Éadaoin Flynn, clinical specialist speech and language therapist (SLT) in dysphagia.
A quick bowl of porridge before driving to work.
We have our weekly staff meeting where planning of the 12th videofluoroscopy analysis course, delivered annually by the SLT department in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH), is on the agenda.
A videofluoroscopy is a type of video x-ray that examines a person’s ability to swallow so they can eat/drink safely. This ability can be affected by a variety of medical conditions. eg stroke or motor neurone disease. Swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia, can have serious consequences. Complications can include choking episodes, pneumonia, and malnutrition.
I grab a coffee and catch up with SLT colleagues from the department.
I have a busy morning at the Dysphagia Evaluation Clinic where we provide specialised assessment and rehabilitation to patients with complex swallowing difficulties as a result of different medical conditions.
The first patient is recovering from a stroke and is only able to eat very small amounts. Their goal at the end of the rehabilitation period is to enjoy some fish and chips. Today, the patient had an endoscopy (scope) procedure called pharyngeal high resolution manometry to further assess swallow function. This is a new assessment procedure and the first service of its kind in Ireland. It was developed with help from colleagues in the gastroenterology department in TUH.
Two more patients before lunch. One session focused on swallow rehabilitation for a patient who had a traumatic brain injury following a car accident. She is currently eating food that is minced/mashed only. We completed 45 minutes of therapy. The patient did really well so we decided she can start to eat some soft solid foods. I link in with her dietitian and medical team to inform them of her progress.
Canteen for lunch.
I visit the Centre for Learning and Development in TUH. As part of our role we provide education to nursing and medical students. Today I’m giving a lecture on the role of a speech and language therapist to medical students completing a rotation in the specialty of ear, nose, and throat.
I head to the gym and meet up with friends for dinner.