By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
Traveling therapists such as travel speech therapists, travel speech language pathologists, and slp travel jobs seekers in these fields, are responsible for much more than what most people would associate with “speech.” SLP’s work with patients rehabilitating from a stroke and others with swallowing difficulties. Speech therapists also work intensively in one-on-one scenarios helping improve outcomes for autistic children. They are involved in many other treatment situations that involve any of the parts of the upper airway and mouth related to speech. One of the patient groups speech therapists work with is a group that I happen to be quite familiar with: snorers. I grew up adjacent to a symphony of snores coming from my parents’ room and now I am the conductor of my own personal symphony lying in the bed next to me.
Most cases of snoring are mild or non-threatening enough that over the counter and home remedies are enough to manage the situation. For many Americans, however, the problem or snoring is connected to “obstructive sleep apnea,” a disorder that, if left untreated, puts some individuals at risk for heart attack and stroke due to a lack of oxygen flow during sleep. Speech therapists regularly work with sleep apnea patients, teaching them upper airway exercises that help diminish symptoms and increase the individual’s overall well-being.
The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine’s May 15th issue reported the results of a randomized sleep apnea study, during which some participants were assigned actual speech therapy upper airway exercises while others were given “fake” treatment regimens. The study showed that those who participated in the actual speech therapy exercises experienced improved sleep quality. This study and similar research shows the immense value of speech therapists and traveling speech therapists in working with patients across a broad range of illnesses and conditions.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.