May is Better Speech and Hearing Month, which celebrates speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and Audiologists. Speech-Language Pathologists are trained clinicians, who help adults and children with difficulty speaking, listening, reading, writing or swallowing. They also work with people who have cognitive and/or memory problems. SLPs are required to hold at least a master’s degree and a 9-month fellowship following graduation. SLPs work with patients who have aphasia (difficulty with understanding or producing language), dysarthria (slurred speech) and voice problems (hoarseness, prolonged loss of voice). Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) is a primary disorder that SLPs address, especially in the hospital setting. Aspiration of food or liquids into the lungs can lead to pneumonia and an SLP can work with patients to reduce the risk of this. SLPs often perform a Modified Barium Swallow Study, which evaluates a person’s ability to swallow under fluoroscopy.
PVMC currently employs one full-time SLP and 3 PRN staff, and is hoping to hire more! Our SLPs work in inpatient and outpatient areas as well as the Special Care Nursery. Thank an SLP today; they do great work to help people eat safely and communicate with others!