MPCH Team: How long have you been in the health care field?
Nicole: “I started my health care career in 1998.”
MPCH Team: What made you want to become a speech therapist?
Nicole: “I was on track to become a deaf interpreter when I learned about speech pathology, which has a more diverse range of skills and became more of a challenge.”
MPCH Team: What conditions do you treat through therapy?
Nicole: “I treat anyone that has difficulty communicating or swallowing, which may be a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, voice disorder, head/neck cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc.”
MPCH Team: What is your philosophy of care?
Nicole: “I feel like no matter what you’re doing, you have to approach each patient and the other individuals involved with their care with the foundation that we are all human first and foremost, especially when going through a crisis. A patient is not defined by their disorder or disease, and I believe everything they feel plays into their recovery. It is important for any therapist to keep that in mind.”
MPCH Team: When should a speech therapist be consulted/referred?
Nicole: “Typically, in the hospital, a speech therapist is consulted within 24 hours for a patient whose communication or swallowing has been affected. Outside of the hospital, any individual or family member that notices an issue with communicating and/or swallowing should first consult their doctor immediately; however, you can also take the initiative to consult with a speech pathologist. As another example, I have helped patients with head/neck cancer before a surgery by modifying their diet and then after their surgery I help them regain their swallow function and work on any speech changes, if needed.”
MPCH Team: What certifications do you have?
Nicole: “I have a Certificate of Clinical Competence, certification in Speech-Language Pathology, certification in Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, and I also completed the course for Myofascial Release treatment, which is for swallowing.”
MPCH Team: How can an individual find out more about speech therapy at Moorings Park Home Health Agency?
Nicole: “For more information, you can call 239-643-9128.”