Hi, my name is Madison Gates, and I am a first-year Speech Language Pathology (SLP) student and a Salus Ambassador. I am originally from Central Jersey, and I recently moved to Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, to eliminate an extensive commute to Salus.
I attended and completed a five-year master’s program at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), where I obtained a Master of Teaching Degree in Deaf Education. Throughout my time at TCNJ I worked for a speech and language private practice, where I acquired so much knowledge in the realm of speech and language. From my work experience, my interest was piqued. I completed my first master’s degree, and then went to teach in a school district as an itinerant Teacher of the Deaf (ToD). From both work experiences, I learned about myself and what I wanted to do in the future for a career, which I determined to be SLP.
At Salus, we have block scheduling for our classes, which is very different from what I experienced at my previous institution. Though it is a lot of information to process during block scheduling, it is nice to have a schedule in this format since classes are only three days a week. As an SLP student, we all have two clinical blocks that are six hours long. Clinical blocks vary for different students, some have two blocks at the Speech-Language Institute (SLI), some have one SLI block and an SLP group block, and others have one SLI block and a preschool block. Every semester these blocks change, so students can experience different settings and work with a variety of clients. Last semester, I had two clinic blocks at the SLI and this semester my days and clinic blocks changed to one clinic block at the SLI and one block at a preschool. My longest and busiest day this semester is Tuesday, and my shortest day is Wednesday.
Tuesday for me looks like:
6 a.m.: I wake up and get ready for school by making a simple breakfast and my two cups of coffee for the day. I also prepare a quick lunch since I will be at school for a full 12 hours.
7 a.m.: I leave for Salus, to make sure I can get a close parking spot (especially on cold days) and to make sure I can get to class on time despite traffic.
7:15 — 7:30 a.m.: I arrive at school, and go to the classroom to set up my computer and get ready to take notes.
8 — 10:30 a.m.: I attend my first class, which covers the topic of Adult Language Disorders 2: Traumatic Brain Injury and the Dementias.
10:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.: I attend my second class which covers the topic of Dysphagia.
1:30 — 2 p.m.: I have a short break to eat lunch and prepare for my preschool clinic block.
2 — 2:50 p.m.: I prepare and gather any materials I need for the preschool.
2:50 — 3 p.m.: I drive over to the preschool to begin setting up and getting ready for the block.
3 — 5:45 p.m.: I work with two other SLP students and a Clinical Educator (CE) at the preschool. We do activities that support the preschoolers' development of speech and language skills.
5:45 — 6:15 p.m.: We debrief with our CE to discuss various topics that deal with being a school Speech Language Pathologist. We also talk about our session with the preschoolers and address what worked and what could be improved on for next week.
6:15 — 6:25 p.m.: I drive back to campus to meet in a conference room with my other SLP peers to discuss and plan for our next week.
6:25 — 8 p.m.: We all work on and prepare our lesson plans for the following Tuesday.
8 — 8:15 p.m.: I drive home to make dinner and relax for the night.
8:15 — 9:30 p.m.: I eat dinner and get any final things completed that are due for the following day, which could be completing readings, studying, or completing homework.
9:30 — 10 p.m.: I get ready for bed to try to get my eight hours of sleep before my 6:15 a.m. workout the following day.