Profession speech and language therapist

    speech and language therapist

Speech therapists assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use.

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Personality Type

  • Social / Investigative

Tasks speech and language therapist

  • Analyze and diagnose the nature and extent of speech, language, fluency, voice and swallowing impairments, by evaluating test results and medical or background information.
  • Develop a plan of care for the client.
  • Teach clients how to communicate, e.g. by teaching them how to make sounds, improve their voices, or increase their oral or written language skills.
  • Teach clients how to strengthen tongue, jaw, face muscles and breathing mechanisms or how to use compensatory strategies.
  • Counsel clients' family members on how to deal with communication disorders (e.g., communication-enhancing techniques, how to recognise and change behavior, etc.).
  • Monitor clients' progress and adjust treatments accordingly.
  • Keep records on the initial evaluation, progress and discharge of clients.
  • Confer with other professionals, e.g. education, medical, dental and other health professionals.
  • Conduct research related to speech and language problems.
  • Design and develop techniques or equipment for diagnosing and treating speech problems.

Related professions therapist

  • Creative therapist
  • Massage therapist
  • Masseur, masseuse
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Physiotherapy assistant
  • Podiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychomotor therapist
  • Recreational therapist
  • Remedial gymnast
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Slimming consultant
  • Therapist or health professional, all other


  • Phoniatrics

    The study of the causes and treatments of various dysfunctions of the vocal cords, larynx (such as cancer of the larynx), mouth or lungs that most often result in speech disorders.

  • Otorhinolaryngologic conditions

    The pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management related to the otorhinolaryngologic conditions.

  • Phonetics

    The physical properties of speech sounds such as how their are produced, their acoustic properties and neurophysiological status.

  • Professional documentation in health care

    The written standards applied in the health care professional environments for documentation purposes of one`s activity.

  • Paediatrics

    Paediatrics is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

  • First aid

    The emergency treatment given to a sick or injured person in the case of circulatory and/or respiratory failure, unconsciousness, wounds, bleeding, shock or poisoning.

  • Human anatomy

    The dynamic relationship of human structure and function and the muscosceletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, urinary, reproductive, integumentary and nervous systems; normal and altered anatomy and physiology throughout the human lifespan.

  • Behavioural neurology

    The links between neuroscience and behaviour, the care for individuals with behavioural disturbances rooted in neurological issues.

  • Neuropsychology

    The way in which psychological processes affect the human brain, its structure and functioning mode.

  • Psychiatry

    Psychiatry is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

  • Health care occupation-specific ethics

    The moral standards and procedures, ethical questions and obligations specific to occupations in a health care setting such as respect for human dignity, self-determination, informed consent and patient confidentiality.

  • Facial gymnastics

    The methods and techniques that help working out the facial muscles.

  • Linguistics

    The scientific study of language and its three aspects, language form, language meaning, and language in context.

  • Neurology

    Neurology is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

  • Medical informatics

    The processes and tools used for the analysis and dissemination of medical data through computerized systems.

  • Sign language

    Communication with hearing impaired individuals using manual communication via standardised sign language systems.  

  • Speech techniques

    The history and the characteristics of breathing, voice and speaking techniques.

  • Health care legislation

    The patients` rights and responsibilities of health practitioners and the possible repercussions and prosecutions in relation to medical treatment negligence or malpractice.

  • Hearing loss

    The manifestation, causes and symptoms of hearing impairment, which is the partial or total inability to hear.

  • Special needs education

    The teaching methods, equipment and settings used to support students with special needs in achieving succes in school or community.

  • Audiometry

    The way hearing acuity is measured, specifically related to sound intensity and pitch and tonal purity in order to diagnose hearing impairment and related disorders.

  • Logopaedics

    The theories and methods related to the voice, speech, language and articulation disorders for children and adults, whether congenital or related to accidents or illness.

  • Human physiology

    The science of the mechanical, physical, bioelectrical and biochemical functions of humans, their organs and cells in good health.

  • Lip reading

    The methods used to understand speech by interpreting the movements of the lips, face and tongue for people affected by hearing impairment or to understand people from a distance.

  • Movement techniques

    The various types of movement and physical postures undertaken for relaxation, body-mind integration, stress reduction, flexibility, core support and rehabilitation purposes, and that are required for or underpin occupational performance.

  • Pathology

    The components of a disease, the cause, mechanisms of development, morphologic changes, and the clinical consequences of those changes.

  • Psychology

    The human behaviour and performance with individual differences in ability, personality, interests, learning, and motivation.

  • Audiology

    The science related to the hearing, balance and other related disorders and conditions specific to adults or children.

  • Medical terminology

    The meaning of medical terms and abbreviations, of medical prescriptions and various medical specialties and when to use it correctly.

  • Hygiene in a health care setting

    The procedures related to maintaining a hygienic environment within a health care setting such as hospitals and clinics. It can range from hand washing to cleaning and disinfection of medical equipment used and infection control methods.


  • Use techniques to increase patients' motivation

    Encourage the patient`s motivation to change and promote the belief that therapy can help, using techniques and treatment engagement procedures for this purpose.

  • Counsel on communication disorders

    Counsel patients and caregivers on how to cope with communication disorders.

  • Promote good habits to avoid communication disorders

    Promote good habits to avoid communication disorders or malformations affecting communication, swallowing or hearing.

  • Manage healthcare users' data

    Keep accurate client records which also satisfy legal and professional standards and ethical obligations in order to facilitate client management, ensuring that all clients' data (including verbal, written and electronic) are treated confidentially.

  • Follow clinical guidelines

    Follow agreed protocols and guidelines in support of healthcare practice which are provided by healthcare institutions, professional associations, or authorities and also scientific organisations.

  • Provide health education

    Provide evidence based strategies to promote healthy living, disease prevention and management.

  • Develop a collaborative therapeutic relationship

    Develop a mutually collaborative therapeutic relationship during treatment, fostering and gaining healthcare users' trust and cooperation.

  • Conduct research on speech-related topics

    Conduct and direct research on topics related to speech, reporting the results to help in the development of new procedures, technology, or treatments, or the refinement of existing ones.

  • Perform therapy sessions

    Work in sessions with individuals or groups to deliver therapy in a controlled environment.

  • Encourage healthcare user's self-monitoring

    Encourage the healthcare user to engage in self-monitoring by conducting situational and developmental analyses on him- or herself. Assist the healthcare user to develop a degree of self-critique and self-analysis in regards to his behaviour, actions, relationships and self-awareness.

  • Communicate effectively in healthcare

    Communicate effectively with patients, families and other caregivers, health care professionals, and community partners.

  • Advise on healthcare users' informed consent

    Ensure patients/clients are fully informed about the risks and benefits of proposed treatments so they can give informed consent, engaging patients/clients in the process of their care and treatment.

  • Accept own accountability

    Accept accountability for one`s own professional activities and recognise the limits of one`s own scope of practice and competencies.

  • Apply context specific clinical competences

    Apply professional and evidence based assessment, goal setting, delivery of intervention and evaluation of clients, taking into account the developmental and contextual history of the clients, within one`s own scope of practice.

  • Diagnose speech disorders

    Assess and diagnose patients` speech and communication disorders, identifying a variety of causes like congenital problems or disorders acquired after a stroke or injury.

  • Exercise patience

    Have patience by dealing with unexpected delays or other waiting periods without becoming annoyed or anxious.

  • Inform policy makers on health-related challenges

    Provide useful information related to health care professions to ensure policy decisions are made in the benefit of communities.

  • Interact with healthcare users

    Communicate with clients and their carer’s, with the patient’s permission, to keep them informed about the clients’ and patients’ progress and safeguarding confidentiality.

  • Adhere to organisational guidelines

    Adhere to organisational or department specific standards and guidelines. Understand the motives of the organisation and the common agreements and act accordingly.

  • Educate on the prevention of illness

    Offer evidence-based advice on how to avoid ill health, educate and advise individuals and their carers on how to prevent ill health and/or be able to advise how to improve their environment and health conditions. Provide advice on the identification of risks leading to ill health and help to increase the patients' resilience by targeting prevention and early intervention strategies.

  • Record healthcare users' progress related to treatment

    Record the healthcare user's progress in response to treatment by observing, listening and measuring outcomes.

  • Use e-health and mobile health technologies

    Use mobile health technologies and e-health (online applications and services) in order to enhance the provided healthcare.

  • Deal with emergency care situations

    Assess the signs and be well-prepared for a situation that poses an immediate threat to a person's health, security, property or environment.  

  • Empathise with the healthcare user

    Understand the background of clients` and patients’ symptoms, difficulties and behaviour. Be empathetic about their issues; showing respect and reinforcing their autonomy, self-esteem and independence. Demonstrate a concern for their welfare and handle according to the personal boundaries, sensitivities, cultural differences and preferences of the client and patient in mind.

  • Treat speech disorders

    Provide speech therapy to patients affected by learning disabilities such as dyslexia, stuttering, articulation problems, dyscalculia, swallowing disorders such as dysphagia, brain related conditions such as aphasia or voice conditions such as dysphonia.

  • Comply with quality standards related to healthcare practice

    Apply quality standards related to risk management, safety procedures, patients feedback, screening and medical devices in daily practice, as they are recognized by the national professional associations and authorities.

  • Contribute to continuity of health care

    Contribute to the delivery of coordinated and continuous healthcare.

  • Monitor patients' progress related to treatment

    Observe and report on healthcare users' response to medical treatment, monitoring their progress or decay on a daily basis and modifying the treatment procedures whenever necessary.

  • Treat swallowing disorders

    Work with patients to develop and strengthen the muscles used to swallow.

  • Apply organisational techniques

    Employ a set of organisational techniques and procedures which facilitate the achievement of the set goals set such as detailed planning of personnel's schedules. Use these resources efficiently and sustainably, and show flexibility when required.

  • Work in a multicultural environment in health care

    Interact, relate and communicate with individuals from a variety of different cultures, when working in a healthcare environment.

  • Ensure safety of healthcare users

    Make sure that healthcare users are being treated professionally, effectively and safe from harm, adapting techniques and procedures according to the person's needs, abilities or the prevailing conditions.

  • Apply health sciences

    Apply a broad range of bio-medical, psycho-social, organisational, educational, and societal aspects of health, disease, and healthcare to improve healthcare services and to improve quality of life.

  • Comply with legislation related to health care

    Comply with the regional and national legislation that is relevant to one`s work and apply it in practice.

  • Organise relapse prevention

    Help the patient or client identify and anticipate high risk situations or external and internal triggers. Support them in developing better coping strategies and back-up plans in case of future difficulties.

  • Teach communication methods

    Select augmentative or alternative communication methods for patients, such as automated devices and sign language, and instruct patients how to use them. Teach patients with little or no capability for speech how to make sounds, improve their voices, or increase their language skills, enabling them to communicate more effectively.

  • Promote inclusion

    Promote inclusion in health care and social services and respect diversity of beliefs, culture, values and preferences, keeping in mind the importance of equality and diversity issues.

  • Counsel patients on improving speech

    Counsel and instruct clients in techniques to mitigate speech impairment such as sign language or lip-reading.

  • Evaluate the psychological impact of speech problems

    Evaluate how speech problems affect patients psychologically in their educational, professional or social environment.

  • Work in multidisciplinary health teams

    Participate in the delivery of multidisciplinary health care, and understand the rules and competences of other healthcare related professions.

  • Formulate a case conceptualisation model for therapy

    Compose an individualised treatment plan in collaboration with the individual, striving to match his or her needs, situation, and treatment goals to maximise the probability of therapeutic gain; considering any possible personal, social, and systemic barriers that might undermine treatment.

  • Listen actively

    Give attention to what other people say, patiently understand points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times; able to listen carefully the needs of customers, clients, passengers, service users or others, and provide solutions accordingly.

  • Respond to changing situations in health care

    Cope with pressure and respond appropriately and in time to unexpected and rapidly changing situations in healthcare.

Optional knowledge and skills

cued speech autism refer healthcare users undertake clinical audit pedagogy supervise speech and language team employ foreign languages in care ensure proper appointment administration employ foreign languages for health-related research psychoacoustics bobath therapy