Dysphagia Awareness month! What do you need to know about dysphagia?

At first I started writing “Happy” Dysphagia Awareness month, but I’m uncertain if “happy” is the correct connotation although it gets me so juiced to see these awesome awareness and advocacy marketing campaigns #myultimatethrill, SOOOO let’s all join in and do something about this topic that we’re all so passionate about!

And since I totally dropped the ball on Better Speech and Hearing Month, I absolutely do NOT want to discount the importance of advocating for speech therapy or cognitive communicative therapy, so yes this is one big SLP party!

I know a lot of you say that you might be feeling burnt out, or you need a new challenge, or you’re sick of the resistance at your facility, so I have a challenge for you that I would LOVE for you to join me in and I have a team of colleagues that are ready to support you as well.

There is no ulterior motive here, no sales pitch, just some inspiration to put one foot in front of the other like we all need sometimes.

I remember being about 5 years in to my career and I was feeling horribly burnt out and uninspired. Yup, just 5 whole years.

I knew I loved what I did and the time spent with patients was incredibly rewarding, but all of the other red tape was just exhausting.

I decided instead of griping about it, that perhaps maybe I could do something about it.

That’s when I decided to start working towards some passion projects in my facility.

Did anyone pay me to do it? Nope!

Did it sometime suck to do it all on my own spare time? Yup!

Do I regret any of it? Nope!

Did it give me the confidence to help advocate for my patients, and continue to fuel my passion to do so? Yup!

Did it make me stand out and gain respect among my immediate co-workers? Yup!

We owe it to our patients.

If we’re not feeling fulfilled in our careers, then we can’t possibly be the best for our patients. And we don’t just show up every day to collect a check, we show up for our patients.

I’ve been through more therapy sessions with my son, my husband, and my brother than I care to count and I hate to say it, but it was blatantly obvious that some of the therapists were just there for the check.

Some haven’t typed their profession in to google to see what their job entailed in a long time.

And on the flip side - some will be life long family friends because of the immediate impact they made on our family.

Some just truly care about their patients, and truly care about exhausting all options to get their patients where they need to be.

I want you to #beTHATkindofSLP.

So I hope you’ll join me in this challenge this month.

There aren’t really any crazy rules, only support.

I want you to come up with an advocacy project at your facility. It can be a huge undertaking or small yet impactful.

The important part is putting 1 foot in front of the other.

It can relate to swallowing, speech, cognition, voice, whatever your flavor!?

I will post a check-in every Friday and let us know what you did that week on your advocacy project, even if it’s just googled “what to do for advocacy project” ?

We can help you brainstorm next steps or help you swerve if you hit a road block.

On Friday June 29th, I will do a Facebook Live and we’ll talk about all of the incredible projects everyone started to hopefully inspire you all to get advocating and perhaps give YOU some new ideas.

You absolutely do NOT have to complete your project by the end of June (for example if your project is to get a contract going with a mobile FEES/MBSS company.) The project doesn’t have to be completed just moving forward -some times these things move at a snails pace!

But wait? What can I possibly do? Here’s a few examples!

  • Set up a contract with a mobile FEES/MBSS company
  • Have an inservice for the CNAs
  • Start a trach team
  • Create an aphasia support group
  • Inservice the MDs in your facility
  • Order updated EBP materials to do your job

Here’s the kicker: I will choose at random one pair who participated and each member will receive a 1 free year membership to the Medical SLP Solution.

(Yes I said pair!!! There is strength in numbers and if you want to buddy up with a co-worker and tag team your administration - more power to ya! Or just find an accountabilibuddy!)

Furthermore, myself and my colleagues will chose TWO more participants who showed the most support and encouragement to their peers and made the most progress on their own projects!

So all you have to do to be eligible to win is:

  1. Comment “I’m in” below!
  2. Tag a buddy who you think would be a great accountability partner for you.
  3. Comment on the post on Friday for what your project will be, and update us on the post on the rest of the Fridays in June on your progress.
  4. Provide support to your colleagues and help them if they get stuck!

I'm so excited to hear what everyone will be up to and I am rooting for you all to #beTHATkindofSLP

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