speech and LanguageTherapy as a Career 
courses.
Diversity
We have continued to offer a day or half day ofobservation to local people but cannot accom-modate every request, especially as they comefrom all over London and further afield. Thetwo day courses developed on from shorter, freegroup sessions we had been running, and werein response to the large number of requests (upto 50 over a year) being made for observation.The first group sessions we ran included talks,videos, displays and the chance to meet severalspeech and language therapists, but could notaccommodate direct observation and, we felt,could not truly represent the diversity withinspeech and language therapy. To provide amuch more thorough introduction, coupledwith income generation for the service, I deviseda programme for a two day course in Autumn2000, costing £40.00 per person. As King’s is pre-dominantly an adult service, community col-leagues from paediatric and learning difficultiesservices were also involved.The course included:an overview of communication and swallowingan introduction to working in the fields ofpaediatrics, learning difficulties and adultacquired disordersinformation on the Royal College of Speech &Language Therapists, career structure andeducation
The rightpeople
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