Clinician of the Month: Meet Kimberly


 

Kimberly is a speech-language pathologist, originally from New York City, and currently practices in the DC metro area.  She gained an interest in speech-language pathology during her undergraduate career at the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2010, Kimberly received her Bachelor’s degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences with a minor in Human Development. Immediately after completing her undergraduate education, Kimberly pursued her Master’s degree in speech-language pathology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Since graduating in 2012, Kimberly has developed her professional skills in continuing care retirement communities and skilled nursing facilities providing speech therapy services at the subacute rehabilitation level to an adult population.  Kimberly loves the arts and entertainment, specifically artistic expression through dance, theater and film.  She also enjoys traveling and is a lover of international cuisine.

 

Favorite Quote: There are a lot of quotes I love but one that resonates with me and my journey is, “The best view comes after the hardest climb”.

 

What advice do you have for new graduates going into the field of speech therapy?

First, keep in touch with a few classmates. You and your classmates can share your work experiences with one another during your clinical fellowship year, which is extremely advantageous.  Transitioning from being a full-time student in training to working full-time with significantly more autonomy is not necessarily smooth. It is helpful to talk to others who are going through the same process, whether it’s bouncing ideas between one another to address a challenging client case, or sharing tips about how to be more efficient and less drained. There is a chance that you will be the only CF in your workplace (I was), so it’s certainly beneficial to talk to someone else in your shoes.

Secondly, keep in touch with your clinical supervisors. The clinical supervisors you formed relationships with during your graduate career are a great resource, as they usually have a wealth of knowledge acquired during their years of clinical experience. (Dare I mention that they are also great to use as professional references!)  Keep in mind that you will have your CF supervisor to provide you with guidance during your clinical fellowship, but I personally think it’s great to gain the perspective of another experienced clinician or two. Since it’s not impossible to work in an environment where you are the only SLP during your first year out of school, obtain and absorb all of the knowledge you can from experienced clinicians.

Finally, utilize your ASHA membership to your advantage. There are so many great resources in ASHA. Keep up to date on the latest research, join a SIG (special interest group), and take continuing education courses where you can learn evidence-based practice to apply into your daily work setting. One thing I’ve realized in my short 5 years since leaving graduate school is that I am always learning! It doesn’t stop once you graduate. It honestly just begins.

 What do you love most about speech therapy?

The impact that you have on someone’s life, as cliché as that sounds, but truly, it is amazing. There are days where I may be frustrated with the logistics of work, but then a client says something along the lines of, “Thank you so much for what you are doing for me!” and it makes it all the worthwhile. Instantly, I am reminded of why I love doing my job.

 What should every speech therapist try at least once in his/her life?

Oh, come on! You must drink at least one 6oz cup of honey thick liquids in your lifetime! You really haven’t lived until you do.

 What is on your (work) bookshelf? All kinds of “speechie” textbooks, ASHA journals, therapy binders; the fun stuff.

What’s your spirit animal? I would say a lioness. I’d be similar to Sarabi. You know who she is! Ferocious, yet sweet; assertive and also understanding.

What song best describes what you do (job)? Maybe from my clients’ perspective, “Get Out of My Head” by Ashlee Simpson. The lyrics go something like “You’re talking way too much. All your noise is messing with my head. Get out of my head!” This makes me laugh because I hear things like this at least once a day from my clients, got to love it!

A cardiologist, a NICU nurse, and a physical therapist walk into your bar, who do you sit next to and why? I’m sitting next to the physical therapist. Who would be better to assist with my potentially impaired gait after indulging in a beverage or two? Of course by “beverage”, I mean alkaline water of the purest form.

 What are the 5 most important items in your clinical work bag? These are not listed in any order of importance but here are the top 5:

Pulse oximeter, PENCILS (seriously), dental swabs, tongue depressors, binder with handouts/therapy tools. 6 (I must add this).  APPLESAUCE/GRAHAM CRACKERS