Sweet until sour?? Taking a bite out of taste manipulation


While I could pop 20 in my mouth, chew a few times, and let my sensory nerves run wild with these lil treats, I've never really thought about how the sweet-sour taste-sensation actually impacts how my body manages what I just placed in my mouth...🤔🤔. Why do I enjoy it? How do my tongue and body react to it and why? What makes us make that funny sour face? I don't know if it's because I'm biased since I'm hooked on these lil guys or the fact that I am always fascinated when it comes to sensory dysphagia, either way, this article definitely hit MY sweet spot!😊

Is it as critical as we think? A Systematic Analysis of Dysphagia in Acute and Critical Care


Because medical status in the acute and critical care environments can change in the blink of an eye for multiple reasons, our evaluations, treatment plans, and recommendations often metamorphosize simultaneously as well. A lot of the times in acute/critical care, we may not be able to implement many strategies, exercises, techniques, or recommendations due to complex reasons. So, what do we do with critical patients? ⚠️⚠️WARNING:⚠️⚠️ This article is not for the faint of mind. I know I definitely had a hard time grappling with some of what I read, but peeling these layers back of what we don’t know keeps pushing us forward as professionals. Please read at your own risk of uncovering reflective questioning, biases, and challenges to any previous notions that “because we are medical professional” (me included), our presence is the end-all-be-all . . 😳🤔

Interview with a Researcher – Brittany Krekeler, PhD, CCC-SLP


In case you missed the review of Dr. Krekeler's article, here she shares her amazing insights on research, the struggles, and the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Healthcare, Adults, COVID-19, and Acute Care in Hospitals: Recent Recommendations


Do you remember in school (high school, undergrad, grad school, anywhere), where you were studying for an exam, going over all your notes and materials, feeling in utter despair and desparation because "How in the heck are you supposed to know all of the information?!?" Then, a miracle happened and the teacher sent out a guide or study sheet to help you focus on what specifically you should be worrying about, thus removing the huge weights off your shoulders (and maybe ending the incessant and stress-induced snacking). Okay, I obviously can't equate the recent article to a miracle, but, I think we can all agree it's helpful (sometimes anything is helpful in these times!). Don't fret, more comprehensive reviews will continue, but if you're anything like me these days, a simpler, easy-to-guide can mean the world.👍🌏

But…Why? A systematic look if patients actually adhere to your recommendations


"Adherence is a critical component of any treatment plan. To effectively achieve the desired result of a therapy intervention, the patient must participate in the recommended treatment, often independently without direct clinical supervision. Poor adherence to clinical recommendations may render evidence-based interventions ineffective, ultimately causing immense financial burden on the healthcare system as a whole." Sound familiar? Feel familiar? And if our top-notch plans aren't being followed, "What's the point?" Maybe the overly dramatic teen in me is coming out, but when it comes down to it, we really are all on the same team, so it's up to us to figure it out, and that's just what this article attempts to do.

“The one where you hold your Adam’s apple up”: The mystery of the Mendelsohn Manuever


I remember reading the directions for Mendelsohn in Logemann's original textbook as a student, feeling my own "Adam's apple" rise and lower, seeing how long I could even hold it. For a beginner clinician (and somewhat thereafter), it was quite confusing and vague, but eventually I got the hang of it (or learned to "let it hang"?). BUT, did you know the Mendelsohn hadn't been looked at or "tested" by itself to see if it helped swallow function? Check out the article review to learn what WAS found!

Congrats to all Class of 2020 !!!


For all that you've done, for all that you will do, a BIG congratulations to YOU!! So excited and proud to welcome you to the field ❤️🥳🤩

Turning to Telepractice in trying times


No, we may not be there yet with this title. And maybe this is not what some may be thinking about right now. But, being the strong-willed SLP I've somehow become over the years, I couldn't help but think, 'Why not?' (in my head there was likely an additional explecative😉). While there are still many unknowns, with too many questions without answers, the article provided can help those working with this population by looking back, to think about possibilities moving forward.

A Tale of Two Worlds: Meshing Telepractice with Head&Neck Cancer populations


My friends, I am right there with you. While I have to be 100% honest that this population is not one I can begin to claim immense expertise in (but one I hope to continue to gain more knowledge about!), I was still surprised to know that not only has this mode of service delivery already been dipped into, but that there is actually some general practice advice for those interested. "Telepractice is emerging as a viable option for the delivery of speech-language pathology head and neck cancer (HNC) services to assist in addressing the demands of a growing population requiring specialist speech-language pathology intervention, and to offer patients more convenient and flexible models of care"

R-E-S-P-E-C-T for LVC: Laryngeal Vestibule Closure in the Spotlight


Let's hear it for laryngeal vestibule closure y'all!!! Are you wondering what it is? Do you want to know more about it? Then here's your article folks to help you understand the whats, hows, and whys of this potentially fatal part of the swallowing mechanism that many might glance over like a stack of bills or junk mail (or all the paperwork for tax day coming up😬!).

A Closer Look…beginnings of mapping brain lesions linking to swallow impairments in stroke


Remember your undergraduate and/or graduate neuroanatomy course? I know some loathed it and some loved it. For me, I was in my element, so much so that I was sure my initial passion was going to be everything-neuro-TBI-related. While I still LOVE neuro and have had my share of experience within this realm for sure, reading this article brought me back to my first love, while also mixing in my more recent and exciting infatuation for dysphagia.

Oh no! Should I just go with the High Flow?


While doctors are learning more and more about the body/brain/gut connections, us SLPs continue to learn more about the breathing/swallowing connection (among many other things). One of these relationships that will likely continue to be in the 'hot seat' is using high-flow oxygen to improve acute respiratory compromise, while also simultaneously impacting the biomechanics of the swallowing system.

Short ‘n Sweet – D.I.G.E.S.T.

Not only is the acronym name 🤩PERFECT🤩, but the whole purpose and background behind the Dynamic Imaging Grade of Swallowing Toxicity make it truly a work that pushes our field further while continuing closer collaboration with other respected professions (which is always needed in any setting, treatment plan, and patient care). I'm not gonna lie, I've been wanting to learn more about this ever since I saw Dr. Hutcheson present on it at Dysphagia Research Society a few years ago, so I couldn't wait to dive in!

Get ready to digest delicious info on this functional-outcome rating measure that YOU voted on and savor all the possibilities!🤤

A clinician’s review on reviewing the research❤️

It's been one wild ride since this whole thing started at SLP R&R!🤪 A year ago, I was fortunate to have a great Guest Post from Rebecca Brown from ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders who shared some incredible Resources for clinicians to get organized and more familiar with the process of evidence-based practice for our patients. I've since used these Resources each for their own separate purpose at different times. Now I want to share my experience with this process and the insights I've had along the way. Since there won't be any statistic-jargon or in-depth analysis to discuss, feel free to sit back and enjoy a clinician's review of reviewing the research!😃

Interview with a Researcher – Gabi Constantinescu, PhD, R.SLP, S-LP(C)

If you've been hearing more about the wearable "Under-the-chin sensor" mobile device designed to help patients complete swallow exercises accurately in real-time but haven't heard of one of its original creators, then make sure to read this insightful interview by the one and only Dr. Constantinescu!!🤩

Can we nourish the swallow in acute care?

It’s the age-old story of what came first: the chicken or the egg? We’ve thought about the quandary between aspiration and dysphagia in a similar way as well, and just like everyone else we’ve come to similar conclusions when trying to answer this famous riddle.

Now, it’s nutrition’s turn to enter into the mix.

Does dysphagia increase the risk for malnutrition? Or, is it truly the other way around?

Whether you've either got the registered dietician's number on your speech cell speed dial or click that box for a consult as frequently as you sip your coffee, even if we are separate entities we also have a close, special relationship that I think no one else truly gets😅.
This article seems to be an interesting grab at diving deeper into the above adage and at the very least can give us insight into how to think about and manage this complex and intertwined relationship.

Short ‘n Sweet – Perceived wet vocal quality (at bedside)

Trying to identify if a voice sounds wet and why can be anything but a short task! Even after all these years, I still find myself having to push these naive thoughts aside from time to time in order to make way for more critical and higher-level thinking and reasoning, versus just relying on a sole factor😉. While there's been a lot learned along the way from those first few "first-days", when it comes to that wet-gurgly, "underwater" sound that we might often find ourselves unconsciously listening to from across the dining room or even a restaurant, I gotta know more!!

Your hip bone’s connected to your…..Swallow??

We never talked about that in Anatomy!!?! You don't even have to know the whole song to be able to understand that these two areas are nowhere near each other, let alone physically connected. So, why are we talking about it?? I was introduced to this article during an amazing continuing education course centered around the aging adult with all the myriad of issues and sticky complications, so after hearing that we might finally get an invite to the exclusive PT/OT party, I was in!🥳

Interview with a Researcher – Samantha Shune, PhD, CCC-SLP

In case you missed Dr. Samantha Shune's recent webinar for National Foundation for Swallowing Disorders focusing on the eating experience, she's sharing some more research wisdom to make sure we all remember to keep our patient/caregivers' experiences at the forefront in our field!😉

What’s the cost of a swallow???

Who here likes to save money? I know, duh, right.🙄
Answering that one question is pretty quick and easy for most people, but the authors did their duties to really analyze and break down just what we are doing and how much it costs🤑!

Short ‘n Sweet Review – Frazier Free Water Protocol (FFWP)

It's been a quencher for most places already this summer☀️🥵, so why not learn more about all the benefits (and cons) to drinking more *clear* water for our patients💧🧊😎?!

What to do when the tube comes out?? Reviewing post-extubation laryngeal injuries in ICU

"I have a patient X. What should I do?" That's basically what our brain automatically defaults to when we cannot come up with a solution or rationale immediately, right? The good news is we can always go back to the basics (and our favorite EBP triangle) to help us come up with some more updated answers in order to create the best assessment and treatment plan for our patients, which is just what this article attempts to assist with when it comes to intubation and laryngeal injury. But don't worry! The article is NOT like one of those pizzas where you have to pick things apart to get what you actually want (or is that just me with pineapple??😅). Instead, it's much more like a beautifully delicious and authentic margherita pizza, with those basic ingredients that make it OH SO GOOD.🤤👍👍