Speech and Hearing Month: Speech Language Pathology Clinic

Posted on Tuesday May 10, 2022
Speech language pathologists

May is Speech and Hearing Month and we celebrate the important work that Speech Language Pathologists do with our patients, to help evaluate, diagnose, and treat a broad range of challenges primarily relating to swallowing and communication. 

We spoke with Jean, a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) at Joseph Brant Hospital about the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient program. Read more below.

The SLP department covers all adult inpatient units including ICU, acute medicine, rehab, complex care, and palliative care. SLPs assess and treat swallowing, speech, language and cognitive communication changes or disorders.

“In a day, we may work with a variety of patients, such as one who has just been extubated and starting the process to eat safely again; a patient who has difficulty with swallowing (dysphagia), and change in their language (aphasia) as a result of their stroke; a person with dementia who can no longer manage “regular” food safely; and a patient who is palliative, helping the family to maximize joy and comfort with eating and communicating in the patient’s final days.”

In addition to inpatient programs, JBH also has an outpatient clinic where their main focus is on speech and language assessment and treatment. Here work is done to help people communicate more confidently, so they can better participate in their world again. People can access these services through a physician’s referral.

“From a personal perspective, being a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is extremely rewarding, and I love the diversity of our patients and the disorders we treat. We help people in the most acute phases of illness to remain eating safely, to safely participate in their weekly coffee date or family dinner. We also ensure a person has a way of saying ‘I love you’ to their kids or partner. Giving someone a way to communicate their needs to nurses or helping families communicate with their loved one who has had a stroke. By ensuring a person can show their intelligence, personality and independence, and giving them a voice when illness has taken it away. These are the reasons that I am an SLP. “

Learn more about our Outpatient Speech Language Pathology clinic here; https://www.josephbranthospital.ca/en/programs-and-services/outpatient-speech-language-pathology-clinic.asp

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