Loyola University Maryland

Department of Speech-Language Pathology

Essential Functions

image divider

The following skills are ones that you will be expected to perform during your educational and professional career as a speech language pathologist. This document serves to make you aware of the academic and clinical skills that you will be asked to perform during graduate school and in your future career.

If after reading this page you become aware that you may need accommodations to successfully complete the program, many Loyola University Maryland resources are available to you. These services are listed at the bottom of this page. It is your responsibility to access these services and provide appropriate documentation to the department of speech-language pathology/audiology as required.

*Please note that many of the specific skills listed below will be taught to you during your educational career, however, you need to have the motor, intellectual, cognitive, professional, and sensory capabilities to successfully acquire them.

Motor Skills

As a speech language pathologist you will be asked to:

  • Sustain necessary physical activity level in required classroom and clinical activities (e.g., 60 minute sessions including organization and cleanup of materials, room, clinic, for treatment across ages and abilities in areas which may include oral motor and play; 2 ½ hour classes including class presentations and projects).
  • Respond quickly to provide a safe environment for clients in emergency situations including fire, choking, etc.
  • Be responsible for transportation to clinical and academic placements
  • Participate in classroom and clinical activities for the defined workday (e.g., three 2 ½ hour classes all on Mondays; two/three 60 minute treatment sessions plus 30 minute supervisory conference in an 8 hour day three/four days weekly.
  • Efficiently manipulate testing and treatment environment and materials without violating testing protocol and with best therapeutic practice.
  • Manipulate patient-utilized equipment (e.g. durable medical equipment to include AAC devices, hearing aids, wheelchairs, etc) in a safe manner
  • Access technology for clinical management (i.e. billing, charting, therapy programs, etc.)

*An example of an accepted accommodation is using an assistant (provided by disability support services) to manipulate therapy material.

Intellectual and cognitive skills

As a speech language pathologist you will be asked to:

  • Comprehend, retain, integrate, synthesize, and apply information to meet curricular and clinical demands.
  • Solve problems, reason, and make sound clinical judgments in patient assessment, diagnostic planning, and therapeutic planning.
  • Identify and communicate the limits of their knowledge to others when appropriate
  • Follow detailed written and verbal instruction

*An example of an accepted accommodation is using a note taker (provided by disability support services) to capture information provided in the classroom.

Professional behavior and social abilities

As a speech language pathologist you will be asked to:

  • Display mature, empathic, and effective relationships with clients and faculty/staff while maintaining professional boundaries.
  • Recognize and show respect for individuals with disabilities and for individuals of different ages, genders, race, religions, sexual orientation, and cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Manage the use of time effectively and prioritize actions to complete professional and technical tasks within expected time constraints.
  • Accept appropriate suggestions and constructive criticism and if necessary, respond by modification of behavior.
  • Conduct oneself in an ethical and legal manner, upholding the ASHA code of Ethics, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
  • Maintain general good health and self care in order not to jeopardize the health and safety of self and individuals with whom one interacts in the academic and clinical settings.

*An example of an accepted accommodation is accessing the Counseling Center to arrange a leave of absence secondary to a family emergency.

Sensory and observational communication

(e.g. vision, hearing and perceptual abilities)

As a speech language pathologist you will be asked to:

  • Recognize disorders of speech, language, pragmatics and cognition.
  • Recognize oral and written language disorders.
  • Recognize signs of voice, swallowing, and fluency disorders.
  • Recognize signs of hearing disorders and identify and use appropriate alternative modalities of communication
  • Recognize various anatomic structures related to and important for communication.
  • Interpret imaging testing.
  • Discriminate text, numbers, tables, and graphs associated with diagnostic instruments and tests.

*An example of an accepted accommodation is using a textbook with enlarged print (provided by disability support services) to capture information provided in the classroom.

Communication Abilities

As a speech language pathologist you will be asked to:

  • Communicate proficiently in both oral and written English.
  • Possess reading and writing skills sufficient to meet curricular and clinical demands.
  • Communicate professionally, intelligibly, and appropriately.
  • Communicate proficiently and legibly on patient documentation, reports, and academic papers, and projects.
  • Accurately perceive and appropriately use non-verbal communication.
  • Accurately model voice, fluency, articulation, and language skills needed for effective evaluation and treatment.

*An example of an accepted accommodation is a student accessing clinical services to remediate a voice or dialect concerns.

Please feel free to contact the department if you have any questions about the information on this page or accommodations.

Services available at Loyola University Maryland