A stroke is a severe medical issue that may result in temporary or permanent paralysis on one side of the body. Speech pathologists understand the significant impact a stroke can have on a victim, including impaired balance, memory, thinking, sight, and speech.
If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, you know that recovery can take months. Some people never fully recover, even after a grueling process of treatment and physical therapy. On the other hand, thanks to medical professionals and physical therapists of all types, many stroke victims do go on to live happy, full lives after the incident.
What Does a Speech Pathologist Do?
Speech pathologists are tasked with assessing, diagnosing, and treating speech and communication disorders. They examine language, vocal patterns, and even swallowing for a better understanding of a condition with the hopes that they will help their patients attain better communication skills.
Speech pathologists also help stroke victims create recovery and treatment plans. Communication plays a vital role in the plan for recovery after a stroke, as it is one of the most significant parts of life affected by the condition.
1 – Speech Pathologists Monitor Swallowing
Swallowing is a serious issue for stroke victims, and speech pathologists monitor swallowing to help patients create a sense of independence. Professionals assist patients with feeding techniques and positioning to prevent choking and infection.
These professionals also educate caregivers and family members about swallowing after a stroke. In the case that the stroke victim does begin choking, the people around them need to know how they can assist, possibly saving their lives.
2 – Speech Pathologists Treat Aphasia
Aphasia is one of the most common conditions victims of stroke face. In most cases, aphasia makes it extremely difficult to speak, read, write, and listen. While indeed a challenge for patients, aphasia is a condition professionals are familiar with treating.
Receptive aphasia refers to the condition in which understanding language becomes more difficult. Speech pathologists may use conversational coaching or different types of communication to encourage patients to better understand their loved ones.
In your speech pathology CEUs, you will also learn about expressive aphasia, which is difficulty speaking. Stroke victims often struggle to speak the correct words to describe their thoughts. Therapists might use flashcards and word games as a way to encourage speech in these situations.
3 – Speech Pathologists Encourage Exercise
The muscles around the mouth and throat can become weak. Stroke victims often experience dysarthria following the episode, which results in the inability to form words.
Physical exercises can help develop the muscles beneficial for both speech and swallowing. Speech pathologists can make recommendations for posture changes and maneuvers, like head-lifting exercises, that can benefit the patient’s recovery.
4 – Speech Pathologists Stay Educated
Speech pathology CEUs are crucial for staying up-to-date on any communication disorders. Professionals pursue regular education to ensure that they always know how to take care of their patients. In medical-related fields, things change fast. Speech pathologists need to stay on top of it all.
Are you looking for the opportunity to learn more about helping victims of stroke and other health issues that influence communication? Speech-Language Pathology Courses can help. Enroll to see where your career might lead you.