The Vocal Point

Finding a Work-Life Balance: SLP Edition

The phrase “burn-out” is too common in the SLP world. Many SLPs are overworked, underpaid and sometimes under-appreciated. I’ve been there! I can probably say we’ve all been there including other disciplines. SLPs often have demanding workloads and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for SLPs to prevent burnout and ensure quality care for our patients and clients.

I remember as a CF, my productivity needed to be between 85% and 88%. For those readers that don’t know what productivity is, let me explain. Productivity is calculated by the amount of patients/clients you have and the amount and the hours you are scheduled to be at work. In some places, productivity is expected to be 90%!! As a new CF, this was an impossible standard to meet between treatment session, notes and reports. I remember being told to clock out and complete my work off the clock by another colleague. I remember thinking to myself there was no way this was OK to do. How were people complacent with not being compensated for completing their work? Very early on in my career I learned that my work and time are valuable and I wouldn’t sell myself short or not be compensated for my work.

I put together some tips I felt helped me achieve a better work-life balance in the SLP profession:

  1. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Avoid bringing work-related tasks home and dedicate specific times for relaxation and personal activities.
  2. Prioritize Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is essential to avoid burnout. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as hobbies, exercise, spending time with loved ones, or meditating.
  3. Engage in Continuing Education: Stay updated with the latest advancements and research in the field. Continuous learning can boost your confidence and efficiency, leading to less time spent on repetitive tasks.
  4. Manage Workload: Organize your work efficiently and prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. Delegate tasks when possible, and don’t hesitate to seek support from colleagues when needed.
  5. Utilize Technology: Embrace technology to streamline your workflow and communication. Efficient use of software and tools can save time and reduce stress.
  6. Flexibility in Schedule: Depending on your work setting, negotiate for a flexible work schedule, if possible. This may include options for remote work or adjusted hours to accommodate personal needs.
  7. Learn to Say No: Understand your limits and avoid taking on too many responsibilities. It’s okay to decline additional tasks that could overload your schedule.
  8. Collaborate with Colleagues: Foster a supportive and collaborative environment at work. Sharing responsibilities and seeking help from colleagues can help reduce individual stress levels.
  9. Practice Mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine to stay present and reduce stress. Mindfulness practices can include deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.
  10. Reflect and Adjust: Regularly assess your work-life balance and make necessary adjustments. Be open to change and adapt your strategies as needed to find what works best for you.

Remember that achieving work-life balance is an ongoing process, and it’s normal to face challenges along the way. By prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, and managing your workload effectively, you can enhance your well-being and maintain a fulfilling career as an SLP. Staying current with CEUS and current practices can also help ignite or keep that fire alive when it come to providing the best care for our patients!

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