Member of the Month
We’re starting something BRAND NEW here in The Medical SLP Collective.
I have been so inspired by reading all of your [WINS] and watching you CRUSH your goals that I decided to start celebrating the MEMBER OF THE MONTH!
That’s right! And it could be YOU!!!
Each month I'll choose a winner by looking through the group analytics to see who’s most engaged in the forums, who’s crushing the goals you set yourself, and who just oozes positivity and amazingness.
Not only will the winner be interviewed and featured in the group the following month, they’ll also get some goodies in the mail.
And don’t worry, we want to spread the wealth. Share how you’ve crushed your goals and you might just get a little treat in the mail too!
April 2019 Member of the Month
Congratulations goes out to Rachaele LaManna! She just exudes positivity, has crushed some HUGE goals in the last month including finishing MDTP and MBSimp (among tons of other smaller goals), and is the embodiment of what makes this group so amazing. She freely shares her knowledge in these forums in the hopes that it will help someone help someone else. If you've had the pleasure of conversing with her in the forums, you'll know that she's a real one-of-a-kind SLP. We're so glad you're here in the group with us, Rachaele! We asked Rachaele a few questions so that you guys can be as inspired by her as I am.
Why did you want to become an SLP?
“I lucked into finding out about speech-language pathology. I have a bachelor's degree in music (voice performance). I worked as the receptionist for a large opera company for a few years, got married, had my first child, and had no idea where I was going professionally. I have a good friend who works in special education and she encouraged me along the way. I just knew I wanted to help people.”
What setting are you currently in and what settings do you have experience in?
“I currently work in acute care and see a few outpatients each week. I started off applying for clinical fellowships in the medical field, but there were few opportunities in my area, so I completed my CF in the school system. I enjoyed working with the kids enough to stay for three years, but I really wanted to work with adults so I transitioned into part-time home health in a rural community. I was offered a job three years ago working in the two skilled nursing/rehab facilities in my current hospital system, and began to transition into acute care last August. One of the skilled nursing facilities is attached to the main hospital via a long tunnel. I was able to train to do modified barium swallow studies and even began a FEES program while working primarily in the nursing facilities.”
What motivates you to crush your goals?
“I lacked an in-person mentor early on when I started to work in medical speech-language pathology. I was hit hard with the salience of the divide in practice patterns as I communicated with other clinicians. I felt frustrated and alone when I started. That frustration fueled me to work hard and advocate for my patients, and thankfully I work in a setting that actually added SLP staff along the way. As part of a hospital system, I could travel to larger hospitals for training on occasion-but this usually required a four hour drive round trip. I have accepted interns and clinical fellows to make more opportunities available in our area, and that has really pushed me to keep learning.”
Have you ever had a pivotal “ah ha!” moment in your career?
“I remember listening to the first three episodes of SYP while painting my son's bedroom one night, and I was hooked. I thought, “I don't have to practice like this anymore!” It was freeing. Kate Krival spoke openly and authentically at the GSHA convention two years ago about making evidence based and client centered decisions in dysphagia management –starting with working from an understanding that we are inherently human clinicians with imperfections and we work through them to bring our best knowledge and skills to the situation. Hearing this presentation made me feel brave again; it made me look forward to going to work.”
What is your favorite thing about the MedSLP Collective?
“My favorite thing about the MedSLP Collective is the feeling that I didn't miss out on having mentors in the medical field. I may live and work in a small town, but I have access to resources right where I am. I always feel like my questions and input are valued.”
Do you have any words of encouragement for your fellow MedSLP Collective group members?
“Do the thing you feel anxious about early in the day. Reaching out gets easier with practice. Call that physician, or the hospital SLP. Do what you can do to advocate for the patient. Keep moving forward. Show your data and be proud of your contribution. Patient outcomes speak for themselves sometimes. Advocating for the resources you need to do your job will help every SLP who comes after you. We're all in this together.”
Again, Congratulations Rachaele! You inspire me to keep crushing my goals and I just KNOW you are such an inspiration to us all! Keep up the great work!