Educating Nursing Staff on Dysphagia Assessment and Treatment

Educating Nursing Staff on Dysphagia Assessment and Treatment 

Nurses play a vital role in screening dysphagia and identifying the need for an SLP consult. However, several recent studies have identified nursing staff knowledge gaps regarding the importance of performing and communicating the screening results. This course will identify the role of SLPs in educating and training nursing staff to perform a thorough dysphagia screening, including how to effectively screen a patient with swallowing difficulty, communicate this information in the form of verbal and written referral to the SLP, manage patients’ symptoms while awaiting SLP bedside swallowing evaluation, and how to maintain professional communication between each member of the interdisciplinary team. The content in this course is applicable to SLPs in post-acute care settings.


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association


This course is offered for 0.15 ASHA CEUs (Introductory Level; Professional Area).

Kansas Health Department of Aging and Disability Services (Speech)


Approved for 1.50 continuing education clock hours for Kansas Speech Pathologists and Audiologists by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability. Long Term Sponsorship number LTS-S1057. This activity is approved for 1.50 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-RTS-0-ENSDAT
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 10/31/2022
Learning Objectives:
Discuss the role of nurses in identifying signs and symptoms of dysphagia.
Explain the role of nursing in the screening process.
Discuss at least two reasons for nursing to order an instrumental assessment.
Describe at least two dysphagia screening tools for nurses.


Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Dysphagia Basics: What Nurses Need to Know

Meet Mr. Jones

Nursing’s Role in Identifying the Signs of Dysphagia

Swallow Overview

Dysphagia Overview

Dysphagia Risk Factors



Section 3: Screening for Dysphagia

Dysphagia Screening Questions

Early Screening and Detection of Dysphagia

Screening for Dysphagia

Screening Tools

The Yale Swallow Protocol

Toronto Bedside Swallowing Screening Test© (TOR - BSST)

Burke Swallow Test

Eating Assessment Tool (EAT–10)

Downgrading Diet

Models of Screening Procedures



Section 4: Generating Orders and Improving Interdisciplinary Communication

A Change in Status

Gathering Information from the Nursing Team

Generating Physician’s Order

Ordering Instrumental Assessment

Closing Communication Gaps

Solid and Liquid Terminology

Communication Tactics with the Medical Team

Appropriate Methods of Communication with Nursing Staff

Improving Interdisciplinary Communication Between Nursing and SLPs

Patient Education



Section 5: Conclusion





Exam and BrainSparks

Instructor: Christina M Buchanan, MS, CCC-SLP
Christina Buchanan, M.S., CCC-SLP started in the field of speech-language pathology in 2008 after graduating from Worcester State University, Massachusetts. Her work in skilled nursing facilities, inpatient acute care, outpatient, as well as home health settings provide substantial experience in providing assessment and treatment services for adult and geriatric patients. Her experience and knowledge led her into teaching students as well as mentoring clinical fellows (CFs) (new graduates).  As a lead speech-language pathologist and clinical mentor in her current position, she enjoys shaping the skills of those seeking to further their knowledge and experiences in the field. Her passion for clinical education and teaching has most recently led her to a position as Subject Matter Expert for Relias. Disclosure: Christina M Buchanan, MS, CCC-SLP 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: Introductory level Speech and Language Pathologists; in the following settings: Acute Care Facility.
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 ( 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.