The Missing Link for SLPs
A Day in the Life of a Medical SLP: an Inpatient Rehabilitation SLP

Download the show notes or full transcript of the conversation.

Meet Vanessa Hooks, a medical speech-language pathologist who works in the inpatient rehabilitation setting. She shares what kind of patients she works with on a day-to-day basis, what sort of treatment she might implement, some of the rewards and challenges of this environment, and much more.

Discussion & Reflection Questions

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you became a speech-language pathologist.
  2. Did you have a hard time choosing between a medical and school setting, or did you always want to be a medical SLP?
  3. What does an SLP working at an inpatient rehabilitation center do? What kind of tasks are part of your job?
  4. What kinds of patients do you typically see at an inpatient rehab, and how long do they stay?
  5. Do you have a consistent caseload, or does it shift around?
  6. What are some of the challenges working in this setting? How about the rewards?
  7. Do you have any favorite resources or tools to use in the inpatient rehab setting?
  8. Tell us about your interprofessional team. Who else do you regularly work with on patient care?
  9. Any words of advice for the new speech pathologist starting out who wants to get into the med SLP field?

Quote of the Conversation

When a speech language pathologist takes a really lowball offer, it affects the whole job market. Know your worth. And ask for extras. You know, hospitals, contract therapy companies, they make millions of dollars off what we do. So, it’s never wrong to ask for extras. And when I say extras, it’s things like a sign-on bonus. Ask for them to pay your ASHA dues. Ask for them to give you CEU money. Ask for relocation fees. Ask for them to compensate you for various certifications that you want to get, like VitalStim or LSVT. What’s the worst thing that they could say? You know, no? Well, ask for it!”

– Vanessa Hooks, MS, CCC-SLP

Vanessa Hooks, MS, CCC-SLP

Medical Speech-Language Pathologist

I am a busy mother of 3 children and 2 dogs. I work full time at TrustPoint Hospital, which is an inpatient rehabilitation center. I have worked at every setting there is to work in and love inpatient rehabilitation (been at my current employer for 10 years). I have taught as an adjunct professor for several years before recently taking a break from the classroom (although I always have a graduate student with me and consider teaching my second love). I am certified in VitalStim, myofascial release, and I am also a certified endoscopist. I love what I do because I get to see my patients get better and gain independence every single day. When I am not working, I love watching my kids in sports or traveling with my husband.

Keep the Conversation Going

Vanessa Hooks, MS, CCC-SLP

Contact Vanessa Hooks


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Not a substitute for a formal SLP education or medical advice for patients/caregivers.

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