Congratulations to Myra Niederee, Speech Language Pathologist, for her recognition in the Wichita Business Journal’s Excellence in Health Care: Pediatrics feature!
Why did I choose a career in health care? I chose to go into a career in Speech Language Pathology following an opportunity many years ago with the Special Olympics. Originally my plan was to become a teacher of students with special needs, but early course work at Wichita State University introduced me to the field of Communication Disorders and Sciences. The field of Speech Language Pathology crosses many areas in Health Care and Education and offers opportunities in a variety of settings. I finished my graduate school practicum at an acute rehabilitation hospital in Texas, followed by a short stint in rehab therapy in Wichita, before finding the perfect job at Rainbows United where I have had the pleasure of serving children with special needs and their families for 20-plus years.
What is your greatest professional achievement? It’s so rewarding to see a child with challenges grow, make progress and then exit Rainbows’ services. I love that I get to play a part in that success.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? There have been many challenging diagnosis working with young children during my career at Rainbows United. Being able to identify what a child needs and then delivering therapy that engages the child to achieve success are rewarding, challenging experiences. Clear speech, articulation of words and confidence when speaking prepare children for kindergarten and the rest of their lives. My most recent challenge was providing quality therapy through a virtual platform for children ages 3-5 years-old due to the global pandemic. In order for children to continue the therapy that they needed, I was able to adapt to the virtual approach. It was a challenge to keep children with short attention spans engaged over a screen. Now, I’m blessed to be serving children face-to-face again by taking appropriate precautions amid the global pandemic.
Who was your most important mentor and what was their best advice? I have been fortunate to train under many outstanding professors at WSU, but the most influential people have been my co-workers who collaborate on strategies and treatment approaches. We work as a team. I am able to give insight to them and they help me to understand a child’s needs through another valuable perspective. I have learned so much from their experiences and suggestions.
What is the best advice you would give to someone considering a career in health care? My best advice would be to make a connection with those you work with. That connection will make a difference in the lives of those you work with.