“All you do is help them talk or change their diets to that mush!”
Have you ever heard those words come out of the mouth of a nurse or doctor? How much time do you have in your 95% productive day to explain your training and scope of practice to the PRN weekend nurse, the new nurses’ aide, the contract Physician Assistant, your own patient or even to their skeptical family member?
One of the nice things about being in this field is the wide range of impairments we are able to treat. Speaking is …yes, one thing a Speech-Language Pathologist is able to help a patient improve. Additional areas we work on are understanding spoken language, having enough breath support to adequately communicate, and let’s not forget the attention, memory, thought organization and sequencing skills necessary to carry on a competent conversation with another patient, their spouse, or another family member.
After experiencing the frustration of seeing my own of patients being passed over at their quarterly screens by nursing or even other therapy disciplines, not being referred for speech therapy services, I created this handout to share with other professionals at my facility.
Do you work in a Long Term Care facility, a SNF, or an acute medical setting? Post this handout in common areas. Better Hearing and Speech Month is the perfect opportunity or excuse to inservice staff on our willingness and ability to participate in their team.