Stacy Ashley Murphy
Any individual pursuing lifelong learning will keep the doors of opportunity open throughout his or her career. Being involved in professional organizations is a great way to live out this concept, allowing for personal career development and the formation of valuable relationships.Steve Kinkead, SLP understands this well, currently serving on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) advisory council as a Nebraska state representative. He was also former president of the Nebraska Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSLHA) and now sits on its executive board. “Being involved in a professional organization allows us to remain current in our fields,” Steve noted. “It helps us stay up-to-date on clinical best practices and newly discovered information.”
Remaining aware of regulatory changes, recent legislative information and upcoming trends in the marketplace benefits both therapists and their patients. Oftentimes, professionals are able to form connections with universities as well. Over the years, Steve has been invited to give guest lectures on therapy topics at a number of colleges, providing students with examples of what the transition into a professional role will look like. Such a partnership exposes students to professional organizations at an early stage, highlighting the importance of such participation during each phase of a career.
Involvement in professional organizations also allows therapists to form impactful relationships and mentorships with one another, sharing useful knowledge and helpful tips. For those at differing levels in their careers, this network exists as a natural way to give back through support and encouragement. Therapists who remain involved aid a community whose sole purpose is to give back to others.
Such practices also help people avoid burnout or “compassion fatigue.” Steve explained this well, mentioning that “professionals are able to replenish each other. We go through similar experiences and understand common struggles.” Peers are able to form a bond through challenges and opportunities faced on a daily basis. Any group of people dedicating their lives to the same cause will undoubtedly have shared interests and passions, resulting in an underlying sense of understanding.