To say that today’s guest, Laura Davis, is dedicated and passionate about her career as an ICU nurse and the people and community she serves would be an understatement!
In this episode, the tenth in the Speechless series with Vanessa Abraham, Laura shares her experiences being on the nightshift with Vanessa as a patient, awake and unable to speak. Laura also talks about how ICU nursing staff works with Speech, PT, and OTs and has some great advice for working as a team with other health professionals.
Discussion & Reflection Question
- Do you know how to get help if you are with a client/patient and they have a medical emergency?
- How can you improve communication with the other professionals involved in the care of your patient/client, and how do you all contribute to the person’s care?
- Who else do you, or can you, ask or check in with for another perspective of how your patient or client may be physically or emotionally before you see them?
- Are there suggestions you might have for nursing and other health professionals to help with nonverbal communication with their patients?
- How can you empower your clients/patients by providing them with choices and options they can decide on for communication and treatment?
“Definitely collaborate with everybody, all other team members, because there may be something else going on that we don’t know, they’re one part of it, but they’re also a huge part of it. Communicate with their nurse first about how they’ve been. Do you know how to call for help in an emergency? Know your resources.”
– Laura Davis
Vanessa is a wife, mother and school based Speech-Language Pathologist.
She learned firsthand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of speech services after experiencing a sudden-onset critical illness that left her with limb and neck paralysis as well as a PEG tube and tracheotomy.
She was thrown into the rehabilitation world after being an independent, healthy and vibrant young mother. Through many swallow studies, voice therapy, OT and PT, she had to learn to eat, talk and move again.
Her goal now is to help people critically ill patients cope with the grief they experience after a critical illness through speaking up about the topic of Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS), depression and anxiety post ICU in addition to educating families and patients about the various rehab modalities that have been successful for her.
Contact Vanessa Abraham
“Keep that communication going. The nurses have so much valuable input. They are there 12 hours a day with the patient. I was fortunately unfortunate to be able to see that relationship between SLPs and nurses unfold, and it was really fascinating for me to see that relationship and see them collaborating with each other, and I thought it was just really remarkable what they did as a team for me.”
– Vanessa Abraham
“In my training, when we go up on a medical floor, the first place we go after the chart review is to talk to the nurse. That nurse just puts the finishing touches on everything, and that communication is just so important as part of the team.”
– Mattie Murrey-Tegels
Mattie Murrey Tegel, MA, CCC-SLP, L, CPC, CLSC
Medical Speech-Language Pathologist and Founder of Fresh SLP
Mattie Murrey-Tegels is the founder and SLP behind Fresh SLP and The Missing Link for SLPs Podcast. She’s been “in-the-trenches” as a medical SLP around the world for over 25 years and now an Assistant Professor for 3 years. She is thrilled to be adding this dream of a podcast because paying her experiences forward is something she is very passionate about. If you ask her patients and students, one thing they will remember is how much she loves her job! She may not look like it but she is a huge introvert and when she is not actively working as an SLP, she is almost always reading, writing (writing over 1,000,000 words a year), or listening to amazing Chicago Blues bands. She also loves being outdoors and definitely enjoys soaking up the sun at her home in Minnesota, where warm and sunny days can be limited. She’s ridden motorcycles for many years, raced sled dogs, hiked huge mountains yet she cherishes the quiet moments of climbing into a hammock to nap or timeless conversations with friends and family.
The Missing Link for SLPs podcast and Fresh SLP is her legacy, giving back to a career that has so richly rewarded her.
Thank you for listening to The Missing Link for SLPs podcast! If you enjoyed the show, I’d love you to subscribe, rate it and leave a short review. Also, please share an episode with a friend. Together we can raise awareness and help more SLPs find and connect those missing links to help them feel confident in their patient care every step of the way.
Not a substitute for a formal SLP education or medical advice for patients/caregivers.