Hey contractors, let's talk about pay raises

Hi folks, I am going into my third year with a smallish, regional contracting company. When I was hired, I was told verbally that they consistently give out 2-3% raises each year, which was ok with me. My first year, I was offered a 1.4% raise No discussion, just a figure on my new contract. Since I was just finishing my CFY, and I had negotiated a significantly higher base salary, I didn't question it. Well, as my new contract comes up, I definitely want my 3%.

So two questions: first, if you're a contracter (independent or with a company), what kind of yearly raises do you typically get? Second, what do you think of talking raises before contracts are assigned, vs after seeing what they offer?

Any information or advice is appreciated. While I'm being paid fairly competitively and like my company, I live in an expensive area and expect them to live up to their assurances.
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Question: Amount of paperwork at a private practice

Just wondering, for those of you who have ever worked in a private practice, what is the amount of paperwork like?

I ask this because I currently work for an agency (EI) and the amount of paperwork is absolutely ridiculous. It's making me hate my job so much, I'm seriously considering leaving before completing my CF. Between quarterly reports, uploading session notes, submitting documentation every time a session is missed and other paperwork I literally have no life. I work, I come home, I sit at my computer for a few hours doing more work and go to bed...and if for some odd reason I decide to have a life after work for a few days on a certain week, I have to sacrifice my weekend and spend all of one day and half of another catching up. It's as if I never left grad school.

I know a lot of you are going to say that there is a learning curve and feeling overwhelmed is part of being a CF. However keep these things in mind:

1. I've been in my CF for a year. If it was a learning curve I think I'd have more of a handle on it by now. The way things are going (agency is having trouble bringing in the hours) it might be another year or more before I complete my CF. If I thought I'd be done soon I'd stick it out but I can't keep doing this for that much longer.

2. I've been told by many that the paperwork at an agency IS a lot more in comparison to other settings. For example, in the hospital, we'd have to type up a short session note/SOAP note after each session...For the nursing home, it was a short note after each session+a progress note every 4 weeks that we just needed the 1st 15 mins of a session to write...In the school, a short note for each session and reports/testing annually (as opposed to 4 times a year at my agency).

I don't know a lot about private practices but I just interviewed with one...so what is the paperwork like in comparison to other settings?

Also, which setting do you think has the least amount of outside paperwork (paperwork you have to do on your own time)? I wouldn't base my decision on where to work solely on that but it will be a consideration...I'm just sick of feeling like I never left grad school.

Thanks everyone.

Oral Motor Exercises

I have a student (4 y.o) who is having difficulty with lip closure for bilabial sounds (p, b, m). He has an open mouth posture at rest with frequent tongue protrusion. He always uses a sippy cup at home.

Any recommendations on exercises for lip closure/tongue retraction and alternative drinking cups (I don't think he is ready for an open cup)??? Thanks!!

What's the deal with consonant clusters?

I have heard conflicting things about when to start working on consonant clusters, specifically s-blends (ie. "sp" and "st" in "spot" or "step"). Does anyone know what age you should start targeting s-blends? I have seen therapists working on it as early as 4 years old. When you start working on these blends, do you start with initial and final positions?


Visual Supports for Communication HELP!

Hello! I would love some advice on using a communication binder to help some of my students (age 3-6) who are non-verbal. (I am not calling it "PECS" because I do not necessarily want to follow the system as rigidly as PECS is laid out).

I set a few students up with a communication binder that includes core vocabulary pictures and pictures of favorite items on velcro. With the main goal in mind of starting to express wants/needs, I am not sure where to go from here. In your experience, has anyone found it helpful to start with just pointing to the target picture laid out on the front velcro strip? Or should I start with them removing the picture and handing it to a partner?

Should I just start with one picture? or two (a preferred and non-preferred)? I would appreciate any help!


CFY Experience...am I overthinking everything?

Hello everyone! I am new to the community and wanted to ask some opinions. I just got out of grad school in May. I originally did my undergrad in Chinese and international business which is totally different from Speech-Language Pathology, but I found this career and loved it during grad school. I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I always wanted to work in a VA hospital, but could not find one during my CFY search. Fast forward, I took a CFY position in a LTC SNF in the middle of nowhere. The facility seemed nice, my supervisor was on site (Actually the DOR), and the pay was good. I felt as though I hit the jackpot...never have I felt more wrong.

My first day me and another therapist (PT) were supposed to do online orientation; however, they did not give us an online account for the system just yet so my supervisor asked us if we could go treat patients. Sure, why not. I treated two, came back, wrote the daily notes. Done. Only problem was that we BARELY got an orientation to our system, and we were supposed to do point of service documentation. I find it really hard trying to do something like that in front of the patient but I know it's something I have to learn. This was the first day so it wasn't that bad.

Second day was just absolutely awful. I had my first eval and it literally took me 2.5 hours to finish the eval and documenation. The computers are insanely slow, I can't get internet to work in the patient's room so I couldnt do POS doc, and when I was finished, my supervisor pretty much ripped the report out of my hand and told me this, this, this is wrong, why did you write this, why didnt you use the drop down menus etc. Nobody taught this stuff to me. I got it together and finished it. Done.

Day three was equally as bad but it was day 4 that was just insane. I was given 8 patients for the day which is fine, however, they want me to complete all 8 in 4 hours. It basically took me an hour for each. My first patient I went to was in her room, a CNA ran in and asked what I was doing in there and said I'm not allowed in there when the roommate is there as she screams "Rape"...so I took her to the dining room and a CNA told my supervisor that I took her out without grooming her. Apparently they get in trouble for it. I didn't know. My next patient wanted me to dress him and help him brush his teeth, I thought I wasn't allowed so I did therapy and asked my supervisor who I could ask to help him with it and she said I could've done it. I felt bad so I went back to help him...documented 56 minutes for a Medicare A patient which is apparently a no no too.

They want 90% productivity by 2 weeks, I was at 50% yesterday. I never was able to shadow my supervisor for even one day. I don't know how to bring up certain documents that I need. I feel as though I'm not allowed to learn my patients and look at their charts, plan for therapy, etc for fear that they will crack down on me because of productivity. There are almost ZERO therapy materials. I've pretty much cried every day and I feel weak and absolutely stupid. I get these looks when I ask questions and I know I'm being judged. I have become depressed and don't want to engage in anything anymore. I'm also really worried about getting my hours for ASHA. I have to share my patients with my supervisor so I'll be lucky to get 8 in a day but that's only 4 hours of time. 20 hours per week is absolutely terrible. I've asked the other therapists if they've gotten their full time hours lately and they laugh and say they haven't in a long time. I moved away from my family for this position. I need the money and I need my license. This is awful.

TL;DR: 90% productivity, feel stupid, becoming depressed, don't feel like I'm doing anything right...is a SNF right for me for my CFY? I'm beginning to think it's not and I don't know what to do. Maybe these things seem frivolous but they're big to me. Thank you for reading this and letting me complain. :)

school negotiations

Hello :) This fall will be the start of my 9th year as an SLP. I've worked in a few different settings- public schools, early intervention home care, and at a pediatric clinic. I recently interviewed for a school job and they offered me the position. My issue is with my placement on the salary scale. They do not want to include my 3 years doing EI and working complex pediatric cases at the clinic.. only the 5 years I serviced public school students. I am in talks with HR now but they are making it sound like because I will be treated as a "teacher" (when will they stop pretending we are teachers?!?) there may be nothing they can do. I want this job but I don't like the idea of accepting less of a salary then I feel I am worth. I'm feeling pretty torn- has anyone been in this boat before?

GPA advice

So I'm going to be applying to grad school this fall, and I wanted some feedback on my GPA. I have a 3.6 cumulative AND a 3.6 in CSD major. I feel like it's atypical to have equal cumulative and major GPAs that are somewhat competitive-ish. Do you think I have a shot/do I stand out?

accepting foreign language responses on EVT?

Hi all,

I recently administered the Expressive Vocabulary Test to a bilingual student who is 10 and I believe has been speaking English for about 2 and a half years...his native language is a French-based creole spoken in West Africa. While I cannot by any means understand everything he says, I can recognize a lot of the French vocabulary (though I am not fluent in French either).

There were a couple items on the EVT for which he gave a correct French response, but I see absolutely nothing about bilingualism in the scoring manual. I am assuming that means a I am not allowed to count them as correct. Does anyone know the actual rules on this? I feel that giving credit would yield a better estimate of true vocabulary knowledge for bilinguals (not a huge difference in this student's case, but the principle of the thing), but on the other hand I am not at all able to be confident that I caught all of his foreign-language responses in the first place so counting just a couple would be inconsistent. It is complicated by the fact that the student is ASD and enjoys using idiosyncratic phrases that do not make sense in any language (we have checked with mom).

Thanks for your input!

The Lazy Supervisor

I passed my off-campus practicum with an A+ and graduated with an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology this spring. However, there needs to be something done with some Supervisors! Who do I report a lazy supervisor to?

What's a lazy supervisor? 0% supervision for the last 3 practicum weeks.

How lazy can a supervisor be? Facebook, pinterest, instagram, snapchat all while supervising me when I'm doing group therapy. Texting during treatment.

Who do I report the lazy supervisor to? The Clinical Supervisor at my University stated to me that it doesn't matter what my opinion is, that the supervisor has been a licensed SLP with C's for 10 years. How dare I complain! Maybe I should retake the practicum if I didn't like the supervision so much. (Great advice).

Why is the supervisor lazy? I don't know. She stated that in the first 5 weeks I'll be trained to do her job. So for the last 5 weeks, she can focus on important things like staying in a separate room talking/texting to her husband. I know this because when I go out to get my kiddos, I pass by the room and my Supervisor's on her phone laughing and giggling. Every day.

Why didn't you complain to her superior? Because you don't complain about the person that GIVES YOU YOUR GRADE. You are asking for a repeat of practicum if you do. There is no way around it and my supervisor knew that. She told me she has so much power. Good for her.

Why didn't you just switch to another practicum site? And lose out on my hours so that I am under hours due to the transition? No thanks.

Why is a lazy supervisor bad for the student clinician? My lazy supervisor told me I should have known everything that I needed to do at the site before coming there. Really? Then what is the point of the supervisor? Nothing but an hour generating machine? A student should not have to tell the supervisor to do her job and supervise. The supervisor should not leave the student alone and provide no useful feedback. This happens more often than not and nothing is done about it because the University SLP Program cannot afford to lose the practicum site and its supervisor when they're hard to come by.

Ladies and gentlemen, lets come up with a solution to the lazy supervisor problem. I'm going to note the responses and present a powerpoint at the next ASHA convention. Lets take action and acknowledge the fact that there are some lazy Supervisors in this world and we can do something about it!