There comes a time when we simply have to say enough is enough. There’s also a time when we have to look deep within ourselves and determine are we a part of the problem – or are we a part of the solution. At the risk of sounding rude, if you are not actively…ACTIVELY…a part of the solution, then you are, by default a part of the problem.
Hmmm…Did I lose a few readers there? I hope not. If you’re still reading…thank you! I promise, I’m not judging 🙂
Recently, a cyber-friend of mine whom I know through twitter and facebook contacted ASHA and her state association over the difficulties the health-based SLPs are facing with ridiculous (and impossible and probably unethical) productivity requirements. You can find that information and a letter she wrote here.
What’s more…ASHA heard her and invited her to attend the ASHA Members forum at the national conference last week. She is taking the steps necessary for her voice to be heard – to be a catalyst of positive change. Reading her posts and talking with her, has really made me realize we are not alone.
I hear school-based SLPs desperately searching for a way out of the impossible situations in the schools (high caseload, impossible demands, low pay) and dreaming of going to the “luxurious” and “high paying” jobs in the hospitals. I hear SLPs in the hospitals and SNFs dreaming of going to private practice or clinics because of the impossible productivity requirements. I hear private practice people lamenting the necessary evils of billing and time management and debating on returning to the schools.
Bottom line is ASHA can’t even begin to fix what they don’t know is broken. State associations can’t fix what they don’t know is a problem. We have to remember the powers-that-be are bureaucrats. They are not in the trenches and really, truthfully, have no clue what is really going on. We cannot assume that they know what’s going on…assumptions are dangerous for everyone. That’s where we come in.
We all have a choice. We can sit still and continue to be abused. Continue to have increasingly large caseloads, increasing demands on our time and paperwork, and we can burnout quietly and be one of many who leave the field forever. OR we can be a voice for change. I look at it this way…if I see a child being abused – it is my ethical responsibility to report it. Why then should we tolerate abuse on ourselves? We may still burnout before the change happens – but at least we will not burnout quietly. We will be working toward making things better for everyone including our clients.
I challenge each of you…Be like Rachel. Write a letter to your state association asking what you can do to set up and enforce the things we need: caseload cap (not just case management – caseload), time to complete paperwork, etc. Then go the extra step…write a letter to ASHA. Rachel’s letter is easily adaptable to fit with the schools, SNF, or hospitals. Not only will you be showing support for Rachel – but you will be showing ASHA that they really need to step up to the plate and advocate for US ALL. At the very least, maybe someone there can help us figure out how to make changes in our perspective states. There HAS to be a way. We CAN do this if we work together.
We…every one of us…became SLPs to help others quality of lives. It is time we help our own – so we can continue to help others.
What say you? Are you willing to share your voice with ASHA and help the push for change???? I’d love to hear it if you are.
Until then…Adventure on!
PS: Here are some contact links directly from Rachel’s blog.
- Email ASHA through Karol Scher, Director of Administration and Communications for Standards and Ethics at KScher@asha.org. ***UPDATE*** ”In order to better direct your messages, please update the contact info to either Marty Rome, ASHA’s Chief Staff Officer for Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the SLP Practices group at email@example.com.”
- Email your state organization. You can find your state organization contact here.
- Bonus points for emailing your congressperson, company ombudsmen, etc.