The Missing Link for SLPs
A Day in the Life of a Medical SLP: Conversation with an Acute Care SLP
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Download the show notes or full transcript of the conversation.

Meet Emily Hosokawa, a medical SLP working in the acute care setting. Emily shares the joys and challenges of working in this environment, along with what led her to pursue speech pathology in the first place. She also offers insight into building confidence as a newer SLP so clinicians can better advocate for themselves and their clients.

Discussion & Reflection Questions

  1. Tell us a little about who you are and why you decided to become a speech pathologist. 
  2. What does a typical day working in an acute care setting look like? Who do you work with? When does your day begin?
  3. How many patients do you typically see per day, and where in their medical journey are they?
  4. Do you deal with caregivers in your work with patients? Tell us about that. 
  5. As a newer SLP, how do you convey the confidence and competency you need to have certain conversations?
  6. What team members do you work with in acute care, and do you have any advice for collaborating with a big team?
  7. What has proved a challenge of working in acute care? What’s an unexpected outcome or benefit of being in this setting?
  8. What words of advice do you have for the speech pathologist who wants to move into a setting like yours?

Quote of the Conversation

“It’s hard sometimes to think about all of the very specific, niche knowledge that you know, and then zoom out on this entire medical campus. You are the only person with an expertise in that. And sometimes, it takes thinking big picture like that to go, ‘Okay, I am confident. I know this information. I know more about this information than the average resident or nurse practitioner that’s coming in and wants to care for this patient, too. How can I add to the conversation?’”

– Emily Hosokawa CCC-SLP

Emily Hosokawa CCC-SLP

Acute Care Speech-Language Pathologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Emily Hosokawa is an acute care speech-language pathologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. She graduated from Purdue University with her Master’s degree in 2018 and completed a clinical fellowship specializing in swallowing and swallowing disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joined the team at VUMC in July 2020. Her interests include dysphagia in medically complex patients and clinical dysphagia research. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring Nashville with her rescue pup Grayson, reading, and sewing.



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Not a substitute for a formal SLP education or medical advice for patients/caregivers.

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