Speaking of…Kristine Konitzer
Kristine Konitzer is a long time SLP traveler with Advanced Medical. She has been working with her recruiter for over two years, and keeps busy taking positions all over the state of Wisconsin. Her recruiter could not speak highly enough of Kristine, stating, “Kristine has traveled with me for over 2 years now. Her flexibility, agreeable nature and devotion to her patients has allowed us to have a great working relationship. She really embodies the balance between patient advocate and employee. It has been nothing but a pleasure to work with her for the past two years and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her over this time.” Thank you, Kristine for being such an amazing representative of Advanced Medical, we are so happy to be able to feature you during Better Hearing and Speech Month!
Get To Know Kristine
Why did you want to become an SLP? My true story is that I was a huge slacker in high school. When I was accepted to the college I had chosen, I had to find a major fast. I looked through anything medical, and Speech Pathology sounded official, different, and pretty cool. As I took the classes and learned more about it, I realized that I got pretty lucky by stumbling on my life’s work in such a strange and unscientific way. I know that doesn’t sound very reassuring, especially if you were a prospective patient of mine, but that is the way it happened.
What is your favorite thing about being an SLP? My favorite thing has to be giving somebody their first little taste of food in over a year, and working with them until they can eventually eat hamburgers. It’s a huge accomplishment for them (not me), and I consider it a privilege to be able to get them to that point.
What is one thing you wish people understood about being an SLP? I think my only concern about this profession is that I very often have to see patients during the lunch hour, and I tend to be left out of staff meetings or lunches during that time. It comes with the job, so I’ve learned to catch up later with things I need to know that are discussed during meetings.
What is your favorite diagnosis to treat? I do like treating dysphagia, helping people who are significantly impaired or NPO. I seem to have a sixth sense about what people can and can’t handle, and when to hold back or advance with oral trials. It’s also a big deal enabling swallow-impaired patients to have water or ice chips as a special treat when it has been such a long time for them.
What advice would you give SLP’s just starting out in the profession? I would tell them that there are lots of specialties in this field. I would encourage them to take opportunities, if possible, to work in different areas, from brain injury to pediatrics to geriatrics, treating voice or swallowing or augmentative communication, etc… until they find their niche. There is plenty of time to explore things and eventually settle into something they like. There’s always a need for a speech therapist.
Where is your favorite place you have travelled to? Wisconsin! Currently, I only work in the state of Wisconsin. I have had no bad experiences, but on the other hand I have not been able to explore the different beauties of the other states. I’m learning more and more about my state though, and how different one small town is from another or how I thought one town was somewhere, and I learn it’s somewhere entirely different. I don’t have a favorite city or town, but I’ve learned something new from all of them.
What is one fun fact about yourself? I have the BEST recruiter! One day, kind of down on my luck and a little depressed, I called a number to see if a travel job or two would be a thing I could do. Alex picked up on the other end, he kept in touch and he was patient when I was disorganized and slow, and we have been partners ever since!