Around this time last year, when I was a first-year graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) Program at New York Medical College (NYMC) School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHSP), I was bewildered as to how the post-graduate students before me saw 20+ clients per week. I never imagined that I would be at the level of independence and comfort where I am at now—yet here I am.
As a first-year graduate student, my experience was focused on learning the concepts and slowly getting clinical experience. I was learning the concepts of speech-language pathology to become a clinician. However, in my second year, I learned how to develop my clinical voice. I have been immersed in such unique clinical experiences for nearly one year and I feel so confident in myself as a future clinician. I worked hospital rotations, saw clients via teletherapy, went to a skilled nursing facility and had the opportunity to experience two very different school populations.
During the second year, many students get to a point where they can narrow down what populations and specialties in which they want to focus. I always knew I wanted to work with children, and this year, I learned that I have a passion for working with children in a school setting. I love the school placements with NYMC because they have partnerships with such diverse schools throughout the area. My first school placement was at an elementary school in Mount Vernon, New York. I worked on building functional communication strategies for children on the Autism spectrum who had limited verbal communication. My supervisor was phenomenal and truly helped me begin thinking and utilizing my clinical voice. She taught me how to build my confidence, advocate for clients and be creative with my lesson plans. My second school placement was at an elementary school in Croton-on-Hudson, where I worked with students with a range of disabilities. This placement helped reaffirm my newfound confidence as I independently led sessions, discovered new materials and teaching strategies, as well as embraced the joys of being in an elementary school setting.
As I begin preparing for graduation and look forward to entering the field of speech-language pathology, I am thankful for my experiences at NYMC. I have made valuable connections and friendships, as well as have received an excellent education that has given me confidence and skills to become a successful speech-language pathologist. Attending NYMC was a necessary step in my journey to becoming a speech-language pathologist and making a difference in my community. I am excited to explore my next endeavors.
To learn more about the Speech-Language Pathology Program at New York Medical College, visit www.nymc.edu/slp or call (914) 594-4510.