Introduction to Critical Care for Speech Language Pathologists

presented by Martin B. Brodsky

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Do you think that you’re up for the challenge of being a speech language pathologist in critical care? Once familiar, the intensive care unit (ICU) quickly becomes an intriguing, albeit demanding and fast-paced environment frequently filled the most challenging patients in the hospital. Participants in this course will compare and contrast various hospital ward and ICU patient rooms, and be provided with a broad overview of the impact and consequences of critical care on patients. Dr. Brodsky provides suggestions that will make for more efficient patient contact time and methods for improved communication with medical personnel will also be provided. In addition to directly affecting the improvement of the patient’s overall condition by addressing speech, language, voice, and swallowing issues, speech-language pathologists play an important role in communication between the patient, caregivers, and family, and friends.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Martin B.  Brodsky, PhD, ScM, CCC-SLP

    Martin B. Brodsky, PhD, ScM, CCC-SLP

    Martin B. Brodsky is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and a member of the Outcomes After Critical Illness and Surgery (OACIS) Group, a multidisciplinary clinical and research group dedicated to understanding and improving patient outcomes after critical illness and surgery, at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh and his Master’s degree (ScM) in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Scholars Award (KL2 Mentored Careeer Development Award). Dr. Brodsky is a researcher, international lecturer, and clinician with more than 20 years of continuous medical speech-language pathology experience. His peer-reviewed research publications and book chapters focus on swallowing and swallowing disorders. Dr. Brodsky’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, studying the effects of critical illness and critical care medicine on swallowing and its long-term outcomes. He is a former member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s 3-year Task Force on Post Intensive Care Syndrome, a frequent reviewer for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and scientific journals, and a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Dysphagia Research Society, and the American Psychological Association.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Virtual Tour of the ICU and Lines to Your Patient

    1. Virtual Tour of the ICU and Lines to Your Patient

    If you’ve ever wondered what critical care looks like—conceptually and visually—you’ll be offered a fresh perspective of what it means to be in an ICU in the 21st century. After a brief introduction to the nation’s sickest patients in the hospital, you’ll be taken on a virtual tour that will what makes critical care so intense. Yet, despite several stark differences between ICUs and the medical floor, you’ll soon appreciate that there are more similarities than originally perceived.

  2. Intubation

    2. Intubation

    Only a subset of patients who are critically ill will be intubated with mechanical ventilation. The events leading to intubation are often routine, but may quickly turn dramatic. In this chapter, normal does not exist; rather, you will be introduced to the vivid, potential consequences of critical care that are directly related to speech-language pathology.

  3. Post Intensive Care Syndrome

    3. Post Intensive Care Syndrome

    Although post intensive care syndrome (PICS) is a name that is relatively new to critical care medicine, it has a rich history with many names. Sure, saving a life is difficult, but giving someone back his or her life through therapy is an even greater challenge! This chapter introduces you to the aftermath that is critical care, with direct implications for assessment and treatment by speech-language pathologists.

  4. Delirium

    4. Delirium

    Delirium, the “acute confusional state,” is common in patients who are critically ill. In many cases, the critical care a patient receives causes the delirium. This chapter walks you through the facts of delirium, why it is important when considering speech-language pathology assessments and interventions, and an introduction to its clinical assessment.

  5. Summary and Tips

    5. Summary and Tips

    This brief but essential chapter has content you won’t want to overlook. Speech-language pathologists will be provided key points for success in the ICU. These include challenges and pitfalls of the evaluation and treatment of patients who are critically ill, suggestions for additional areas of professional development that may be extended to other health care settings, and practical hints, or at least a heads-up, for effectively navigating the ICU.