The Missing Link for SLPs
The Missing Link for SLPs
A Day in the Life of a Medical SLP: Love Dysphagia? Learn What it Takes to be a FEES Private Practice SLP

Download the show notes or full transcript of the conversation.

Meet Katie Decker, a medical SLP who runs her own mobile FEES practice. Katie shares how she got into speech pathology, why she felt drawn to FEES, and what it takes to start a business. She also offers wisdom for SLPs just starting out, as well as resources they can use to expand their knowledge of the field.

Discussion & Reflection Questions

  1. Tell us a little about who you are and why you decided to become a speech pathologist. 
  2. Where did you get your degree from and how long have you been practicing?
  3. What does a typical day look like for you as a FEES specialist with her own mobile company?
  4. What has been one of the most rewarding parts of your career in this setting? What about the most challenging?
  5. How many patients do you see in a day? Where do you get referrals from?
  6. How did you decide you wanted to start your own company?
  7. What was the cost of starting your own mobile FEES company?
  8. For the person who is interested in starting their own mobile FEES, what are some of the steps and recommendations you can give them?

Quote of the Conversation

“That’s one thing I would just say to students and new grads: Don’t be afraid to ask if you can come in [and] hang out for a day with someone. Don’t be afraid to ask for that job shadow or to ask someone like, ‘Hey, could you mentor me on this topic that I just feel like I’m not quite ready to treat independently yet?’”

– Katie Decker, M.A. CCC-SLP

Katie Decker, M.A. CCC-SLP

Medical Speech-Language Pathologist and Owner of Midwest Dysphagia Diagnostics

Katie Decker received her BA in biology and Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Northern Iowa. She founded and operates Midwest Dysphagia Diagnostics, LLC, a mobile FEES company providing mobile swallow studies to the state of Iowa. Katie has also worked in acute care, acute rehabilitation, and skilled nursing. Katie specializes in dysphagia and is certified in endoscopy and is a provider of the McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program. Katie has served as the Vice President of Continuing Education for the Iowa Speech-Language Hearing Association since 2019. In her spare time, Katie enjoys hiking, rock climbing. and walking with her chihuahua Chachi.

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