Careers in social care
Daniel Hunter is a speech and language therapist at Rochdale primary care trust.
How long in the job? Six years.
Career highlight: Becoming speech and language therapist of the year, awarded by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. My clients nominated me. It makes me feel appreciated by those who matter the most.
Career lowlight: I have these every day. Every time a client leaves and I reflect on the session and feel I should have done something different or better, that is a lowlight for me. But reflective practice helps me move forward.
I didn’t get where I am today by: Avoidance. I stammer and have done since childhood. Putting myself through the training to be a speech and language therapist was challenging to say the least. Attacking my speech head on, being open about my difficulties and saying what I want to say when I want to say it is difficult but rewarding.
I applied for my current job because: I wanted to work with children and adults who stammer. It is the most fascinating and challenging area of work that involves neurology, genetics, linguistics and psychology. It’s all about change and that is very exciting.
I aspire to be: Better than I am.
Me and my career: My job involves two aspects. I do two days in a community clinic where I treat mainly children with speech disorders and three days working exclusively with children and adults who stammer. The job is fascinating because I work with people and they all react differently and bring their own challenges. The kids are always great fun – real characters all of them and for that reason I never get bored when I am doing therapy. The day is over before I know it.
I also work very closely with parents so they can become skilled givers of therapy to their children. This gives them a real stake in their children’s development. It’s rewarding to see them develop confidence and become active participants in the therapy process rather than just passive recipients.
In my stammering work, I try to enable people to become their own therapists. It’s constantly challenging and never ever boring.
1999-now Speech and language therapist, Rochdale primary care trust.
1999 Specialist speech and language therapist, hearing impairment, Dewsbury healthcare NHS trust.
1996-9 Speech and language therapist, Dewsbury healthcare NHS trust.
1993-6 Radiography assistant, St James hospital, Leeds, while studying speech and language therapy.
1992-3 Speech therapy assistant, adult stammering group, St James hospital, Leeds.