pros + cons of SLP

I'm really good at finding the pros about something.  I'm usually not so good at seeing the cons.  Everything I hear about speech pathology is so positive, which is awesome!  I could rattle off a bunch of reasons why I want to do it.  Now-- just so I have the full picture-- what are some things about it that people don't like?  What were you not expecting?  I'm guessing some of the things people might say are: paperwork, bureaucracy, dealing with insurance companies... true?  Anyway, just curious about some of the cons you've encountered (and of course I still always love hearing the pros!!!)  :)
I have a lot of cons for you, but I do live in Australia so YMMV. In the school system here, we get paid less than teachers, nobody really understands what we do, and we don't get the school holidays off. Nobody really understands what we do, wherever I work, which can be really frustrating because I often feel like my work isn't valued. There's definitely not enough funding where I am and most places are understaffed. My last job has half the speech pathologists they're supposed to, and yet still didn't have enough money to keep me on - and this was a government position. There are a lot of reports to write. High caseloads, which means having to prioritise who you see and I've had parents make formal complaints about me because I chose to see someone else's children. A lot of parents won't bother to do home follow-up, but still expect you to fix their child. There's an expectation after assessment that you'll automatically know the best/most effective approach to use. There was also a post here awhile ago about productivity levels, which isn't something I deal with here, but it seems like it's not uncommon in America to have 100% or 90% productivity, which would leave you with either no work time, or only 10% of your day to do all your paperwork, which is impossible.
I agree with all this as well, even when applied to adults! It can be VERY frustrating the expectation that you have a magic wand to fix everything.
OK, reality check, I can handle this. Right now I'm hoping to work in a hospital-- that would be my top choice-- although I don't have enough experience to say 100%. @semplice: it seems here that it's very high in demand and the pay is pretty competitive. I think I remember vaguely the productivity post you're talking about. Overall, people seem to realllllly love this field, for what they do, and also it seems to allow time for family. Curious what others think. Thanks!!
Here in the states (or at least in Oregon and Washington) school SLPs are paid the same as teachers and we get the same holidays and vacations.

The biggest con for working in the schools is that there is so. much. paperwork. Even as a student clinician in I had more paperwork in a public school than I did in either of my outpatient clinical sites. Some SLPs/districts will do three weeks of therapy and then take a week to just do paperwork.

Also, some parents/teachers don't always understand what you're trying to do, why you're making certain recommendations (everything from "Why are you not making my child your number one priority?" to "Why are you telling me my child has a problem? They can't possibly have anything wrong!").

I feel that the good outweighs the bad.
I absolutely hated working with Medicaid pre-authorizations for services and equipment for clients in an outpatient setting.
I work in a hospital and I think I've proed and conned here before! Anyway:

pros: interacting with doctors, nutritionists, nurses and other therapists. I work at an academic medical center so we see some weird and crazy things.

decent pay. not amazing, but not rubbish.

flexibility--i float from outpatient to rehab to acute . its nice variety.

cons: the push to be productive.

not getting respect from other medical professionals, or not even as much respect as PT and OT, annoying.


as a whole i find that asha is a bit useless as well. I am envious of PTs and their APTA who appears to provide much more advocacy and education than ASHA. Its a bit annoying.

I work in the schools and really adore my work. I love that I get to see my students in such a functional context. I don't see all my students for therapy everyday, of course, but I do have a pulse on them everyday in seeing them in the halls, in their classrooms, and in talking with their teachers.

People complain about the pay, but I think it's comparable to other settings given the time commitment pension/benefits. I'm in Washington on the same scale as teachers, with all the same stipends available to me, but I find that most teachers don't meet criteria to access extra stipends (i.e. for IEP time, national board certification, and also higher pay for postbac/grad-level training). So, in general I would say that therapist are paid higher than teachers just because higher ed and certification are standards in our field, whereas they're seen as "extras" in the teaching field.

The biggest challenge in my work setting is working with team members who don't meet their professional obligations or are unmotivated/unwilling to think creatively to meet the educational needs of some of the more challenging students. It can be difficult when you can do all the therapy in the world with a student, but then they return to their out-of-control sp. ed. classroom that produces more regression than anything else. It just means that that teacher needs more support and consultation, which although necessary, can be really uncomfortable (I know how to create more structure -- but classroom management is not really within my scope!).

The second challenge I would highlight is the infrequent contact with parents/families. There just isn't time to be checking in with families throughout the year and you don't have the advantage of seeing parents every time they come to pick up their kid at therapy like you do in a clinic. My sense is that, more than in other settings, parents are dissatisfied with their school therapist, not for lack of therapist competency (well, sometimes, but I would say not usually) but because they're out of touch with what is happening in therapy because the parent/therapist communication is so limited. I send home a "communication notebook" with all my students, but it doesn't come close to how valuable that weekly face-to-face check in that therapist get with parents in other settings.