From Elizabeth Chafcouloff:
When I arrived for my first day of volunteering at the KSFH, I was asked by the vice director, which department I would like to work with. “Neurology?” I said, since I knew that patients with neurological disorders such as stroke or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are susceptible to life-threatening swallowing problems.
They are also likely to have problems with speech and communication.
Three neurologists and one physical therapist were immediately assigned to me by the department head, a really progressive doctor who was behind us all the way. I had thought that we would do education through bedside at first, but a 29-year-old neurologist on the team, who had been educated in France, asked, “So are we going to do PowerPoint lectures?” Yep! Sure. I quickly put stuff together. (Jet lag was good because I woke up at 5:00 A.M. and could do slides and handouts, and then go to get things printed, all by 8:00 A.M.). And we also did bedside. It was the best of combinations of lectures and practicum, and it all happened by chance.
We are now into our second year of training.
They have learned so much, and we have developed evaluation instruments and therapy materials together. All of this was for dysphagia (swallowing). I targeted that first because it is the most medical, and the simplest, and involves impairments that are the most life-threatening. We are now teaching the principles of speech and language evaluation.
How you can help
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