Dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, is common in patients with neurological disorders and in older patients. Dysphagia increases the risk of aspiration, and it can lead to aspiration pneumonia and death. Registered dietitian nutritionists play a unique role as part of the healthcare team when caring for patients at risk for aspiration. Dietetics professionals can assess a patient’s aspiration risk and implement dietary strategies to prevent aspiration while simultaneously putting in place interventions to prevent malnutrition and dehydration. The National Dysphagia Diet, implemented in three levels, is used to reduce the risk of aspiration while providing adequate energy and nutrients to prevent malnutrition.
The goal of this continuing education program is to provide registered dietitian nutritionists with information about dysphagia, how to identify patients at risk for aspiration and how to develop dietary interventions to prevent aspiration while ensuring appropriate calories and nutrients. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
- Discuss observable signs of swallowing problems and conditions that increase aspiration risk
- Identify criteria for when a dietitian should be involved in dysphagia screening, based on diagnosis or nutrition prescription
- Describe the dietary modifications for each level of the National Dysphagia Diet
This course is intended for health educators.
Sponsored by OnCourse Learning, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 2.0 total Category I continuing education contact hours.
Provider ID: CA0084 (98709) for 01/01/2012 to 12/31/2015, 114941 for 01/01/2016 to 12/31/2019.
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Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.