Stephen is a medical speech-language pathologist who spends his time treating stroke, dementia, and Traumatic Brain Injury sufferers so they can talk, think, and swallow again – for as long as they can.
He is passionate about bedside manners, patient centered care, and helping you to become the clinician everybody loves. In this feature, we gain insight and understanding into the significance of his job and his true appreciation of nurses (or should we say, unicorns?).
“Without nurses we’d have no viable healthcare system. At all.”
Stephen was born in Corpus Christi, TX and got his bachelors and masters from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. He just relocated to Lancaster county, PA, just outside of Philadelphia, where his wife is from because they’ll be welcoming their first child into this amazing, wonderful, messy world we all call home in May 2018! On Jan. 1 he released his e-book, “Bedside Manners For the Healthcare Pro” – 25 useful interaction strategies to get through all the doubt and uncertainty to make you the clinician everybody loves.
As you read, it’ll become obvious how we can all take a page out of his book!
When did you decide you wanted to be a Speech-Language Pathologist?
“It was then the first seed was planted that maybe I should give back and help other people speak more easily too.”
What’s your favorite part of your job?
“I love getting my patients out of their shells and making them laugh when there are so many things around them to cry about.”
What do you wish the world understood about your profession?
What kind of education and clinical experience is required for Speech-Language Pathologists?
What are the various care settings you can work in?
We have to ask – Why didn’t you become a nurse? Do you think you could be one?
What were some of your first interactions with nurses like? What do your interactions with nurses now entail?
In my most recent job, I worked with nurses on a couple of short term rehab and long term care units to help keep our patients safe from developing aspiration pneumonia, safe from falls and accidents, able to get their thoughts and words out, and able to regain their clarity of thought. It involved a lot of learning on my part about medical diagnoses, interventions, and side effects and a lot of teaching about what I help with. I ask a lot of questions, present my wishes humbly, and smile a lot.
What impresses you most about nurses?
I am constantly floored at how you can keep track of so many things at once. I seriously don’t know how you do it. You need like eight arms to do you job. And eight brains. I don’t know how you keep your sanity for twelve hours at a time. It’s truly so inspiring. Your breadth of knowledge is also astounding. You guys know. so. much. You’re like unicorns. Just unreal.
How do nurses make your job easier?
What’s something you didn’t know or weren’t able to appreciate about nurses until you worked alongside them?
What does the future of your career entail? How do you think healthcare delivery will change in the coming years?