Now that I’ve been living in Alaska for a month, I’m gearing up to start work as a Clinical Fellow. I’ve got my trapper keeper, #2 pencils, and an A+ attitude. That’s all you need for a first day, right? I’m going to go with yes. This “Clinical Fellowship” used to be termed “Clinical Fellowship Year” because it would take a year, now the minimum is 36 weeks or 9 months. Basically you are pregnant with newness and experiencing anxiety, cravings for expensive pens, and wondering what to do with all this money you now make. Maybe it should be called “Clinical Fellowship Pregnancy” (sorry gentleman) or “The Fellowship of Clinicians” (see what I did there?!) or “‘What the heck am I doing?!’ Club”. Just a suggestion, ASHA. Take note.
In addition to having a caseload of clients, IEPs to read, and 50+ kids to get to know, I have to think about the paperwork and mentor-mentee relationship. My supervisor is already amazing; she could take your CF mentor in a fight. That’s what you want when you are in the market for a CF. How much support will I have and what’s my mentor’s fighting stats. She tells me the paperwork isn’t going to be a big issue, and that I should just focus on getting my feet set before we dwell on the minute details of forms. It’s good advice. We have 9 months to get it worked out. But, I’m still keeping myself in check for the info ASHA will be asking for come next spring; here are some places to check into if you are in the SLP-CF market:
- SLP Clinical Fellowship – This is ASHA’s version of “CF’s for Dummies”.
- Certification Standards for Clinical Fellows – Frequently Asked Questions
- SLP-CF Reporting and Rating Form – Form ASHA wants from supervisor to see your skillzzzz
- SLP-CF Supervisor information – Like a parenting guide for your supervisor, so he/she knows how to do this biz
- Application for CCC’s – Form sent to ASHA signing your money over to them. And so they say you are legit.
- Clinical Fellowship Skills Inventory – Descriptions of those skills supervisors are rating
I went to my school where I will be working this year, put decorations up, settled in, and felt like a real boss. Then felt immediately overwhelmed as I opened the client files cabinet drawer. Overwhelmed with anxiety, excitement, happiness, and most of all pure joy. The experience of SLP graduate school culminated in that moment, and a new status of Speech-Language Pathologist washed over me. I let that settle in, simmer. I couldn’t be more prepared. I had great supervisors, professors, classmates, Twitter-friends, , and supportive network to help get me here. Not to mention personal sacrifice, overworked weekends, and commitments. I’ve arrived at a new beginning. A new experience. A Clinical Fellowship Experience.
I think it’s only appropriate to be exceedingly excited. Overjoyed. Ecstatic. Joyful.
If you are pursuing a career in Speech-Language Pathology – keep going. If you have dreams to drop everything and take the SLP Plunge – do it. I am your biggest fan. And if you are ever in Alaska, look me up!