I am often asked why or how I started Midwest Dysphagia Diagnostics. The short answer is that I firmly believe that all people deserve high quality, evidence based evaluation and treatment of their swallowing. The longer answer involves multiple beliefs that I have. Eating and drinking are two things that really are important to all of us. We like to have meals with our families at holidays, like to go out to coffee with the guys every Thursday morning, or use dinner time as the one time during the day when we can sit down and relax and talk to our kids. Most of the social things that we do are around eating or drinking. When a person has dysphagia, they might feel like they miss out on these times and I’m not ok with that. I feel like we need to do better for our patients and that starts with high quality imaging. I won’t get into all of the evidence in this post- check out my other posts for that information.
I believe that time is of the essence with dysphagia treatment. If a person is not able to access timely imaging, we are wasting their time. And if this is someone that suffered a stroke, we know that time is really important. I cringe when SLP’s tell me that they had to wait a month for a MBSS at the hospital. This is not the hospital SLP’s fault, or anyone else for that matter. It is just the reality that hospitals are busy and there might only be one fluoro machine for the whole hospital. For that month, the patient is either just statically waiting, or they are receiving treatment that was planned based on a guess. Neither option is a good one. Or maybe that person gets sicker and sicker just waiting for the test. That’s not ok with me. That’s why I am available within 24-48 hours to come out and evaluate your patient.
I believe that we should practice at the top of our licenses and provide the most up to date, evidence based care that we can. I am always reading new articles, looking at case studies, and discussing cases with my peers to continue to learn. I also try to share what I learn with other SLP’s. Sometimes we don’t know better, but when we do, we need to do better.This is one of my favorite parts of my job. I love to talk with SLP’s around the state. I am definitely the person to talk to if you ever need an article. (Not everyone has multiple binders full of EBP…..?)
There are many rural communities in Iowa. I believe that everyone, wherever they live should have the same access to medical care. Some people would have to drive more than an hour to get to the nearest hospital with fluoro. Some even further. This distance can make it tricky in different weather conditions and if the person is medically fragile they may not be safe to be out of the facility for that long. That’s why I come to you. I am happy to drive as far as needed to provide this care to everyone.
I have to say that I love my job most days. Some days are very long, and running Midwest Dysphagia Diagnostics is not always that much fun (hello taxes). However, knowing the people that I have helped makes it all worth it. I really am passionate about dysphagia and I am always happy to talk over a case, offer an article, or anything else I can do to support all of the SLP’s treating dysphagia. If you ever need anything, please reach out!