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In this Part 1 interview, we talk with Julie Irwin MA, CCC-SLP and Kurt Keena MA, CCC-SLP. They discuss their early experiences as SLP’s, getting started with travel therapy, and delve into successfully transitioning between SLP settings.

Julie Irwin MA, CCC-SLP: @julieeirwin – https://www.instagram.com/julieeirwin/
Kurt Keena MA, CCC-SLP: @kurt.keena – https://www.instagram.com/kurt.keena/

Behind the scenes with Jennifer, Alyssa, Julie, Kurt and producer Jonathan.

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Episode Transcript

00:00:00:11 – 00:00:19:03

Jennifer Martin

Welcome to SLP Full disclosure, the podcast for SLPs by SLPs, where we deep dive into a variety of topics to empower, educate and entertain. Join us each episode to hear from expert guests and topics that matter most. Be sure to subscribe, if you haven’t already. And let us jump in this episode.

00:00:30:23 – 00:01:07:29

Jennifer Martin

Well welcome to SLP Full Disclosure. Thank you all so much for joining us today. I am one of your hosts Jennifer Martin and I’m joined by my co-host Alyssa Hunter.

Alyssa Hunter

Hello everybody.

Jennifer Martin

We are very excited today. I cannot say enough about our first two guests. Everybody who meets them ends the sentence with “I just love them.” So they are very lovable people. They are two SLPs that have a lot of information to share and a lot of fun stories.

00:01:07:29 – 00:01:41:09

Jennifer Martin

And it is Kurt Keena and Julie Irwin. Hello and welcome. Hi. Yes. So I’m going to give a little quick bio on each of you and then we’ll get started. And just for our listeners to know this will be a two-part episode. Our first episode is going to focus on moving from setting to setting because as you will find both Kurt and Julie have a lot of experience with this. And our second episode is going to focus more on travel therapy and some of the fun and not so fun things that go along with that.

00:01:41:09 – 00:02:29:25

Jennifer Martin

So, I’ll go and get started. So, Julie thank you so much for joining us. She is originally from New Jersey and got her bachelor’s degree at Loyola University Maryland and her master’s degree at Montclair State University. She loves to travel, new experiences, yoga, spending time with family and friends and get this, she, again this is why they are our guests for working in many settings, she has worked in early intervention, schools, acute care, rehab, hospitals and skilled nursing and a fun fact about her is that she is trying to see all 50 states by the age of 30 and she is close at forty five states and has a couple of years to spare.

00:02:29:25 – 00:03:07:12

Jennifer Martin

So very cool. Yeah. Our second guest is Kurt. And he also went to Montclair State University which we’ll talk about how they met. He has worked again in many, many settings, acute care, outpatient, inpatient rehab, public schools.  Some of the things that he loves are hiking, yoga, cooking, eating, as you will see if you could follow his Instagram page, he has lots of fun food photographs and of course traveling.  His very favorite country is Spain, a very important reason that he loves it is that he also met his husband there.  

00:03:07:12 – 00:03:27:27

Jennifer Martin

So a couple of cool reasons to love that country. He has loved being a travel therapist and is just really grown professionally and personally so, welcome! Thank you. Yes. So, I think you know just to get started I would love for you both to just kind of take us back where did this amazing friendship start?

00:03:27:29 – 00:03:50:24

Kurt Keena

At first I don’t think we liked each other. Yeah I mean I don’t think I had anything against Julie I just didn’t really know who she was and I kind of came into the grad program with two friends from undergrad, so I guess just because we were forced to work together as graduate assistants, we got to kind of know each other and inevitably realized that we’re both great people. So we developed a pretty strong friendship. I would say probably two semesters in. Yeah.

00:03:57:21 – 00:03:59:12

Kurt Keena

And from there just we couldn’t get enough

00:04:01:05 – 00:04:09:00

Julie Irwin

Truly, but in the beginning we were the only two who had a friend in the class. Yeah. Last year he was on my radar and he was the only male.

00:04:09:00 – 00:04:34:15

Julie Irwin

So I was like, let’s befriend this guy because everyone else kind of has a similar story and you were a bit different. But we were actually both brought to Montclair on a research fellowship where our schooling was paid for by our research. So not only were we in all of our classes together and having to do clinic together but we had to be in a room like eight feet by six feet, twenty-five hours a week together.

00:04:34:27 – 00:04:40:13

Julie Irwin

So it was either best friends or worst enemies.

00:04:42:05 – 00:04:44:27

Jennifer Martin

It like a reality show, slash hostage situation.

00:04:46:07 – 00:04:52:04

Julie Irwin

Luckily it worked out for the best but since then I mean you became part of my family. Yeah.

00:04:52:05 – 00:05:08:21

Kurt Keena

And anytime I can spend with her family is, great. I mean I always try to go back and see them obviously just like I want to see my own family. But yeah. Yeah. Soon as we really started becoming friends it just like snowballed into just a huge relationship.

00:05:09:05 – 00:05:18:26

Julie Irwin

And he’s the gutsy one. I have the good ideas but he’s the gutsy one. So I was like I think we’ve been here long enough in New Jersey and we need to get out.

00:05:18:29 – 00:05:26:26

Julie Irwin

I think I’m going to do travel therapy and he’s like “OK when?” I’m like OK, it’s happening. OK.

00:05:26:26 – 00:05:40:23

Julie Irwin

So without his push I don’t know if I would’ve jumped on… like the idea sounded amazing to me but to do it alone was a little scary and to have a friend right there being like Just tell me where we’re going and I’ll join you was amazing.

00:05:40:23 – 00:05:56:26

Jennifer Martin

Did you have an area when you were in grad school where you felt like OK, this is an area I want to specialize in. Did you ever think about taking a perm job or was there something that you were like, Because when I got out, I was like, “I want adults and acute. That’s what I’m doing.”

00:05:59:20 – 00:06:09:00

Julie Irwin

I actually said to him, I think we were the only two people in the whole program who didn’t into a pediatric placement because we were so certain that we didn’t want to work with kids.

00:06:09:00 – 00:06:17:13

Kurt Keena

I worked with, I did pediatric but it was a hospital and outpatient.

00:06:17:13 – 00:06:43:06

Julie Irwin

Well I made a stink, I said I only want adult I’m sure of it. And so they let me do all of my internships with adults. I actually don’t have pediatric hours and I mean I did through our clinic but not in externship. And I was certain of that. But when we started looking at these job options in schools fell in my lap, I was initially hesitant but then ultimately it was like, for the experience it’ll be worth it, and I’ll see if I like it.

00:06:43:06 – 00:06:47:17

Julie Irwin

And now three years then I keep repeating it.

00:06:48:05 – 00:06:58:22

Jennifer Martin

But I immediately knew that. Did you try to get a CF doing medical was that your initial thought or were you thinking. I don’t care what it is as long as I can travel?

00:06:58:22 – 00:07:28:24

Julie Irwin

Initially I was trying to do medical because both of my externship were very high profile hospitals and rehab hospitals who said “we want you to work here but you can not unless you have your clinical fellowship year in a medical setting” and they didn’t offer a CFY position. So I was really trying for that but I kind of took quality of life over the pressure of fitting into a really tight spot that was being laid for me without my control.

00:07:29:03 – 00:07:45:17

Julie Irwin

And we took this, and I luckily did a few months in the school and then was able to transition into a medical setting. So I finished out my CF in a medical setting and kind of got the best of both worlds. But yeah we both were set on permanent jobs in New Jersey.

00:07:45:18 – 00:08:06:19

Julie Irwin

Yeah, you mean really one at that one hospital.

Kurt Keena

Where I work did my clinical externships. I wanted to work there and when we graduated there just wasn’t a position available for me. So, I was like Yeah what the heck, let’s drive to Washington and live there. So you tried yeah like I was I was interested but I just wasn’t gonna work.

00:08:06:21 – 00:08:22:14

Kurt Keena

And as it turned out while we were out in Washington a position opened up for me, at what I thought and kind of in some ways still is my dream job, at a hospital in New Jersey, but travel therapy just kind of sucked me back in.

00:08:22:24 – 00:08:23:26

Jennifer Martin

So you went from…

00:08:26:15 – 00:08:45:04

Kurt Keena

Yeah. School out in Washington was our first job together as our first jobs as CFs and then ended up going back home to finish out my CFY and beyond at a hospital, acute care, outpatient, inpatient rehab kind of across disciplines and ages.

00:08:45:06 – 00:08:51:20

Jennifer Martin

What’s interesting is you started your CF but the both of you left and went elsewhere to finish it? Yeah.

00:08:51:21 – 00:08:59:12

Julie Irwin

Yeah, I actually was at three different places which is I think frowned upon by ASHA. But oh well.

00:09:01:14 – 00:09:34:16

Julie Irwin

For me it was wonderful because it gave me these short-term spurts where I was able to see something I like or not. And I I’ve always been pleasantly surprised with settings, which to me is like the biggest thing I’ve taken from travel because, I was so close-minded and thought I had one path to follow and that was the path I was going to continue to go down and now with the experience in so many different settings, I just am so glad because I know, no matter where I am or where I go I can have a little more flexibility in what jobs I apply for.

00:09:34:16 – 00:09:38:28

Julie Irwin

And I know I won’t be miserable because there’s good in all of them.

00:09:39:02 – 00:09:47:09

Kurt Keena

I couldn’t believe, I mean starting the job out in Washington I was like there is no way that I’m going to like working in a school like “I’m going to hate, this I’m not going to make any progress.”

00:09:47:09 – 00:10:01:02

Julie Irwin

He used to hate kids.

Kurt Keena

I mean really young ones no. But the ones like once they get older and have attitude, I was like I’m not going to like that. And I was crying my eyes out my last day of school after being with them for three months. I mean it’s just ridiculous.

00:10:01:02 – 00:10:38:26

Kurt Keena

But we’ve learned so much at each one of our placements in every school or every setting that we’ve worked in is so different. And the other nice thing about taking these contracts, is that, at least for me, I know when I’m starting a new contract, I don’t really have that like new job jitters. I’m like I can do this. Like I could. I’m a quick learner, I’m flexible, I’ll figure it out and I’m gonna get something out of this. They’re gonna get a lot out of me and I’m gonna get a lot out of this placement. I know I’m gonna learn and grow and I’m going to give what I have to wherever I’m going to work.

00:10:39:00 – 00:10:41:17

Jennifer Martin

That’s awesome. Did you have a question?

00:10:41:17 – 00:11:06:20

Alyssa Hunter

Well, I just wanted to know, how did that transition go when you know, you went into your CF year and you thought, “OK I’m trying a school, this is what I want I’ll make the best of it.” And then suddenly you’re changing to a whole new setting. How did that feel as a CF, walking into a new facility that you weren’t familiar with and weren’t necessarily expecting to be there?

00:11:06:22 – 00:11:30:02

Kurt Keena

It was it was intimidating in the sense that I had no idea what I was doing, we really got no instruction in how to be a therapist in school. In our externship, yes but again we were not and neither of us were in a school setting. So it was scary but also we were both at schools where we were alone. So it was kind of hit the ground running.

00:11:30:08 – 00:11:51:09

Kurt Keena

Figure it out. You’re kind of your own boss which was nice. And then we did have the support of Melissa at the time who was both of our CF supervisor. So we did have some support we had support but we were still kind of doing this thing, all on our own.

00:11:51:09 – 00:12:24:27

Julie Irwin

And I think as scary as that was, it was kind of putting us to the test, and being like are we going to sink or swim and let’s show the world what a what a good therapist we can be, no matter what situation we’re placed in and I think that’s a huge part of our field, is being flexible, thinking on our feet and making the best of the situation. And we know that we were prepared knowledge-wise and had some clinical skills and it was like, now let’s put it to the test. And as long as, the good thing about us, and the good thing about many people in our profession is our hearts are in the right place.

00:12:24:27 – 00:13:04:02

Julie Irwin

So you want to best serve whoever you’re working with, whether it’s a child or patient who suffered a stroke or a geriatric patient, your heart gets dedicated to them and you’ll do what you can to succeed and I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve taken from travel because, I came into it as such a perfectionist and such a planner and this is kind of like, anything can come your way. But now we are very well equipped to handle that and that’s a huge perk that’s come from this travel. Aside from seeing the country, and meeting new people, and learning from different professionals, and being on different teams where you bring a different element every single time you’re on a new team completely. Oh my goodness. Who knew.

00:13:06:20 – 00:13:19:01

Julie Irwin

But it’s also about this learning experience, where you kind of get that confidence deep rooted in you and you’re like I can do this I’ve done it before and switching so frequently kind of has helped me do the same thing with you like I got this.

00:13:19:02 – 00:13:29:25

Kurt Keena

Yeah you just walk in, and say OK it’s gonna be different. And who knows what’s gonna happen. And this could go really, really well the first few weeks or it could be a total disaster. But in the end, it works out and every time.

00:13:29:25 – 00:13:32:22

Julie Irwin

But truth be told, I also think like “if it doesn’t work, we’re only here for 13 weeks.”

00:13:34:17 – 00:13:36:11

Jennifer Martin

I can do anything for 13 weeks.

00:13:37:01 – 00:13:58:00

Alyssa Hunter

That confidence though is really amazing and I think like thinking about most speech therapists being kind of this perfectionist personality of wanting to really I mean because our heart’s in the right place that we really want to help but knowing you’re going to bring something special to the table and no one can take that away and that’s really cool.

00:13:58:00 – 00:14:32:29

Jennifer Martin

And I have a question to go back to, when you started your CF, because that’s a very common thing we hear all the time is you know it just as you stated it’s really challenging to get your clinical fellowship in a medical setting. It just is it’s just the way it is. And so we talk to people all the time that feel like you know the schools or where you know, SLPs go, “oh, I don’t want to go there. That’s not what I want.” And so I’m trying to explain to them that you know this is one stop in your journey.

00:14:32:29 – 00:14:47:20

Jennifer Martin

So when you got to that school I mean in full transparency where you like, “I’m just gonna get this over with.” And if you did feel that way, at what point did you did it kick in like, “Oh, actually I like this.”

00:14:48:00 – 00:15:09:04

Kurt Keena

I would say day one, I felt like, “oh my god like you just gotta get through this,” it’s 13 weeks but it’s not gonna be fun but I’m going to get through it and maybe like by the second week I was already enjoying it because I had already established a relationship with kids and I could see that I did have skills that would make a difference in their abilities to communicate.

00:15:09:04 – 00:15:40:29

Julie Irwin

So I think, quickly I just had to do an ego shift because I came out of grad school being like very good at what I do. And I worked at the best brain injury rehab hospital in the world and I got the coolest patients and that’s all great. And so I was thinking that schools would be like a downgrade from that and I totally had to just shift my mindset and be like this is totally different. I’m still learning everyday. I’ve learned more in schools than I did in hospitals because I had no idea. And so my brain has been stimulated.

00:15:40:29 – 00:15:43:25

Being in schools whereas I kind of thought it would be the reverse.

00:15:44:06 – 00:16:04:20

Julie Irwin

I have grown these relationships and I’ve also got such a good sense of work-life balance which I didn’t have in the medical settings and to me that makes me a better therapist, that makes me a better friend, and family member and I’ve thrived being in schools because my heart can go into it, but I don’t go home being like, “oh my gosh what do I do for that patient?”

00:16:56:06 – 00:17:17:01

Jennifer Martin

So I mean sounds like, you know ,when you went into the medical after that was did your brain have to radically shift to think like “OK now I have to you know work with this population.” Or did you feel like it was easier to take some of those skills and move them to the next setting?

00:17:17:01 – 00:17:38:16

Julie Irwin

I think we are both pretty strong and objective Clinicians and have a lot of great experiences from the medical setting, which have translated because, every time we go to a school I feel like we get nice praise from people they’re like how did you know that or how did you do that because we are trained in such an evidence-based clinical way in the medical setting so that transition was really nice.

00:17:39:05 – 00:17:44:05

Julie Irwin

But I don’t think my brain did too much of thinking about it.

00:17:44:06 – 00:18:12:20

Julie Irwin

I just was like doing the same. That’s what I said before my ego had to shift, like it’s not about the case, it’s about the underlying principle that, whoever we’re working with, we’re trying to better their lives in some fashion. And when I changed that focus I was able to become a much better Clinician across settings and not worry about any stigma. I remember, I have a rough New Jersey family, but they’d be like, “school speech pathologists or the dumb ones.”

00:18:13:14 – 00:18:28:19

Julie Irwin

But then I started feeling that way. They’re like, “the ones who can’t get the jobs and medical go into schools.” And I felt that pressure and I started believing it and I realized that’s not true. And if it is, let’s change it. I think we are. I think so too.

00:18:29:12 – 00:18:56:08

Kurt Keena

I think for me just shifting back to the medical setting, because I had worked there just a few months prior. It wasn’t too I mean it was a shift but I knew what I was getting back into. But every day there I was shifting because one day I was an outpatient. The next day I was kind of shadowing in the NICU. The next day I was working with adults at bedside. The next day I was observing MBSs. It was just like every day of my CF, which was good and bad.

00:18:56:08 – 00:19:16:19

Kurt Keena

I never felt settled until I continued on, but I got a lot of great experience. But yeah there was no feeling of. I never felt like, “oh my gosh I have to totally shift my brain.” I knew what to do and I that was it. I just I knew I was moving back I knew what to expect.

00:19:16:20 – 00:19:54:23

Julie Irwin

Now I will be honest. So I my next placement I’m hoping to go back into a Q which I haven’t been in since 2015. I am worried about going back there just I’ve been every night this week doing continuing ed because I do feel like I might have gotten a little bit rusty or forgotten some things or kind of I’m now in that lackadaisical school mode where it’s like well, we’ll get it done throughout the day. The kids are here and nothing’s life threatening whereas there, you’re so quick thinking and you feel the pressure of having someone’s sick or impaired condition in your hands.

00:19:54:23 – 00:20:06:17

Julie Irwin

So I do I shift from medical to school was fine. I do have a little fear from going from school back to medical. and so does most of that fear.

00:20:06:17 – 00:20:16:02

Jennifer Martin

And so does most of that fear, just feeling like things have changed in that you don’t you’re not up to date on what’s out there or that you’ve forgotten some of your skills?

00:20:16:02 – 00:20:20:18

Julie Irwin

I think, and Kurt always says this to me. He’s like, “you’re going to back the first day and you’re going to be fine.”

00:20:20:19 – 00:20:50:29

Julie Irwin

But it’s just the fact that I’ve been out for so long that I and I know the caliber is set so high in the medical setting that I want to perform there and I that perfectionistic thing is still in me. So I want to be where I was when I left and I think there will be some sprucing up that needs to be done. But I love to learn. So I guess there’s a lot of good that will come from that uncomfortable beginning where I’m working extra hard to kind of get to where I want to be.

00:20:51:16 – 00:20:53:14

Jennifer Martin

And what were you doing in between?

00:20:53:25 – 00:21:29:00

Jennifer Martin

Because you said since 2015, so have you been in schools then since then?

Julie Irwin

Schools and skilled nursing since then and early intervention for a few months in between there. But I haven’t been in acute or rehab since 2015. So it’s going to be an exciting but a little scary jump back in.

Alyssa Hunter

Have you felt like that continuing education has helped you brush up on your skills?

Julie Irwin

Yes, I actually through this company and just through other companies.

00:21:29:09 – 00:22:05:01

Julie Irwin

But I especially like that the ones are free through enhanced. But I’ve been learning a lot and any video that has to do with specific skills like watching in a modified barium swallow study. I’m like oh gosh I really should do that because the Swallow is so darn past, I don’t even know it’s happening. And there was one where I had to watch like 30 and they gave you time to analyze it and then they reviewed the results and I felt like it was hands on practice even though I was on the computer so even that four-five hour training made me feel a lot more comfortable to jump back in and to just be like, “I think I remember where the epiglottis is.”

00:22:07:09 – 00:22:10:29

Jennifer Martin

Somewhere in this area general area.

00:22:11:00 – 00:22:14:07

Kurt Keena

Send me the title of that video.

00:22:14:12 – 00:22:21:18

Jennifer Martin

I mean do you feel similar that you, I mean you’ve obviously that you have done medical since.

00:22:21:22 – 00:23:08:03

Kurt Keena

Yes. And actually when I was home for a little bit of time between these past two contracts. So in January. I guess it was December/January. I worked back at that same hospital in New Jersey that they always kind of take me back with open arms which is great. So, I have been back but I did have one contract out in St. Louis. That was a great fantastic hospital where I just got a crazy amount of fantastic acute care experience and that’s now been it’s now been a year almost since I finished that contract and I do feel like if I went back there today it would be maybe a week or two of warming back up to some of those skills and some of the terminology that I threw out of my mouth every single day and now I haven’t said those words in a year.

00:23:08:07 – 00:23:31:24

Julie Irwin

And I think when our contracts are so short we are expected or at least I hold myself to that level to be good on day one. Yeah so, if I took a perm job, I’d be like, “Oh yeah. Give me a few weeks wiggle room and we’ll be good. But there, I think that’s the fear that comes with it. It’s like I only have this amount of time I’m not going to waste a bunch of it being like, “Can I shadow you?”

00:23:31:29 – 00:23:53:01

Kurt Keena

Yeah there’s not time for that. The expectation and when I did start there in Saint Louis, the expectation was on day one you’re going to figure this out. You know we’re gonna shadow you we’re gonna make sure that you’re doing a good job for like an hour and then you’re on your own, you’re expected to just, you’re a contractor, you’re expected to have the skills.  If you didn’t have those skills, you shouldn’t be here.

00:23:53:05 – 00:24:00:26

Jennifer Martin

So what would you say, I mean because we have people that are very concerned you know that like I’m gonna be in the school that’s not where I want to be.

00:24:01:19 – 00:24:10:21

Jennifer Martin

And so other than the continuing education. What other advice would you give or things that you all have done to stay up on skills?

00:24:10:21 – 00:24:19:02

Jennifer Martin

I mean is volunteering. I know it’s harder to volunteer now because of HIPPA. But I mean what else can they do?

00:24:19:03 – 00:24:49:16

Kurt Keena

We’ve never done this, but we’ve talked about it. If you know you’re gonna be for example at a school for nine months, you’re gonna have time to per diem at a hospital. So oftentimes as well per diem positions are sometimes offered to people that don’t really have a ton of medical experience. Not always but sometimes that’s an option or if you do have some medical experience and you just want to stay fresh. I think that’s a great way. There’s so many school breaks, there’s you know you get out of school early so there’s a lot of opportunity to stay up keep up with your skills that way.

00:24:50:00 – 00:25:06:07

Julie Irwin

I like contract work because I’m so close with my family in New Jersey that I love going home in between that time and I am in the network there where I PRN constantly. I actually got asked for every day of the month of June.

00:25:06:10 – 00:25:10:12

Julie Irwin

Saturdays and Sundays included. I said, “Yeah right.”

00:25:11:03 – 00:25:27:17

Julie Irwin

But that is nice because even though skilled nursing is not at the level of acute it still is that medical, swallow, cognitive-based therapy where I feel like I can stay sharp at least in those areas. But you have the confidence.

00:25:27:21 – 00:25:49:07

Kurt Keena

I can attribute a lot of that just to the time that I’ve spent working in those settings. If I hadn’t spent that much time there I don’t think I would feel as confident but I know I have those skills. They’re just kind of back here. I just had to yank them forward actually in a couple of weeks. So shake it around Yeah, they’re there.

00:25:49:10 – 00:26:21:11

Jennifer Martin

So I mean before we wrap up here you know, I want to have I have a couple of questions. I think you know my two questions are you know what’s next for you guys. I know Julie you touched on it but Kurt we don’t know what’s next for you. And then I want to know also what advice you would have for an SLP that wants to change settings or is afraid they’re gonna get pigeonholed whether that be somebody starting or somebody who’s been doing the same thing for a while and they’re like I want to change but I’m just I’m nervous I don’t know if I can do it.

00:26:21:17 – 00:26:30:10

Kurt Keena

I’ll tell you exciting news. Well actually I’m moving from here from Denver to Crescent City California on Sunday.

00:26:30:25 – 00:26:37:18

Kurt Keena

That’s in the Pacific Northwest. That’s right where I did my first contract and I can’t wait to get back.

Jennifer Martin

And what you’re gonna do there?

00:26:37:18 – 00:26:57:25

Kurt Keena

I’m gonna be in a acute care hospital with I think a little bit of inpatient rehab and outpatient so all things that I’m familiar with. But it’s been a little while. It’s definitely a smaller hospital. It’s a very remote area of the country. But I’m really excited to get there. I’m just confused that Julie’s why Julie’s, not going to be there.

00:26:57:27 – 00:27:04:24

Kurt Keena

It’s going to be very bizarre to be in that in the Pacific Northwest without Julie but we’ll be skyping I guess.

00:27:04:24 – 00:27:35:11

Julie Irwin

Yes, I’ll be home. My goal was Alaska this summer but my dad has been sick and that’s another reason why I love travel because every three months I could go home to be with him and spend time.  When I did work perm in between. I did take like a year and worked permanently at home. I got nine days off a year. I’m thinking of being perm anywhere else and not having that time to be with my family. Blows my mind and makes me upset.

00:27:35:12 – 00:27:46:29

Julie Irwin

So that’s another perk of this so I’ll be home for a little while in New Jersey and then an acute position somewhere else hopefully when his ends, so we could do it together.

00:27:46:29 – 00:27:48:29

Julie Irwin

Yeah we’ll be apart for three months it will be the longest.

00:27:57:23 – 00:28:17:10

Julie Irwin

Quick funny story. My mom sent us care packages when we were living in Washington and she would send us both these chocolate covered graham cracker boxes and she would write on posts, “for Julie when Kurt drives you crazy. For Kurt when Julie drives you crazy.” He sent her a video of dumping the whole box.

00:28:22:15 – 00:28:40:11

Jennifer Martin

Any advice, what would you say to somebody who’s who is nervous and their skills.

Both

Just do it! You’ve got the skills!

Julie Irwin

I think it prevents you getting jaded. It prevents you from getting stale. Every job I’ve been out there like you can tell this is your first job. You’re so excited and passionate.

00:28:40:11 – 00:28:45:27

Julie Irwin

I was like Okay well I don’t know about that.

00:28:47:04 – 00:28:58:21

Kurt Keena

I really do feel fresh every time I start a new job. You don’t get sick of it and you know by the end of 13 weeks you’re just barely getting comfortable really, so you are just your fresh the whole time.

00:28:58:21 – 00:29:25:13

Julie Irwin

I think it’s something that everyone should do whether or not it’s to figure out where they want to be in their career or to just learn about themselves. My mind has been opened to so many more opportunities and so much more happiness really. I was keeping myself in this narrow lane where there was so much pressure and once I open that I was like, “oh my gosh I can love the career and love my life.”

00:29:25:22 – 00:29:33:23

Julie Irwin

There is a good perk here and I wouldn’t have been able to do that had I not shifted my setting or my mindset.

00:29:35:03 – 00:29:50:14

Jennifer Martin

Well you guys have been wonderful and we thank you so much. So this is the end of our first episode with Kurt and Julie but we will be there will be a second one. And yes.

00:29:50:15 – 00:30:04:22

Alyssa Hunter

So thank goodness the conversation does not end here. We have so many more questions about your guys’ life. Next time we are going to be talking about you know exactly what you’re saying this work-life balance of being a travel SLP.

00:30:04:24 – 00:30:13:08

Jennifer Martin

One more thing before we go in case you’re taking a break between this episode in the next we want Kurt and Julie to give their Instagram handles.

00:30:13:09 – 00:30:21:21

Jennifer Martin

Because they I follow them and I live through them whether you want to see Kurt’s food or all their amazing adventures.

00:30:21:22 – 00:30:35:00

So what are your Instagram handles?

Kurt Keena

Mine is @Kurt.Keena

Julie Irwin

and mine is @JulieEIrwin

00:30:35:09 – 00:30:36:16

Yes I highly recommend it

00:30:38:03 – 00:31:12:15

Alyssa Hunter

If you’d like to get in touch with us. Send us an email at SLPFullDisclosure@gowithadvanced.com And also again some people are visual learners. If you’d like to read the notes on the show just look them up at gowithadvanced.com/SLPFullDisclosure. And also be sure to subscribe to our podcast on Apple podcast Google podcasts Spotify. You know where to find the podcast. Wherever you go for that and if you found value from the show or learn something give us a nice review it will really help us out.

00:31:12:22 – 00:31:26:11

Alyssa Hunter

Thank you to our producer Jonathan Cary. Our music and editing was by Aiden Dykes. And also this podcast was powered by Advanced Travel Therapy.