Dysphagia for Occupational Therapists

Dysphagia for Occupational Therapists 

While swallowing evaluation and treatment falls into the realm of the speech-language pathologist (SLP), occupational therapists (OT) can provide great insight into the physician and/or SLP as the OT is working in the areas involved. Therefore, all OTs should have a foundational knowledge of dysphagia evaluation and treatment to help promote better patient outcomes. In this course, you will learn the basic anatomy and physiology of the normal swallowing mechanism. You will also learn how to evaluate dysphagia, diet modifications, and safe swallow strategies.


Hours: 1.25


Certificates provided by accrediting body (3 Match)

American Occupational Therapy Association


Relias Learning is an approved provider of continuing education courses by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Category 1 & 2. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

Florida Board of Occupational Therapy


This course has been approved by the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy for 1.20 contact hours, approval number 20-626001.

Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy

1.25 HOURS

This course has been approved by the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy for 1.25 contact hours, approval number 20-626001.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-RT-0-DOTP
Hours: 1.25
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 5/31/2021
Learning Objectives:
Describe the basic anatomy and physiology of the swallowing mechanism.
Apply methods used to evaluate the swallowing mechanism.
Demonstrate basic competence of diet modification and safe swallowing strategies.
Identify the information to be included when documenting your evaluation.
Recognize the ethical and legal dilemmas regarding swallowing issues.

Section 1: Introduction

A.         About This Course

B.         Learning Objectives

Section 2: Anatomy and Physiology Review

A.         The OT’s Role

B.         Introduction to Dysphagia

C.         Structures Involved in the Process of Deglutition

D.        A Few Definitions

E.        How Does a Swallow Occur?

F.         Practice

G.         Review

H.        Summary

Section 3: Evaluating Deglutition

A.         Evaluating Deglutition (The Clinical Bedside Evaluation)

B.         Read the Clinical Record

C.        Talk to the Patient

D.        Talk to Caregivers

E.         Conduct the Clinical Bedside Swallowing Evaluation

F.         Textures of Food and Liquid

G.        Thickeners

H.        Observe the General Appearance of the Patient

I.          A Good Oral Peripheral Exam

J.         Introduce Food and Liquid

K.         To Refer or Not to Refer

L.         MBS and FEES

M.        Review

N.        Summary

Section 4: Treatment Recommendations

A.         Making Recommendations

B.         Feeding Tubes

C.        Diet Modification

D.        Food Preparation

E.         Treatment Plan

F.         Documentation

G.        Components of Documentation

H.        Challenging Patients

I.          Ethical and Legal Decisions Regarding Swallowing Issues

J.         Review

K.         Summary

Section 5: Conclusion

A.         Summary

B.         Course Contributor

C.        Resources

D.        References

E.         Congratulations!

Instructor: Amy Reinstein, MS, CCC – SLP
Amy Reinstein, M.S., CCC – SLP has been practicing speech language pathology for 8 years focusing on the dysphagia and neurogenic communication adult population. Amy has worked in various New York City acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, short term rehabilitation centers, home health care, and outpatient private practice. She has extensive experience in performing and evaluating Modified Barium Swallow Studies. Her teaching experience includes supervising Clinical Fellows to attain their certification, as well as certified speech–language pathologists in home health and skilled nursing facilities. Amy has also worked extensively with the New York City Board of Education K- 12 and Special Education schools. Special projects include publishing various articles for trade magazines and blogs, contributing to CEU courses, publishing of a live website, and creating clinical assessments and evaluations. She is currently authoring a speech and language textbook and conducting a research study in dysphagia. Disclosure: Amy Reinstein, MS, CCC – SLP has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Tameika McLean, MS, OTR/L, CAPS, ECHM

Tameika McLean is an occupational therapist working in the Washington, DC area. She has worked in the acute care, acute rehabilitation, subacute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and outpatient settings. She graduated from Columbia University with an MS in Occupational Therapy in 2014.

Disclosure: Tameika McLean, MS, OTR/L, CAPS, ECHM has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: entry level Occupational Therapists; in the following settings: Rehabilitation Settings.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form (https://www.relias.com/help) or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.