Monday, December 16, 2013

ASHA and the end of another semester...

The Fall semester is officially finished and only a few more days of work to go until I am officially on break. What a crazyemotionalbusy semester, it's no wonder I haven't had time to write many posts!

So here are some highlights from this semester:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Clinic 1 almost finished?! How did I survive?

My Top 10 Tips for Surviving Clinic

1. Be prepared to feel like you don’t know what you are doing… because really, you don’t know what you are doing. You are going to make mistakes and that’s okay.

2. This needs to be said again: be okay with #1. Or at least know that you will be okay with #1. We’ve all been there.

And all the C.E.s (clinical educators) have tissues in their offices for emotional breakdowns. Again, we’ve all been there.

3. Research your client’s communication impairment(s) and learn all you can about the etiology, assessment and treatment of their disorder(s). A good place to start is joining It is $49 for students for a year membership and it has a wealth of information.

(It’s also a great place to brush up on information from classes you haven’t had in a while or that too briefly covered a topic area. This site can help when you are preparing for your internships or even the praxis. I will definitely be using it for both my internship interviews and praxis study).

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Anxious in East Michigan...

So my semester has been off and running for almost 3 weeks now and I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and have had a lot of self-doubt creep in. The self-doubt has been there for a while, but has been only a small little voice whispering in my ear... now it's in full shout mode. Part of it has to do with the amount of time I have to commit to my grad assistant position and being able to manage my time effectively. The other part has to do with being in clinic this semester. Clinic is all consuming and I sometimes forget that I have 2 other classes that need my attention too.

I started off this semester feeling excited with only a slight case of nerves... and then I had my first diagnostic session with my (adorable!!) client this past week and it was a slightly chaotic blur where I attempted to take

Monday, August 26, 2013

August is almost gone gone gone...

It's been GREAT having all of this time off of school, but I am definitely ready to go back after Labor Day. 

Stay tuned for blog posts to start back soon. :) 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Just started using Bloglovin to follow all of my speechie blogs! It's going to be nice to have them all in one place. :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Taking CEUs as an SLP2B

So I've just finished listening to my first non-CEU course on I tweeted while listening to the course and I think it helped to cement the information... you can see what I tweeted below, with the topmost tweet being the last tweet posted about the course I was taking. The speaker definitely packed in A LOT of information into the hour long course! My plan is to listen to at least one course once a week and tweet the information I am learning. This will be my only blog entry showing my non-CEU tweets, so if you want to see more, follow me on twitter!

  1. The absence of a gag reflex does not appear to be a predictor of dysphagia. Study by Leder (1996)
  2. NOT predictors of aspiration: watering eyes, runny nose, sneezing. Brought up periodically on listservs.. not supported by research. -Suiter
  3. the vellecula and pyriform sinuses. (Malandraki et al., 2011) -Suiter

Friday, June 28, 2013


Summer plans are in the works and it's going to be a nice one! July is already becoming packed with things to do including a roadtrip to the other side of the state for a long weekend, a week-long trip up to the U.P. (upper peninsula of Michigan), and taking online continuing education courses through  through the StudentUnion.

I've signed up for a bunch of dysphagia related courses to start off with:

-Performing a Clinical Swallow Evaluation
-Putting the Pieces Together: From research to practice in dysphagia management
-Cultural Sensitivity and Dysphagia: A Good Blend?
-Through Thick and Thin...Liquids
-Clinical Excellence in Dementia-Dysphagia Management
-Swallowing Issues in Individuals with Tracheostomy, Ventilator, and Respiratory Compromise Swallow Screening: How and Why
-Dysphagia in Patients at the End of Life

They are all video courses, all an hour long, and there are handouts that go along with most of them that consist of at least a pdf of the powerpoint though a few have checklists, resources lists, and/or other

Monday, June 17, 2013

Already Finished?! Spring '13 and Summa Time Freedom

Six weeks flies by way too fast! I've just finished up my (very) short spring classes today and I have to say, I fell in love with my Dysphagia class. Six weeks was not long enough for that class and I would've happily taken it over the entire summer.

There were many things I really enjoyed learning about in this class, but I want to highlight the class project for dysphagia which was to collaborate with a classmate and develop an educational material for either SLPs, other medical staff, patients/clients, teachers, or anyone we could think of (one group designed a dysphagia book for children!). My partner and I decided to research pre-treatment swallowing exercises for patients undergoing chemo-radiation for head and neck cancer.

As we started to go through the literature we found some support for these exercises, but not much that would be considered Level I EBP. Only a few were randomized-control studies and many of those journal articles we found cited sample small sizes as the biggest limiting factor to definitively supporting pre-treatment swallowing exercises. A few others that we found only performed a retrospective review of case files which is at a level III EBP, and those studies tended to show that pre-treatment exercises were more useful than not. I am discovering that case file reviews are used quite often as well as small sample sizes and not enough randomized-control studies are often the norm in our profession. A quote from an SLP who sent me some information for this project sums up the problem quite nicely,  "I think this topic really gets at what Rosenbek refers to as 'the tyranny of the randomized control trial'.  In our profession (which lacks such evidence on most topics) it would be easy to do nothing because we don't have level 1 evidence for it."

I'm keeping an eye on a study currently underway at the University of Alabama that is looking to determine if pre-treatment swallowing exercises can improve

Friday, May 24, 2013

Social Media and SLP

If you aren't a part of the #slpeeps community on Twitter, following SLP related boards on pinterest, or one of the many SLP facebook groups, it's definitely something you should consider participating in. These social media tools connect you with SLPs  and SLP students all over the country as well as all over the world.

Here is a blog hop I found that sums up all of the benefits of joining this vast online community of SLPeeps: Blog Hop: Essential Social Media Tools for SLPs and you can "hop" to other posts about the different social media platforms that SLPs can use. I'm starting you off with Twitter, which is a personal favorite. Facebook

Monday, May 6, 2013

SLP and the Great Dysphagia Search

It's back to class time and today I start my dysphagia class. Since I am leaning more towards the medical side of SLP, this is a key class and I can't wait to learn more about it. We have to track down a VFSS (videofluoroscopic swallow study) observation site and I've already hit the ground running with about 7 emails sent out so far, phone calls are next.

I saw a VFSS during my post-bacc SLP job shadowing and it was pretty interesting. Too bad I wasn't closer to that observation site or I'd just go back there!

Here's to hoping I can pin down a site... let another search begin! :)


The above SLP I observed a VFSS with (and who also graduated from EMU) just emailed me a contact who is willing to let me observe! She is a ROCKSTAR!!