Today


There’s a naiveté about being a new clinician. Stumbling through therapy sessions, wondering if you are talking too much, giving the right prompts, or using the right technique.  As a supervisor sits, watching, I wonder “What does she really think about my skills?” Sweaty hands.

Everyone has been through the process. Courses. Syllabi. Ethics. Evidence. Rationale. Professionalism. A constant flood of lists, charts, and data. Why does it seem that I should be at a higher level than the one I am now? Why must I still ask why?

I’m still new at this. Designing therapy like a pathologist’s pauper, hoping if I do it his or her way, perhaps I will find my own. Asking what seems like an obvious question, followed by a much more obvious answer. Hand to face. Why didn’t I think of that?

A child talks out of turn. I must look incompetent. This one picks his nose and touches my iPad. I need a hand wipe, but don’t want to seem overly clean. Why can’t kids just leave their nose alone?

So. Many. Goals. I started with one client, now I have forty times that. Constantly thinking what’s next. Tally marks. Was that right? Wait, did they say “cab” or “cap”? Crap. Did that one just say shit?

Lunch seems like a break from my thoughts. Email. Twitter. Take a picture. Enjoy this moment because soon I will be eating alone, instead of taking time to chat. Conversation turns to the how. The why. Why Alaska? Why not.

Halls filled with faces, unknown. That child is confused, should I step in? I’m new. Wearing a visitor’s badge. I already look creepy, just leave him be. Gather the kiddos. Make sure I don’t lose them on the way back to speech. Now, which one is which? Are you this one or that one?

End of the day. Let’s hear it. How did I do? Oh. I forgot to do that. Wait, you think I did well?

Driving home. Wondering if this illusion wears off. I’m having fun, not working all day. How can a job be more than  a passion? How can a degree be more than 9 to 5? With all the newness of being a grad, I’m just so humbled by all the support. If there is no limit, why wait to find more?

dawn_promise_SLP

About SLP_Echo

I am a Speech-Language Pathologist completing my Clinical Fellowship in Alaska.

Posted on January 24, 2013, in #slp2b and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hi!! I can totally relate to you, I am glad I’m not the only one feeling like this in clinic. Great blog!

  2. After being an SLP for 35 years I learn new things from interns! Best wishes on all your new experiences.

  3. So many things they don’t teach you in grad school
    – You will spend inordinate amounts of time telling children to get their fingers out of noses/ear/mouth/pants/other orifices,
    -You will be spit on, split on, sneezed on, coughed on and sometimes even puked & peed on.
    -You will constantly be sick your first few years of teaching kids.
    -You won’t believe how weird the “normal kids” can be.
    -You will get better at doing therapy- We don’t call it practice for nothing!
    Good luck!

  4. Hi Katie. I enjoyed reading your most recent experiences. It brings back memories when I was beginning in social work/counseling, and as a new teacher. Finding our own style and being ourselves with something we’re new at takes time and patience, for sure. I read your “About Me” and loved how you put it right out there why we should read your blog. Never have seen that before. I think I will do that now on my blog. I’m just starting as a blogger and can certainly learn from your writing. There is so much power in the connections we can make through blogging our experiences and what we’re learning and sharing that. Tomorrow is a promise for new opportunities. Thanks!

  5. Never fear little one, you will never feel like you know it all, and IF you ever do watch out for it is that you should fear because you’ve stopped learning.

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