Meet Jessica Durkovich, a medical speech-language pathologist who works in the intensive care unit. During her appearance on The Missing Link for SLPs podcast, she explains why teamwork is essential in the hospital setting, delves into the benefits of being proactive instead of reactive, and shares why her role is so rewarding.
Discussion & Reflection Questions
- Can you tell us why you decided to become a speech-language pathologist?
- How did you prepare yourself to move from private practice to a medical setting?
- Can you explain what a general medical SLP does?
- How many other SLPs are on staff with you in the ICU? Who else do you work with regularly?
- What do your day-to-day tasks look like in the ICU?
- What is it like when you first walk into a room with an intubated patient?
- What is it like to extubate a patient?
- What are some of the challenges of working in an ICU? The rewards?
- Any words of advice for new or transitioning SLPs out there?
Quote of the Conversation
“Advocate for yourself. Advocate for our profession. We have a place at the table in the ICU. And it takes a lot of work. Get to know your physicians. Get to know the other team members in the ICU. And you can build a program that’s successful in the ICU by working with the team. It cannot be done alone, but by working with a team, you can advocate for yourself and have a place in the ICU.”– Jessica Durkovich, MA, CCC-SLP
Jessica Durkovich, MA, CCC-SLP
Intensive Care Medical Speech-Language Pathologist
Jessica Durkovich, MA, CCC-SLP graduated from Ball State University in 2005 with a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. Jessica’s career-long passion has been caring for adults in acute care, with a specific love for dysphagia. However, since joining the IU Health Critical Care Rehab team in 2017 her focus has shifted to caring for the medically complex patients in the ICU, encompassing both dysphagia and cognition. Joining the Critical Care Rehab team has spurred a drive to learn more about Delirium and Cognition and the implications for critically ill patients. She has demonstrated passion and dedication while developing the role of the SLP as an integral member of the critical care team. Through this hard work, Jessica and team were awarded the IU Health East Central Region Values Team Leadership award in 2020. Jessica the Speech Pathology representative for the Critical Care Innovative Network at Ball Memorial Hospital.
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Not a substitute for a formal SLP education or medical advice for patients/caregivers.