High Response to ASHA Survey Reveals Progress in Health Care The results of the 2007 SLP Health Care Survey indicate that some gains have been made in the areas of shortages, work conditions, and salaries. The 2007 survey is the third biennial survey of members working in health care; the 64% response rate (more than 2,400 responses) far exceeded that ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   October 01, 2007
High Response to ASHA Survey Reveals Progress in Health Care
Author Notes
  • Amy Hasselkus, associate director of health care services in speech-language pathology, can be reached at ahasselkus@asha.org.
    Amy Hasselkus, associate director of health care services in speech-language pathology, can be reached at ahasselkus@asha.org.×
Article Information
ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   October 01, 2007
High Response to ASHA Survey Reveals Progress in Health Care
The ASHA Leader, October 2007, Vol. 12, 8-9. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.12142007.8
The ASHA Leader, October 2007, Vol. 12, 8-9. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.12142007.8
The results of the 2007 SLP Health Care Survey indicate that some gains have been made in the areas of shortages, work conditions, and salaries. The 2007 survey is the third biennial survey of members working in health care; the 64% response rate (more than 2,400 responses) far exceeded that of any previous year.
Since 2005, ASHA has been devoting resources to SLP shortages in health care under the Focused Initiative on Personnel Issues in Health Care and Education. Efforts have been made to collect data on the full nature and extent of shortages in health care settings, educate the public about careers in speech-language pathology, and provide members working in health care with recruitment and retention resources and materials to help them advocate for speech-language pathology services in their facilities.
Shortages
Although credit for the positive changes noted in the survey results cannot be attributed to the focused initiative alone, the increased attention on health care issues appears to have had an impact on members’ experiences. The overall number of respondents reporting a funded, unfilled position dropped from 41% in 2005 to 38% in 2007. The settings with the greatest reduction in open positions were home health (from 48% in 2005 to 38% in 2007) and clinics (from 40% to 34%).
The number of respondents indicating that job openings were more numerous than job-seekers decreased slightly, but not significantly; however, there was a slight increase in the number of SLPs who responded that the job market was in balance (up to 28% from 24% in 2005) in their geographic areas.
Satisfaction
When asked about workplace challenges, the number of respondents selecting “unsatisfactory salary/benefits” dropped from 33% in 2005 to 25% this year. There was also a slight drop in the number of SLPs selecting “not being valued by other disciplines and/or by administration.” In addition, when asked if other professionals were providing primary swallowing services in their facility, only 12% responded “yes,” a 1% drop from 2005 and a 3% drop from 2002. This finding suggests that although concerns about encroachment in swallowing practice continue, there is no indication of an upward trend. Overall, these decreasing numbers indicate that on-the-job advocacy works.
The overall increase in salaries is another positive factor in employment. Median annual salaries in health care increased approximately $5,000 since 2005. Hourly salaries also saw an increase, with those who work more than 26 hours per week receiving $34/hour (up from $31 in 2005) and those working fewer than 25 hours per week receiving $41/hour (up from $35 in 2005).
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October 2007
Volume 12, Issue 14