SLP Spotlight: Jonina Lowe MS, CCC-SLP
In celebration of SLP Month, we wanted to spotlight one of our very own travel SLPs who is making a difference in the world of speech therapy! We had the chance to speak with Jonina Lowe MS, CCC-SLP, about her career thus far and her experience working as a travel therapist with Club Staffing. Here’s what she had to say:
Can you give us a little background on your SLP career, from graduation to now?
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is a professional association for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. It has more than 197,856 members and affiliates. African Americans comprise three percent of the profession. The National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing was established in December 1977, focusing primarily on the interests and concerns of Black professionals and students-in-training within the profession of speech-language pathology. Speech-language pathologists are professionals who engage in clinical services, prevention, advocacy, education, administration, and research in the areas of communication, cognition, language, voice and swallowing across the life span from infancy through geriatrics. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) work to assess, diagnose, and develop treatment plans in order to improve the patient’s quality of life.
What originally made you want to pursue a career as an SLP?
During my sophomore year in college at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue Industrial Engineering. After researching various career fields, I was intrigued by the roles and responsibilities of a Speech-Language Pathologist and decided to pursue that career.
Is there a particular patient population/setting you have worked with primarily?
I started my career as a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant in the school setting at the bachelor’s level. Once I completed my master’s degree, I had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings where the patient population ranged from young adults to geriatrics in Hospital/Acute, Inpatient/Subacute, Assisted Living Facility/Independent Living Facility, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.
What was your main motivation to pursue a career in travel therapy?
My main motivation in pursuing a career in travel therapy is to expand my skill sets within the profession, network, work in various settings, and have the opportunity to receive a merit increase.
What is the best part about the travel therapy lifestyle for you?
The best thing about the travel therapy lifestyle is the flexible work schedule, freedom to select the city and location of employment, and working with various professionals in the rehabilitation and medical departments.
What career & life learnings have you gained from traveling?
The main career and life learning I have gained within the travel therapy industry is establishing a strong relationship with my recruiter. Having a close working relationship with my recruiter has afforded me the opportunity to negotiate contracts, research affordable housing options, and gain an understanding of the fine print in a contract. A person pursuing employment as a travel Speech Pathologist has to be flexible to change as the positions are temporary. On some occasions, facilities may offer a permanent job opportunity.
What is one piece of advice you can offer to other SLPs out there?
One piece of advice that I can offer SLP’s aspiring to travel is to allow yourself balance and boundaries within your work and personal life. In addition to advocating for yourself and being transparent in the areas that are strengths and areas that can be improved upon before taking an assignment.
If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
If I could have dinner with persons that are alive it would be with my parents due to the support that they have provided me within my career as an African American professional.
We want to extend a huge “thank you” to Jonina for taking the time to answer our questions and sharing her in-depth perspective on being a travel SLP for Club Staffing.
Interested in pursuing a career as a travel SLP? Visit our website to explore open jobs and learn more about the benefits Club Staffing can offer you!