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Dysphagia In-Services Done For You

Posted by Megan Ordway, MA CCC-SLP on

From time to time, an In-service at your facility is needed. Education is a vital part of our roles as SLPs. We have a lot of knowledge to share with our allies and team members in the medical facilities where we work. In my experience, by completing dysphagia education, you create an environment of mutual understanding in regards to the importance of details that we care a LOT about. Getting appropriate referrals, receiving understanding about diet modifications should they be needed, and recognizing us as a part of the team to help patients with a wide variety of diagnoses are all outcomes that an effective in-service can help you achieve.

To help our fellow therapists, without having to “re-invent the wheel”, we’ve included some resources that are ready to go for your next in-service. In it you will find:

1.Information about the role we play and each area of our expertise with a brief description 

2.Documentation tips for nurses to help support the referral to the SLP, along with example phrases to include in the patient’s chart

3. Dysphagia hand-out defining and providing information about the role of the SLP


4. Nursing Checklist for Referrals

5.A power-point presentation about the basics of SLP services, dysphagia, and the referral process. This could serve as a stand-alone presentation, but we intentionally left it editable so that you can add anything extra you’d like to cover. 

6.BONUS: Complimentary to this bundle is a FREE download of badge reminders that can be laminated and hung on your badge to reference (or given to staff). Print out the badges on card stock, laminate and then place on your work ID badge or give to staff for a quick reference tool. 

An excellent way to provide generalization of staff education after conducting your in-services. Are staff confusing NDD1 for NDD4? Ordering barium swallow studies in lieu of modified barium swallow studies? Adding ice to thickened liquids? Then give them these badges to improve patient safety and continuity of care! Sources are cited on reference page at the end of this handout. A blank badge is provided for you to personalize, such as adding phone directory numbers, vital sign parameters or facility policies for thickened liquids, identification of individuals on free water, etc. Badges in both vertical and horizontal forms and contain information about the new IDDSI Flow Test, Frazier Free Water Protocol, NDD and IDDSI levels, tips for individuals on thickened drinks and common brand instant food and beverage thickener charts.

Each piece of this education bundle is something we have or will use to educate the staff in our facilities. Make sure to check out the full  staff education bundle and the  free staff education badges.

We hope each item will help you in your daily journey and create better understanding in your facility!

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