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Retraining to be a Speech and Language Therapist - am I crazy?(11 Posts)
I’m 35 years old and have worked in University admin for 10 years. I have been in my current role for 2 years, and they have offered me a promotion to the next grade. If I had been offered this promotion a couple of years ago, I would have probably bitten their hand off. But things have changed over the past year or so.
I really, really hate my job. My department is full of egos, and there is a real blame culture. Two colleagues are off sick with no sign of replacing them, and my team (what is left of us) is awful. No support, and I dread the days. I think it’s got to the point where I am sick to death of the university, (and I am definitely sick of admin!) and want a change.
I have always wanted to be a Speech and Language Therapist. There is an MSc in Speech and Language Therapy at the uni that I would love to do. To get on the course, you need a first degree in any subject - which I have - and speech and language therapy work experience. I have interviews for volunteer positions at the Children’s Hospital, and with a charity called Speak with IT, who offer therapy to people who are suffering aphasia after a stroke. My idea was I could quit my job, and apply for some part time work around these volunteer positions, so that I can get experience and apply for the MSc, hopefully to start in September. My current job is a nightmare to get time off from, and some of the volunteering is during the week - I highly doubt they would let me have regular time off so I could volunteer for something completely unrelated to my job.
My partner is completely supportive and wants me to do this - he says I’ve been stressed and upset for the past year and he wants me to do something that makes me happy. We have no kids, so I just need a job that gives me enough money to pay my half of the rent/food etc. Every time I think about throwing myself into this Speech and Language Therapy plan, I feel so enthusiastic and excited - I haven’t felt like that in ages. But at other times I have doubts - am I mad to give up a salary? I feel like I might be a bit insane to walk from a job with a decent salary, pension and benefits - but I really am so utterly miserable and can’t see this promotion doing anything but bringing more stress and misery. Any words of advice very welcome!
I have a friend who retrained as an SL therapist at a similar age and it has been the making of her. Good luck!
What's the worst that could go wrong? You leave your job, volunteer then decide it's not for you and go back to admin.
I would definitely go and get as much experience as you can. I work as a therapy assistant after years of doing something completely different. For me it was a toss up between OT and speech and language therapy. Having done the job I much prefer OT, however, I have decided against going back and retraining (also have a first degree).
For the Masters, the university course leader said that they wanted to see recent evidence of study (i.e. in the last year or so) due to the demands of the course which is pretty full on.
Look on NHS jobs, you might be able to find an assistant or support worker role that might fit the part-time criteria you are after.
I'm a SALT. It's a great job. Go for it!
Another Salt here to tell you to go for it. Even with all the current madness in the NHS, I. Still look forward to going to work 14 years in!
I thought I’d come back to this thread and give an update. I got an offer for the MMedSci in Speech and Language Therapy yesterday, and I start in September 😃 I’m so, so happy! Thank you for all your advice and encouragement. I can’t wait to start my new career!
that's brilliant OP! Congratulations and good luck. Another NHS employee here and despite the problems there are so many positives.
Hi there, congratulations on getting the place at uni. Do you mind me asking which uni? I'm thinking of doing the same as you but guessing I won't get a place until next year now and I don't have any experience of any kind. Did you manage to find some voluntary experience and if so how did you arrange it? Thanks!
Thank you @helendeane It’s at the University of Sheffield. I got voluntary work in the Department of Speech and Language Therapy at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. They open their applications for volunteering at the end of September, so I applied, was invited to interview and got it So that was one afternoon a week (until the pandemic put a stop to that!).
I also found a charity called Speak with IT, who provide computer therapy for people who have had a stroke. I found them through Google, when I was researching Speech and Language Therapy. I applied to volunteer through their website, and did a couple of Saturdays a month.
The course at Sheffield states that you must have experience in Speech and Language Therapy, so volunteering was essential (I had no experience previous to this). But its not the quantity of the volunteering that is important, it’s the quality. I had only been volunteering for a month when I went for the Masters interview - but because I could reflect on what I had learnt, and discuss real life experiences, I got a place
I hope this helps! Best of luck
Thanks very much @killerpinkflamingo
It's great to get a few pointers and the computer therapy charity sounds a good place to start looking, especially at the minute! I've also emailed the course coordinator at Newcastle Uni (our closest) in case they can recommend anywhere local too.
Hope COVID doesn't get in the way of your course starting as planned in September. Good luck 🤞
@Killerpinkflamingo I know this is an old thread and you’re unlikely to see this. I just wondered how your course was going? I am due to start the access to health sciences course in September at Sheffield College with a view to applying for speech and language therapy at Sheffield Uni for September 2022. I was wondering if you could tell me your timetable for 1st year? I know you’re doing the masters so appreciate it may differ from the undergrad but would appreciate any insight you may be able to give.
I hope your course is going well!