My name is Kristen Hushen, and I am a second-year Speech-Language Pathology student here at Salus University. I went to West Chester University for my undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I have been living in and around the Philadelphia area my whole life!
I am lucky I knew what I wanted my career path to be since high school. I have been motivated to get to this point in my education ever since my nephew was diagnosed with a speech and language delay at a young age. I went with him to his first appointment and was in awe of the speech-language pathologist. I knew from that moment on, that this was the career I wanted to pursue. Speech-language pathology is an extremely diverse and rewarding field with an immense amount of possibilities. It is exciting to know that I will never be “bored” with my job.
So now that you know a little bit about me, here is what my normal day looks like:
6:15 a.m. First alarm goes off. I am the kind of girl that needs to be allowed to hit snooze a few times to ease myself into the day.
6:45 a.m. I actually get out of bed. First thing I do is drink a nice big cup of coffee and think about how I need to send the creator of Keurig a thank you note. I then hop on the treadmill (we’ll see how long this New Year’s resolution lasts), pack up my lunch and dinner (which is usually meal prepped on Sunday), and eat breakfast.
7:00 a.m. I hop in the shower and get ready for the day. Last semester, my externship was at Moss Rehabilitation Hospital doing outpatient therapy for the traumatic brain injury population which required business casual clothes every day. This semester, my final externship is with Elwyn – an internationally recognized human services nonprofit organization - providing home care early intervention services for children aged three to five-year-olds. Those little guys like to run around so this semester my wardrobe has switched to much more comfortable clothes... which I’m not complaining about.
8:00 a.m. I check Waze and Google Maps and make sure I am taking the best route with the least amount of traffic to Northeast Philadelphia.
8:45 a.m. I arrive to my first student’s house and meet my supervisor outside of their door. Each student is seen for 45 minutes either in their home, preschool, or daycare setting. We do a whole lot of driving around Northeast Philadelphia which took me a little while to get used to (I’m not the greatest parallel parker). Each student has different goals including articulation, receptive & expressive language, and social skills which are targeted during play-based therapy.
12:00 p.m. I usually quickly eat a granola bar and cut up apples for lunch on my way to one of my student’s houses.
3:00 p.m. We’re done for the day! I now drive from Northeast Philadelphia to Salus for our night class. I usually stop somewhere and load up on some more caffeine (Dunkin’ girl all the way).
3:30 p.m. I get to Salus and whip out my Praxis prep book to study for the next hour and a half. I take the Praxis on March 9th and still have a lot of studying to do. You need to pass this big bad comprehensive exam to become a certified speech-language pathologist.
4:45 p.m. I get to class. I am always excited to see all of my classmates. We share our triumphs and horrors that we experienced throughout the day at our externships while we eat our dinners. I have made some truly great friends here at Salus and will be sad when I cannot see them every day.
5:00 p.m. Class starts. We have class Tuesday through Thursday for two hours.
7:00 p.m. Time to head home! I am always happy to miss the rush hour traffic.
7:45 p.m. I finally get home for the day. I plan what I am going to be doing with my students tomorrow and organize my materials. Luckily our class work is lighter now that we are in our last semester, but it’s time to start job searching and working on my resume! We have a literature review for our Capstone project due soon which I will also work on.
9:00 p.m. NETFLIX TIME! I wind down for bed with a show and some tea. Currently watching The Crown, highly recommend.
10:00 p.m. Set my alarm for tomorrow, and doze off thinking about how I am going to be doing it all over again tomorrow!