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My Motivation to Become Part Of Medical Profession

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As someone who has been a recipient of the care and support of the National Health Service, I knew my chosen career would involve helping others. I have a congenital heart condition and my life has been transformed by surgeries and therapies which have allowed me to lead a normal life. Giving something back is hugely important to me. Witnessing the effects of stroke on my Grandfather and the beneficial therapy which followed, helped me decide on the ‘how’. Speech and Language Therapists change lives and I am driven to become part of this profession.

Within my A-Level studies, I have thoroughly enjoyed the insightful content of the English Language course. For example, the study of Child Language Acquisition has developed my knowledge on the formation of speech, phonetics (further developed in Speech and Language degree course) and also early stages of children’s language. Furthermore, I have also studied unique cases of speech impediments such as the study of feral children which has illustrated the importance of a child’s critical period (Lenneberg) within language acquisition. I believe the study of this subject has provided a foundation for my aspirations in Speech and Language studies at university with the knowledge of linguistical theories and basic phonetics. Moreover, to develop my understanding of the topic, I have undertaken wider reading and recently read ‘Helen Keller: The Story of My Life’ which I found interesting as it illustrated the significance of therapy and teaching in improving the patient’s quality of life. Speech and Language therapy aims not necessarily to cure but instead to improve the life of those struggling with speech impediments.

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An exciting opportunity arose for me to undertake a work placement with a Speech and Language Therapist in the Community Stroke Rehab Team at Queen Alexandra Hospital. The team generously allowed me to shadow interactions with patients and varying therapy techniques which helped me further understand the profession. Having gained experience with adults, I also arranged to visit a Primary School to see a Speech and Language Therapist work with young children to improve their vocal skills. Though the therapies differed for adults and children, I found both fascinating and look forward to working on developing my own strategies for varying age groups. Volunteering at the Stroke Association, I have also witnessed the advances stroke sufferers make as a result of life improving treatment for communication, eating, drinking and swallowing (dysphagia). Spending time with patients who have suffered a stroke, has helped me further understand the importance of the NHS values of Respect and Dignity together with Compassion for patients by showing sensitivity and kindness. Members of the association feel socially excluded as speech difficulties are often disregarded because they are not life threatening however, the NHS value I consider to be the most important is ‘Everyone Counts’.

Sign language (BSL) is a skill I am currently working on within weekly lessons and regular practice. Signing opens the gates of communication and avoids isolation for the hearing impaired. Signing with a profoundly deaf person challenged my confidence initially but as my technique has improved, I am able to confidently converse and interact with people who are otherwise excluded from conversation. In my spare time at college, I am also a reading mentor – giving my time to help improve reading abilities is a passion of mine. Speech therapy combines both analytical and teaching skills and I believe the mentoring techniques I am learning, will give me the confidence to interact with patients on future University placements.


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