Nurses: An ally in the diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia
Nurses play an important role in identifying dysphagia and monitoring diet tolerance in patients. Speech Language Pathologists frequently rely on them to be their eyes and ears when they are not able to be with these patients. “In acute care settings, nurses are available on a 24-hour basis, and may distinguish individuals with dysphagia and begin interventions that may prevent further complications until an SLP can perform a formal evaluation” (Dondorf, Fabus & Ghassemi 2016). This early detection and intervention often improves, health outcomes, quality of life and appropriate referrals for those patients who are at risk for aspiration pneumonia.
I have worked with many amazing nursing throughout my career. While at Rush University Medical Center, I collaborated with the Stroke Team to develop a dysphagia screening tool to be used by the nursing staff. During that experience, I saw how teamwork between nurses and speech pathologists allowed for an exceptionally high quality of patient care that resulted in a better quality of life.
As Nutraphagia began to introduce our EAT Snack to the health care community, I have been humbled by the outpouring of support from those in the nursing profession. With comments like “this is innovative, a perfect product for this niche market, wonderful idea for our patients”, immediately knew they understood the concept of the product and how it could benefit our patients and their caregivers.
On behalf of the Nutraphagia Team, a sincere thank you to nurses for all they do.
Happy National Nurses Week!
Dondorf K., Fabus R. Ghassemi A., The interprofessional collaboration
between nurses and Speech Language Pathologists working with
patients diagnosed with dysphagia in skilled nursing facilities. Journal
of Nursing Education and Practice 2016, Vol 6 No 4