Background: Recent technological advances, together with growing social acceptance of patients with disabilities, has led to a realization of the importance of long-term management of technologically dependent and chronically ill patients with tracheostomies. This includes tracheostomy patients who are ventilator dependent, neurological patients, patients with severe illness such as stroke, and so forth. These patients are able to have a higher quality of life and communicate verbally due to advances in health care. One of the major advancements is communicating via a tracheostomy. Hence, this study will provide ways in which respiratory therapists (RTs) and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can work together to make the process more efficient. Aim: The aim of this research article is to focus on a team approach utilizing the skills of speech-language pathologists and respiratory therapists to address communication issues for tracheostomy patients. Method: The authors reviewed historical and contemporary literature and computerized databases, and they also applied their collective 25-plus years of clinical and educational experience in the field. Results: The findings suggest that respiratory therapists and speech-language pathologists can work together to coordinate the most effective approach to helping patients with permanent tracheas regain full speech functionality and social adaptation. Conclusions: Rehabilitation of tracheostomy patients remains an important issue in modern medicine. There are a number of approaches to enhancing vocal speech in tracheostomy patients and ensuring full speech functionality and social adaptation. Successful speech therapies are based on coordinated interaction of respiratory and speech-language pathologists, nurses, caregivers, and patients. Findings regarding speech therapy for tracheostomy patients are based on a limited number of effective and controlled studies (Hess & Altobelli, 2014).
Knott, Javis M.
"Speech-Language Pathologists and Respiratory Therapists: Team Approach to Caring for Patients with Long-Term Tracheotomy,"
Journal of Public Health in the Deep South: Vol. 1:
1, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jphds/vol1/iss1/12