Your CFY is the Beginning of the Beginning, Not the Beginning of the End
I can't imagine being an SLP grad during a pandemic. It is hard enough to find a good CFY even when places are hiring. I wanted to share some encouraging words to wisdom to help calm those new clinician nerves.
Your CFY is the beginning of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. I think the post common post I see on facebook groups is "how can I find a med SLP CFY?"I asked the same exact thing when I was starting out. It can be extremely hard to find a med SLP CFY because of the nature of the medical setting. You will have be flexible with where you are willing to live, what you are willing to get paid and when you will start. Don't fret though. Let me tell you a secret. You don't have to do a med SLP CFY to eventually work in a medical setting. You can start in the schools or peds clinic and get your feet wet and take all the CEUs you can and then apply like crazy after you are no longer a CFY.
Interview your CFY supervisor and make sure that they are a good fit for YOU! I think we often get desperate and will take whatever we can and forget that the CFY is a huge learning opportunity. I started my CFY and my supervisor was not a good fit for me. My stomach hurt all the time from anxiety and I would go in the bathroom and do power poses before she observed me to try and get my confidence up. I quit after a month and found a better supervisor who I was much more comfortable with.
Do not let them low ball you! You are worth being paid well. Do not just take any job because it was offered to you. Give them a counter offer and tell them what a bas ass you are and show them that you are worth being paid more!
You are just starting your journey as an SLP so be kind to yourself. You know a lot, but you also have a lot of things to learn that you won't learn until you just do it. Give yourself some grace when you make stupid mistakes and make amends when needed. I have a lot of stories I could tell you about my mistakes. The good thing about mistakes, is that we learn and we will never make that mistake again.
You can be taught clinical skills, but you can't be taught how to be a team player. When I interviewed for an acute care job, I had ZERO experience in acute care. I had taken a lot of CEUs and was preparing for that setting, but my clinical skills were minimal. You know they they hired me? They saw that was motivated to learn. They saw that I had my patient's best interest in mind. They saw that I was a team player. Show them who you are, because it isn't just about what you know.
I hope this was helpful for the new SLP grads out there! Feel free to message me with any questions or comments.