Wednesday, February 27, 2013

NSSLHA Meeting Notes February 2013

 Thanks to everyone who made it to our February NSSLHA meeting!

Vanessa Espinoza, MA CCC-SLP

Our speaker was Vanessa Espinoza, a 2008 CSULA graduate of the master’s program, who currently works at Rancho Los Amigos, a nationally recognized and highly ranked rehabilitation hospital in Downey, CA.

·        Vanessa originally wanted to be a teacher, but her job as a bilingual aide in a SELPA office (Special Education Local Plan Area) opened her eyes to the more tangible impact she could make on children and families as an SLP
·       Had an amazing mentor at her 11-week hospital internship at Rancho Los Amigos
o   Was in the Peds unit in the hospital, which primarily consisted of teenagers age 13-21

·       After completing her CFY in a school, she went to work at Rancho
·       She also currently works per diem Downey Regional, an acute hospital
o   An acute hospital takes the patients immediately after their accident or crisis
o   Once patients are stabilized and are appropriate candidates for rehab, they get sent to a rehab hospital
o   Has treated stroke patients for the past 3 years
·       Rancho has 19 speech therapists (in- and out-patient staff) compared to 2 speech therapists at Downey Regional
o   There are different units that SLPs specialize in, including brain injury patients, peds patients, and spinal cord injury patients
o   You may also work with the potentially life-threatening dysphagia and tracheostomy tube, mainly at Downey Regional
o   Wonderful to be able to collaborate with many specialists under the same roof
·       Advice for undergrads
o   Get your foot in the door by volunteering at hospitals or outside clinics

·        The most important thing she learned at school and the hospital: the best therapists are the ones that can develop the rapport with your clients, not necessarily the A+ students

·       Perks of working at a hospital:
o   B/C of HIPAA, you can’t take work home.
o   The bulk of the workday is spent treating patients, so 6 full hours
o   1 hour a day is dedicated solely to evaluation for new admissions
o   Average caseload varies with the census; can be anywhere from 1 patient to 10 patients (when things get really hectic)
§  When you have 10, you have to get creative, such as grouping two patients with similar deficits in one session

·       Some short-term goals for patients, from an interdisciplinary team perspective:
o   PT and OT – how patient can move around home safely; what kind of equipment they need for daily living activities, like showering, changing, meal prep, etc.
o   Speech therapy – maximizing their communication given the problem
§  Look at what level they’re at and what do they need. If they have a hard time communicating, what improves their communication

Developing functional expression and training family on what is the best for patient to communicate, such as through yes/no questions or writing or pointing, etc.

We really appreciate Vanessa for taking the time to speak to us. See you next time!

NSSLHA at work

Q&A following the meeting

NSSLHA 2013 with Vanessa Espinoza

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Save the Date

Hi Everybody,

Just wanted to give a heads-up about the upcoming NSSLHA meeting:

When- Wednesday February 27th at 6pm-7pm
Where- TBA

We're not quite ready to announce the speaker so hold on for a few more days and we'll post flyers by the end of the week.

In the meantime, here are some grad students in action.

First year graduate students prepare for Dr. Klein's lecture
Coffee AND Soda, that's the grad way of life!
Hope you're having a fantastic winter quarter!