No Doubt: Don't SpeakiTunesAmazon

No Doubt: Don't SpeakiTunesAmazon

WATCH: Airedale nurse lands dream job despite stammer

WATCH: Airedale nurse lands dream job despite stammer

Published at 6:10am 2nd November 2016. (Updated at 5:02pm 2nd November 2016)

Bethany Watson had wanted to be a nurse since she was six years old, but thought it wouldn’t be possible because of her stammer.

Recently, her dream has come true and she's started on Ward 13 at Airedale Hospital as a registered nurse due to her determination - and help from the trust’s speech and language therapy team.

Bethany, aged 22, of Sutton-in-Craven, sought help from the service at various periods in her life to help her cope with big changes - like when she was a pupil at South Craven School trying to get into university.

The recent graduate from the University of Central Lancashire says she used to worry her speech impediment would prevent her from doing the the job she’d always wanted, as you have to talk clearly in an emergency.

Bethany tells Stray FM she's learnt to not allow her stammer to hold her back:


Stephanie Burgess, speech and language therapist at Airedale Hospital, talked through situations with Bethany that she may encounter and they came up with strategies to help her deal with them, for example, getting on a bus asking for a ticket to a particular place which can cause anxiety if there’s a large queue of people forming behind you.

Stephanie said: "There are some useful techniques such as slowing down your speech, but it's more about changing your mindset and believing it's okay to stammer. The problem is often with other people making it an issue. They can get impatient and finish off your sentences, rather than letting you have time to continue what you are trying to say.

"I believe if you have a stammer, you can still do anything you want to do - you just need the confidence to get out there and do it."

Bethany is still a member of a group set up around two years ago for women who stammer who have a very informal meeting once a month at Coronation Hospital in Ilkley.

She had never met another woman with a stammer before she joined the group.

Stammering is rare amongst women - there are around four times as many men with a stammer - and so they can feel very isolated.

The group was set up for them to talk to others who would understand.

Airedale Hospital is currently in discussion with the British Stammering Association to roll out a national service using telemedicine, so that people can get help from a therapist on screen, no matter where they live, so that the specialist speech and language service will become more widely available.

You can contact the British Stammering Association helpline on 0845 603 2001 for advice about seeking help and information about the services available in your area.