Doesn’t it just boil down to the hourly rate?

For an SLP, does it make financial sense to perform telepractice instead of performing speech therapy onsite?  Even though on the average onsite therapists earn more per hour than teletherapists, is this the entire story? Certainly there must be other things to weigh aside from the hourly rate!

1. Other Financial Considerations

1. Per Diem

Many remote therapy agencies contract with their teletherapists to work per diem which is Latin for “per day.” Although per diem is “working by the day,” that daily work is often guaranteed, and while not technically a salary it functions in much the same way. So where there is a high percentage of per diem guaranteed hours that amount of compensation is essentially guaranteed.

2. Cross Licensure

Cross Licensure, allowing therapists to deliver therapy across state lines, is another way that teletherapists can increase their hours. Amending regulations has had the dual impact of providing therapy to many who would not otherwise be served, in addition to increasing opportunities for therapists to increase their caseload — a win-win!

2. Networking

Some telepractice agencies, due to their size and widespread geographic appeal, have developed and nurtured strong professional networks within the company without requiring you to create your own. The benefits are numerous and valuable.

1. Support

Having a strong network of professional connections can give you the support you need. Being connected to such a cadre of other therapists gives you confidence that someone within your sphere will be able to answer even your toughest questions. And, even if there’s no definitive answer, you’ll have a welcoming sounding board upon which to bounce your ideas.

2. Advice

Another key benefit of networking is obtaining the advice of experienced peers. When you discuss common challenges and opportunities the door to helpful suggestions and guidance opens wide. And by offering your unsolicited assistance, you are establishing a solid foundation for their support when you call upon them.

3. Resources

When the telepractice company provides an online resource platform with a plethora of resources for therapists to find activities and games, the therapist’s job is not only made easier but often more stimulating and exciting.

4. Exchanging Ideas

Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas, best practice knowledge, a place to learn about the clinical techniques of your peers, and a way to stay abreast of the latest industry developments. Exchanging information on challenges, experiences, and goals is a key benefit of networking because it allows you to gain new insights that you may not have otherwise considered.

5. New Perspectives

It’s easy to become ensnared in the day-to-day grind of your professional realm and end up in a rut. Interacting with others in your field, especially those with expertise, can provide fresh eyes to alleviate problems you may have thought couldn’t be solved. Seeking insights from colleagues you trust or admire can be enlightening and help to overcome roadblocks that you may have believed were too difficult to navigate.

6. Developing Valuable Relationships

Networking at its best is a mutual relationship, and when it is done right, it can help build your career. While networking may not be the simplest or quickest approach to building long-term relationships, the give and take on a professional level in areas that both of you care about can be the catalyst for a meaningful relationship.

While the objective of networking is to develop yourself in the professional realm, some of the strongest and most enduring friendships evolve from work connections. That’s because those with whom you network generally have goals similar to yours, so it’s more likely than not that amongst your professional support network will be new friends. This is even more likely to happen when that network is found within your company.

3. Appreciation

According to psychologist and management consultant Frederick Herzberg, employee recognition is the purest and perhaps most powerful form of motivation. An employee who is motivated generally is engaged and finding their work fulfilling and satisfying. While employee recognition is intangible, when an employee feels that his/her talents, expertise, qualifications, concern, and hard work are valued, that employee is going to give back to the company not out of necessity but from desire.