SLP Blog Link-up

I was very excited a few weeks ago to receive a request on Twitter to be interviewed regarding my blog.  It’s very exciting to me to not only know that people read my blog, but actually like it.  It’s great to be able to share information in such a great format!

I was also asked to interview 2 bloggers.  I chose an old favorite and a new favorite.  Enjoy meeting Adam and Sara….

1. Your name, email, blog address, link to TpT store if you have one
Sara Coffelt, nickname Saraco or Saracoslp
   E-mail: saracoslp@gmail.com
2. When and why did you start blogging?
I am a writer at heart who communicates my thoughts better in writing – whether that be journaling or blogging.  I’ve been blogging for several years on different sites and topics.  I probably began blogging about 5 years ago.  My first blog was personal.  My second blog was a truth blog about truths in life I am experiencing.  My third blog is my newest blog and relates to my career as a traveling Speech Language Pathologist.  (I should mention all three of the blogs are still currently active).  
 
As for my career blog, I always wanted to be a traveling SLP.  I learned about this unique industry as an undergrad student about 8 years ago.  It is a dream I always wanted to accomplish but always wondered if I would.  Fast forward 6 years later and I began my SLP career first in the schools and then in a skilled nursing facility.  When the opportunity to do traveling therapy came up recently, I took it.  Although I just began doing traveling therapy, I want to span the U.S. and travel across the nation and experience life, culture, and adventure while being an SLP!  I began my traveling SLP blog for 2 reasons:  1) To keep my family and friends connected with my travels and 2) To be a resource to fellow SLP’s who are interested in traveling therapy.  My blog includes information about my traveling adventures as well as “industry information” for SLP’s who want more information about traveling Speech Language Pathology.

3. What is your favorite population to work with?
I have several!  When I started working in the schools I fell in love with deaf/Hard-of-Hearing/Cochlear Implant students and autism students.  I discovered the SLP career actually when my friend’s deaf son began speech therapy and was “talking” 3 years later!  Working in the skilled nursing facilities, I have fallen in love with Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.  They are so unique and wonderful and teach me so much each day.  (My favorite “disorder” to work with is actually dysphagia patients!).

4. How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?
As for blogging, I blog once a week on my traveling therapy blog and a few times a week on my other personal blogs.  I will probably blog more on my traveling therapy blog when more adventures unfold!  

 
When it comes to creating materials, I am always looking to better my patients and their families with information.  I feel working as a medical SLP is 1/3 assessment/treatment, 1/3 educating patients, families, and staff, and 1/3 paperwork.  I probably spend anywhere from 2-5 hours a week creating handouts or information for my job, and another few hours a week translating my materials.  Working in California, I work with a very large hispanic population and most of my patients and their families are Spanish speaking so I translate everything I make into Spanish.

5. What’s your favorite topic to create materials for?
I have a few topics I’m passionate about working in a skilled nursing facility but my favorite topic to create materials for is the dual diagnosis of dysphagia and dementia.  People really don’t understand much about the correlation between dysphagia and dementia and I create materials to educate about these topics separately and together.

6. What’s the best thing about blogging?
At first I loved blogging because it was a way to get my thoughts out but I’ve come to appreciate blogging over the past few years because it connects you with other people.  I love reading other people’s blogs and learning more information or hearing a funny story or two.  I think blogging is an incredible way to network, share information, and meet new people (and all from the comfort of your own home in your pajamas!).

7. Do you have any blogging tips?
Everyone has something to say or something they are passionate about – whether that’s work related or not – so don’t be afraid to start a blog to write about what you’re passionate about.

8. Do you share your online presence (blogging, tweeting, etc) with coworkers? Why or why not?

YES!  I share my online presence with a lot of people lol.  Co-workers, fellow SLP’s from school, family, and friends.  As for my personal blogs, I don’t tend to share them because they are very personal.  But when it comes to my career blog, I am in such a unique position to be doing something few SLP’s and other rehab people know about so I share a lot!  I am not an expert on social media but I try to stay informed and connected through Twitter and Facebook and more recently blogging, Linked-in, and Google+.  

1. Adam, slotaag@gmail.com, slowdog (www.theslowdog.com)

2. I started blogging in the beginning of 2010. My thought was to write about SLP issues, research, etc. But it quickly morphed into a blog about whatever I felt like writing about, like beer, biking and the occasional political rant. 
3. My favorite population is acute care, especially those that are trach and ventilator dependent. I enjoy dysphagia, dysarthria and aphasia. 
4. I gues that depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes I write a few posts a month which takes up 3+ hours a week. Other times I’ll not post for one or two months. 
5. I really like writing about issues within the speech pathology, such as ethical quandaries and pseudoscientific practices. I also like to write about beer. 
6. The best think about blogging are the comments. It means a lot that someone took time to read a post and comment on their thoughts. Also the ‘Like’ button for Facebook. I love when people press that button 🙂
7. Blogging tips? Hmm, I don’t feel like I’m qualified to give those out! Perhaps, responding to other people’s comments (which I’m terrible at) and posting on semi-regular basis (I’m also terrible about that). 
8. I don’t really share my online presence with co-workers. Mostly because I’m shy about what I write. Also because I sometimes use coarse language and or write about alcohol-I like to enjoy some degree if pseudo-anonymity. 

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