Photo, From left to right: Haley Robbins, MS, CCC-SLP; Caroline Goodson, MA, CCC-SLP; Nicole Reese, MSP, CCC-SLP, Sue Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP
When you think of a speech language pathologist, you probably think of someone who helps children pronounce their sounds correctly. That's the impression a lot of people have, but it only tells part of the story.
"The diversity within the field is one of the things I enjoy about it," said Sue Johnson, a certified speech language pathologist at Iredell Health System (IHS). Johnson earned her master's degree in communication disorders at the University of Michigan. "We work in a variety of settings and with people who are dealing with many different disorders."
May is Better Speech and Hearing Month — a time to spotlight communication disorders and the life-changing treatment speech language pathologists provide. Iredell Health System's speech therapy program is a part of the System's comprehensive rehabilitation services.
"We don't only work on articulation of words," Caroline Goodson said. She earned her master's degree in speech language pathology at UNC Greensboro. "We also help people with cognition deficits, voice disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders, swallowing disorders, facial droop, and stuttering, social language use and accent modification."
In order to become a certified speech language pathologist (CCC-LP), one must earn their graduate degree, pass a national exam and complete a clinical fellowship year. All four of Iredell Health System's speech language pathologists have earned that designation.
Haley Robbins became interested in language development while she was an undergraduate student at East Carolina University, where she also earned her master's degree.
"I enjoy the direct impact we have on the quality of life of our patients," said Robbins.
Struggling with things like speaking, eating and swallowing can be frustrating. Nicole Reese obtained her master's degree in speech pathology at the University of South Carolina. She says helping her patients overcome those obstacles is what she enjoys the most.
"When I work with someone who has issues swallowing, I enjoy helping to make them safer and to improve their quality of life."
For more information on speech language therapy and other rehabilitation services available through Iredell Health System, call 704-878-4529.