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New To Telepractice? Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions!

So, you are an established Speech/Language Pathologist or perhaps you are just beginning your SLP career. If you are interested in pursuing teletherapy, what do you need to consider before signing with a company that wants to contract with you to provide services?  When I became a teletherapist over 7 years ago, I felt comfortable working with students onsite, but what should I ask for or what would I need to provide the highest-quality teletherapy services? Many other blogs provide the questions to ask while interviewing for a teletherapy position/contract, but I would like to take a more in-depth look at what questions you should consider asking in order to provide the highest-quality, therapy services.  I am writing this post based on my own personal experience because, looking back, I wish I would have had this information available.  I could have avoided some headaches and overall, had more self-confidence, stepping into my “teletherapy” role.

When most people begin a new job, they are given a mentor or someone to help them transition into his/her new role. Why should teletherapy be any different?  After working onsite in schools for 24+ years, I felt comfortable in the role of a Speech/Language Pathologist, and I considered myself to be technologically savvy, but that did not mean I had the confidence to jump into providing teletherapy services with both feet!  I knew that I wanted to provide teletherapy and had signed on the “dotted line,” but then I realized questions I should have asked earlier.

Here is a list of questions you should consider asking:

*Who will be my contact person at the contracting  company?  I will need his/her email and phone number.

*Who will be my contact person at the school/facility?  I  will need his/her email and phone number.

*Who will train me to use the video-conferencing      platform? How do I go about scheduling that?

*Will I be given time to practice using the platform before  beginning with students/clients?

*With whom can I practice?

*Could I have a teletherapist that has worked with your  company mentor me?  I will need his/her name and  phone number.

*I would like to be involved in the scheduling process for  teletherapy.

*Where will teletherapy be conducted within the school?

*Will we have the “Speech Therapy Room” to ourselves  while I am providing teletherapy (for HIPAA compliance)?

*Can I have a list of the teachers and their room numbers,  grade levels, and email addresses?

*Can I have the list of students I will be scheduling for  teletherapy?

*When will I have access to the students’ IEP’s?

*How long will I have to review the IEP’s and plan before  beginning teletherapy?

*Could I get a copy of the school calendar listing field trips, vacation days, and any early-release days?

This list of questions will help you get started on your teletherapy “journey.”  Can you think of any additional questions that I haven’t listed here?

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