Speech TherapySpeech-language pathologists in a medical setting assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent oral motor, swallowing, cognitive-linguistic, speech, and language disorders.
Speech-language pathologist's work with individuals whose oral motor, swallowing, cognitive-linguistic, speech, or language skills have been impacted by a neurological event or disease, head and/or neck cancer, or possibly a debilitation related to an underlying medical disease process.
Oral motor, swallowing, cognitive-linguistic, speech, and language disorders can result from a variety of neurological events, including brain injury, stroke, seizure, progressive disease, cancer, and/or debilitation related to other medical diseases. Speech-Language pathologists use physical examination, instrumental technology, and standardized cognitive-linguistic and language tests to diagnose and guide treatment.
Speech-language pathologists (SLP) develop an individualized plan of care, specific to each patient's needs. Speech-language pathologists may recommend alternate nutrition based upon aspiration risk when swallowing, recommend diet level modification to reduce aspiration risk when swallowing, design an individualized augmentative communication system or prescribe a speech generating device for individuals with nonfunctional speech. An SLP provides education to patients, their family members and caregivers regarding impairments, disease processes, and compensatory strategies. They develop daily home programs unique to each individual's strengths and weakness that facilitate maintenance of swallowing, cognitive-linguistic, speech, or language skills at an optimal level. In addition to clinical practice, medical speech pathologists also participate in research.