Swallowing is a complex process that requires the coordinated action of muscles in the tongue, pharynx, and esophagus. Many conditions, such as altered mental status; gastroesophageal reflux disease; endotracheal intubation and tube feedings; or neurological problems, such as stroke, dementia, and brain injury; increase the risk for aspiration. Nurses need to work closely with other interprofessional team members (speech-language pathologists, physicians, dietitians, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists) to assess and manage patients at risk for aspiration to prevent the dangerous complications of aspiration pneumonitis and aspiration pneumonia. Healthcare professionals often care for patients who are at significant risk for aspiration; therefore, it is important for all healthcare professionals to recognize and manage those risk factors to protect their patients.
The goal of this continuing education program is to educate nurses, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, and physicians about how to identify patients at risk for aspiration and how to protect patients from aspirating. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
- Describe the three stages of normal swallowing
- Identify seven risk factors for aspiration
- List six strategies healthcare professionals can use to reduce the risk of aspiration
This course is intended for multiple professions, including nurses, speech-language pathologists, EMTs and paramedics, occupational therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists and physicians.
Respiratory therapists: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
This program has been approved for 1 contact hour of Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE) credit by the American Association for Respiratory Care, 9425 N. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 100, Irving, TX 75063. AARC Sponsor ID: 9514012. This is a non-traditional course. The course has been approved from 6/17/2013 to 6/17/2015 and 10/15/2015 to 10/15/2017.
OnCourse Learning is also approved by the Florida Board of Respiratory Care (provider #FBN 50-1489).
If you are a respiratory therapist, remember to give us your AARC member number when filling out your license number information.
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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. There is no commercial or in-kind support provided for this online educational activity.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module. For successful completion of this course, learners must read the course, and complete a posttest and evaluation survey.
This CE activity does not include any unannounced information about off-label use of a product for a purpose other than that for which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The approval status for this educational activity, granted by the AARC, does not expressly or implicitly confer AARC endorsement of the activity’s content.
For Florida professionals:
This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.
It is now required that all CE is completed and reported to CE Broker before you renew your license. When you complete continuing education with us, OnCourse Learning will report your hours for you.
Read more about the new license renewal process at AreYouRenewalReady.com and claim your free Basic Account in CE Broker to see what has already been reported for you.
Please check the licenses/certifications section under my account (after logging in) to make sure you have entered a valid FL license number. This information is required for correct reporting of your course completions to CE Broker.