Being in your clinical fellowship year is challenging, but all SLPs have been there. I wanted to tell you my top ten tips for CFYs so that you can feel more in control during your first year as a speech path!
Speech-language pathology is a tough career partially because of our wide scope of clinical practice. Here are my top 10 tips for people in their speech pathology clinical fellowship year. If you are a visual person, please watch the video because I give more details behind these tips:
1) Don’t Worry about Sucking
I spent a lot of time worried about providing high quality speech therapy to my students. While I’m sure I wasn’t horrible, I definitely have gotten better over the years. What I shouldn’t have expected of myself was perfection. Let yourself off the hook.
2) Don’t Worry about Continuing Education
ASHA gives you a break your first year and doesn’t require you to get CEUs. Don’t try to be a hero and get any CEUs your first year. Take advantage of the break because you will have to accrue CEUs for the rest of your career.
3) Establish Relationships with Staff
Reach out and try to make connections with coworkers. Coworkers really make or break your workplace. Make friends with them to enrich your life.
4) Schedule Vacations and Time Off
Grad school is stressful and you don’t have a lot of money. Take time off and go places.
5) Wing It
It’s okay to wing a few sessions. You have done a lot of planning during grad school, it’s okay to relax during your CFY. Some sessions require more planning than others. And I’ve found out that sometimes going with the flow leads to magical sessions with students and clients.
6) Make the Most of Garage Sales
Hit up those garage sales in the spring, summer, and fall. If you live near a wealthy neighborhood, they have the best garage sales. I have found so many barely used games for very little money at good garage sales.
7) Use Your Speech Pathology Clinical Fellowship Supervisor
Your CF supervisor is an amazing resource for you: use their expertise. I had a wonderful CF supervisor when I was at Chicago Public Schools. She had more than 20 years experience as a bilingual SLP. She helped me feel more confident and I’m so grateful I was able to work with her.
I hope these tips help you make the most of your speech pathology clinical fellowship year! I know you can do it.
Read more about my CFY and other tips here: