Maintaining SLPs as the Preferred Providers of Dysphagia Services: A Call to Action Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in the general medical hospital setting spend approximately half of their time providing swallowing services. Other professions, including occupational therapists (OTs) and dietitians, promote themselves as disciplines well suited to assist patients with dysphagia. Responses to a survey distributed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA) in 2007 indicated ... Article
Article  |   December 2010
Maintaining SLPs as the Preferred Providers of Dysphagia Services: A Call to Action
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Darlene Graner
    Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Hilda Pressman
    Nutritional Management Associates, West Orange, New Jersey
  • Lynne C. Brady Wagner
    Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   December 2010
Maintaining SLPs as the Preferred Providers of Dysphagia Services: A Call to Action
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2010, Vol. 19, 121-125. doi:10.1044/sasd19.4.121
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2010, Vol. 19, 121-125. doi:10.1044/sasd19.4.121

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in the general medical hospital setting spend approximately half of their time providing swallowing services. Other professions, including occupational therapists (OTs) and dietitians, promote themselves as disciplines well suited to assist patients with dysphagia. Responses to a survey distributed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA) in 2007 indicated that 83% of SLPs working in hospitals believed encroachment and defining professional boundaries was a problem. The highest level of personal experience with encroachment was with occupational therapy. Effective 2009, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) began offering Specialty Certification in Feeding, Eating and Swallowing (SCFES) to OTs and OTAs who meet specific educational and clinical experience requirements. This article reviews the many reasons why SLPs are the professionals best suited for assisting patients with swallowing disorders. It provides specific strategies to assist SLPs in promoting our discipline as the providers of dysphagia services.

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