Dysphagia is the loss or the impaired ability to chew and/or swallow. It is a disorder of swallowing due to obstruction, impaired coordination or muscular weakness that affects the biomechanics of the swallow. This disorder may occur in any of the phases of swallow: oralpharyngeal, laryngeal and or esophageal. It is characterized by a disturbance in the swallowing mechanism such as choking, coughing, excess drooling, and the inability to handle one’s secretions.
Dysphagia can result from many different neurologic disorders including stroke, head injury, progressive neurological disease or cancers of the head/neck. Typically, impairments of the swallowing mechanism includes oral motor impairment, delayed or absent initiation of swallow, impaired pharyngeal function, impaired pharyngeal sensation, decreased pharyngeal muscle contraction, decreased tongue base movement and increased time of pharyngeal transit. Other problems can include diminished lingual control, delayed swallow, decreased pharyngeal motility and changes in oropharyngeal muscular coordination and strength. Decreased pharyngeal muscle control increases the risk of aspiration. Unmanaged dysphagia can cause aspiration, aspiration pneumonia, airway obstruction, malnutrition, decreased quality of life and even death
On successful completion of this activity, the Nurse Assistant should be able to;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the signs and symptoms of oropharyngeal dysphagia
- Demonstrate an understanding of the complications of dysphagia
- Demonstrate an understanding of how improved feeding and oral care practices can be promoted.
Instructions for taking the course
To complete the course successfully, you must go through all the lessons below. You MUST mark each lesson as complete by clicking the MARK COMPLETE BUTTON. If you do not click the mark complete button, you will not be allowed to proceed to the next lesson. Please notice that all lessons have a minimum set amount of time that you are expected to spend on each lesson. You will not be allowed to Mark the Lesson Complete until the timer resets to zero; that is, until the minimum time set for the course has passed. For example if lesson A has an allocated minimum time of 10 minutes, you will have to wait 10 minutes before you can mark Lesson A complete. The Mark Complete button for lesson A will be grayed out and will not become active until 10 minutes are over.
WARNINGIf you forget to click the Mark Complete button done, you will be prompted to go back to that lesson again and have to wait till the allocated timed minutes resets to zero again before the Mark Complete button becomes active. After all lessons are completed and they are Marked Completed, you will then be allowed to take the post test. If you successfully pass the quiz, you will earn CEU’s for this course and you can proceed to print out your certificate.