Teletherapy and telehealth are now at the forefront of delivery models for many providers. Therapists and Clinicians in all settings, whether they are veteran Teletherapists or new to the game, are finding themselves in front of the screen now more than ever.
In order to have the best chance for success in this virtual setting, Clinicians will want to make sure they first cover the basics—equipment and location. Jennifer Martin, MS., CCC-SLP and head of Teletherapy at Advanced, has put together a list of essential equipment and location tips to get you started off on the right foot with your home Teletherapy practice.
You’ll want to make sure you have consistent and reliable high-speed internet. A speed of at least 3 mbps will work, but 10 mbps or greater is ideal.
Choose a Laptop or computer with an embedded webcam or hook up an external webcam.
Natural window lighting is ideal, but you can also use standing or desk lights to add brightness. The idea is for your face to be light and bright so students can plainly see you.
Wearing an actual headset with a microphone—instead of relying on the computer mic—is preferable to ensure students can clearly hear you.
Choose a Well-Lit Room
Whenever possible, choose a room with sufficient lighting so your students can clearly see your face. Practice with the lighting beforehand, making sure it’s balanced and not coming from behind you.
Make Sure the Background is Clear
Decrease items in the background, like decorations, pets, and other potential distractions.
Choose a room or space with as little background noise as possible. Keep in mind that even a fan or TV noise can be amplified on a video call.
Have a comfortable chair or a stand-up desk in your setup. Situate yourself so that you can comfortably work on the computer while looking at the screen.
Keep water close by and drink it often, as you will be speaking throughout the day and want to avoid vocal fatigue.
Making sure your home setup is established before you jump into Teletherapy will help immensely in your transition to a virtual setting. Take the time to prepare yourself now, so you can focus on the most important things as you go—providing quality care!