Dysphagia In Nursing

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Having difficulty swallowing can make each day feel like an eternity. Dysphagia, a problem most of us will not have to experience in our life time, that of not being able to eat or drink due to difficulty swallowing, but for those who have experienced a debilitating illness or trauma know all too well what that experience is like. Dysphagia occurs after damage to the sensory function of the muscles or nerves in the throat. Dysphagia can occur due to several reasons such as stroke, brain/spinal cord injury, post-polio syndrome, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, esophageal spasm, scleroderma, gastric reflux disease, esophagitis, allergic reactions, diverticula, esophageal tumors, or …show more content…
In promoting positive outcomes, Tanner and Culberson, (2014) mention five strategies, but one stands out as a nursing function, “be familiar with the dysphagia assessment”. Tanner and Culberson (2014) also mention the vital role nurses play in preventing additional problems. Nurses should have a thorough understanding of the degree of dysphagia as it is important for the nurse to competently evaluate the patient during meals and maintain effective communication with speech-language pathologists, which are two suggested elements in reducing negative outcomes. In evaluating patients, it should be noted that assessing the ability to swallow is as important as assessing a patients lungs or …show more content…
Utilizing the tools available can and have reduced negative outcomes in patients with dysphagia (Cummings, Soomans, O'Laughlin, Snapp, Jodoin, Proco, Archer, & Rood, 2015). The study article by Leaton, Azuelo, Fochesto, Hancock, DeFilippis, Daley, & Weber, 2014) even the smallest of test, such as the 3oz water test in patients whom have been extubated, nurses are able asses the patients ability to swallow and reduce the risk of aspiration in those who are having difficulty, as this was a stronger predictor of swallowing dysfunction after extubation. Many factors will come into play when evaluating a patient’s ability to swallow. The main focus should be on safety and prevention. Keeping patients safe from harm and preventing further complications is vital in reducing negative outcomes. Dysphagia evaluation should be proactive, ongoing, and remain an important aspect of the nursing assessment. Evidence has shown, early prevention and recognition is effective in managing dysphagia related

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