The digital life of a Speech and Language Therapist

Posted on
December 12, 2021
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Over the past months, we've observed an increased adoption of digital tools by health practitioners. Speech and language therapists are no exception. At Noala, we believe that digital tools have the power to positively impact our daily life so that we can make speech and language therapy mainstream.

We've carefully listened to the Noala community to better understand what it's like to be a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) in 2021. We're excited to share the results with you!

How much Speech and Language Therapists are using video calls?

With close to 80% of our community having used some sort of video calls over the past months, we can say with confidence that telehealth has become common practice across speech and language therapists. And, they are rather happy with this new format as 76% of them expressed being (extremely) satisfied with it.

The main issues mentioned during our interviews were about sound quality and connection glitches. On the bright side, many therapists mentioned the increased engagement of carers, especially parents. This creates opportunities to reinforce their coaching, ensuring a better continuum of care. It also offers more flexibility for speech and language therapists while increase their potential reach.

These benefits might explain why 80% of our community would prefer to use an hybrid format (mix of online and offline) in a post COVID-19 world!

If you're curious and want to dig further, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy (RCSLT) has published a telehealth guidance to support SLTs in this transition.

How do Speech and Language Therapists prepare a session?

Although this is not the visible part of the iceberg, preparing a session takes a lot of time. Gathering relevant information about their patient, reviewing what has been done over the past sessions, adjusting the targets of their therapy plan, preparing appropriate exercises... Speech and language therapists put a lot of time and effort to make sure their patients make the most out of the sessions!

We've asked our community how much time they spend on average to prepare a session with a patient.

60% confessed that they spend on average more than 15' to prepare a session.

To be more specific, 23% shared that they spend on average from 31' to up to 1h!

This is almost as much time effectively spent with the patient during a session.

How important is it to practice in between sessions?

We've learnt from our community that patients' practice in between sessions is a key driver of success. That's why 90% of SLTs surveyed usually ask their patient to practice in between session. It usually consists of including activities and strategies that have been practiced during the session into their daily routines. However, we were surprised to learn that 71% of SLTs aren't able to track their patients progress in between sessions!

How do Speech and Language Therapists manage their back office?

We were genuinely amazed to uncover that 42% of SLTs surveyed manage their calendar on paper. One of you even shared "I only trust my Filofax !"

On the other side of the coin, we've learnt that patients usually book via a combination of emails, texts and calls, which increases the administrative complexity for SLTs.

Thanks to these insights shared by our community, we've been able to build the first version of Noala. We'll continue to listen closely to them so that together we're creating the simplest and most effective platform for speech and language therapists!

We're always happy to chat about anything related to communication, speech and language. Feel free to join the discussion in our community forum or to drop us a line at con

Emilie Spire
CEO & Founder
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