4 Tips for Preventing Burnout as a Medical SLP

Acute care speech-language pathologists deal with many moderate to severe patients, especially since the COVID-19 crisis began. Although SLPs in this field experience rewarding wins, they also suffer losses. The reality of working in acute care — and in a medical setting in general — is that your patients could deteriorate. 

Naturally, such experiences can take a toll on SLPs in this setting. That’s something The Missing Link guest Jenni Provda touched on during her recent appearance on the podcast. Fortunately, she’s found some ways to stave off burnout. Here’s what she finds helpful when she’s feeling like she’s had enough.

Leave Work at Work

Being an SLP can require clinicians to work longer hours or be on call, but that doesn’t mean they need to embrace an at-work mindset 24/7. Jenni finds it helpful to leave work at work, especially on the days where things get difficult. Shutting off can prove incredibly helpful for SLPs who are feeling overwhelmed, even if it means just kicking back with a glass of wine or spending a night with yourself. 

These moments of letting go and relaxing will allow you to return to work recharged rather than dwelling on the problems and burning out.

Foster Relationships

Time to yourself is crucial to recharge, but so is spending time with your loved ones. Jenni likened fostering relationships to switching hats: When you leave work, you take off your SLP hat and put on your parent hat, partner hat, or friend hat. 

Again, dwelling on what happened during the workday can be tempting, but it won’t do you any good in the long run. Building and maintaining a support system, however, will help put things in perspective. It will also ensure you have loved ones to lean on when the beginnings of burnout strike.

Take Time Away

Jenni used to vacation regularly prior to COVID, and getting away from work has a host of benefits for SLPs. Much like leaving job concerns at your job can help you recharge on a daily level, making a point of taking prolonged breaks allows clinicians to replenish their energy on a grander scale. 

Even if you’re unable to travel, especially under the current circumstances, taking a staycation and spending time on relationships and other hobbies can have a similar effect.

Remind Yourself of Your Wins

On The Missing Link, we always recount why we chose to become SLPs. That’s because difficulties and losses can often overshadow the reason we got into the profession in the first place: to help people.

Looking back on the times you have helped patients can help ease the losses. After all, your success stories can be tremendously rewarding — and remind you of all the good you’re doing, even on days when it doesn’t feel like it.

Want to learn more about Jenni and her journey to becoming SLPs? Listen to her and Mattie chat on The Missing Link for SLPs Podcast.

Did you know Mattie provides coaching to SLPs? Learn more here.

Share this post:   

You May Also Like…

No One Died Today.  It’s Still a Good Day.

No One Died Today. It’s Still a Good Day.

I am not minimizing pain and loss and grief. I am only putting it into perspective. Loss is hard and trauma is real. And It is indeed still a good day when we can feel hope and believe in our future. So no one died today. It is still a good day. We are counting our blessings instead of the losses.

How Should You Be Asking for Better Compensation as an SLP?

How Should You Be Asking for Better Compensation as an SLP?

Being a speech-language pathologist provides a range of benefits, from improved outcomes for patient care to ongoing career development. However, it also comes with its own challenges; occupational demands in this people-oriented profession can sometimes threaten workers’ well-being.

Because of critical staff shortages, school-based speech-language pathologists in states like Arkansas have struggled with high caseloads and relatively low salaries compared to the private sector. But regardless of which industry you choose to work in as an SLP, it’s important that your pay is commensurate with what your role demands and expects from you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *