Did you know that May is Speech & Hearing Month? Each year, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada dedicates this month to raising public awareness about communication health. Stay connected to our channel as we feature SLPs from across Vancouver Coastal Health to celebrate the incredible work being done by these amazing communication health professionals.
Kicking off this month’s highlights is Alannah Turner, a speech language pathologist (SLP) who works with the Provincial Voice Care Resource Program where she assesses and treats voice disorders.
“I love being able to work with a variety of patients from across BC alongside the wonderful specialists,” she says. “Voice care is so fascinating and an ever-evolving field!”
Being an SLP has been Alannah’s dream job since she was in school. When the opportunity became available (after the incredible Dr. Rammage retired) she jumped to get it. “I still pinch myself some days to make sure it is real,” she says.
So how is Alannah inspired every day? “Every single time my patients tell me they are doing better and enjoying their voices again,” she says. “These are the exciting moments that keeps me learning and growing.”
Alannah tells us that she feels well supported by her manager, Benjamin Fischer and clinical practice lead, Tracey Findlay. “They ensure I feel heard, respected and valued,” says Alannah. “I know they are only a call or email away if I have concerns or questions.” When Alannah suffered a fractured ankle, both of them made sure she was comfortable and set up to return to work when she was able. “I am so lucky to have them.”
At VCH, our organization values are We Care for Everyone, We Are Always Learning and We Strive for Better Results. Alannah tells us that being a part of an interdisciplinary health care team means she gets to learn from her colleagues in different fields on a daily basis. “I have opportunities to ask questions, present ideas and research new approaches to serve our voice patients.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alannah tells us the team has relied on using telehealth for voice therapy. “This was brand new to me,” she says. “It offered a challenge but it also meant I could start to reach patients who may not live nearby.” She is using the same therapy skills as before, and researching new ways to support over Zoom!
Fun fact about Alannah: “I had vocal fold nodules before I even knew what a speech pathologist was! I went for voice therapy with an SLP and I decided then and there that this was the career for me!”
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