Our admin team member Skye, interviewed our 2021 Goulburn New Graduate Madison to find out what her first year as a speech pathologist was like.  

Can you share what a typical day looks like for you?

7:50 am — I arrive to work, make a coffee or tea (a must!) and say hello to the team. 

7:55 am — Prepare for my morning 8am clinic session - grab some games, articulation cards, and lots of energy! Some days I will start with a nursing home – I make sure to pack my dysphagia folder and PPE.  

8:45 am — Write up notes from the first session. Time to go to schools! I generally have two school sessions in the morning, I have my bag packed with resources, and my phone ready to check in with QR code. Getting to know the office staff since working here has been lovely.

11:30 am — Back to the clinic, another tea (English breakfast). Time for some note writing and admin time – this may be working on a quality improvement project, quarterly goals, or even this blog!

1 pm — Lunch time – A whole hour to spend! I might sit outside in the backyard of the clinic on a sunny day, or head home to make a fresh wrap, I only live a 5 minute drive from work, the perks of living regional! On the odd occasion I’ll run some errands around town. 

2 pm — As today is Monday, I have my weekly supervision session with my supervisor. I’ll chat through some clients, therapy options, how the week has been going, and future planning. Other days – I might schedule report writing or review some AHA therapy plans. 

3-4:45 pm — Afternoon sessions – these are clinic or telehealth or home visits, another trip to the resource shelf for games and activities.

4:45 pm — I finalise my progress notes, have an end of day chat with my colleagues and head home! 

What does the majority of your work look like at Hanrahan Health and how would you describe the majority of clients that you work with?

I work with a range of clients from across the lifespan, it really is a mix of everything! I tend to see a lot of school aged children, with whom I could be working on speech, language, literacy, social skills, and a few for fluency or feeding. I see a few adults with neurodegenerative conditions or acquired brain injury and stroke, and also provide services to the local nursing homes, and mealtime management plans for adults who require mealtime support. It is a great experience to see the scope of what a speech pathologist can support with.

What hobbies or interests do you have outside of work and how do you fit them into your week?

I love learning languages; at the moment I’m learning French. I tend to schedule certain times after work to study this, and head to the library on the weekend when I’m in town. I also enjoy field hockey in the winter which is usually on Sundays, and aim to go for a walk or run after work a couple times a week. I have made myself a very rough timetable of my afternoons to help me stay on track, however I’m pretty flexible and always give myself rest days! I like to go hiking, visit family in Sydney and explore new places. I try to schedule this in advance so I know what my weekends look like.

Why did you choose Speech Pathology as your career?

I chose to be a Speech Pathologist because I was interested in linguistics, science, and helping people, and thought speech pathology encompassed all three! It was also a career where I knew I would up and about throughout the day, be continuously challenged, and learn new things. Having completed my first year as a speech pathologist, learning so much, and enjoying so many aspects of it, I am even more sure that this is the profession for me.