Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Though I love everything I do as a Speech-Language Pathologist, my favorite part of my job is performing Modified Barium Swallow Studies (MBS). The general purpose of an MBS is to evaluate the patients safety and efficiency of the swallow. It is an x-ray performed under fluoroscopy. This is a live, in-motion setting. Patients drink a variety of barium consistencies in order to view the bolus trials.

My hospital recently received a grant for a new digital swallow station. This was a huge upgrade for our hospital, we went from using VHS tapes to having a digital format! I was first in line to volunteer to make sure that our new equipment was working properly. Though I have performed more MBS's than I can count, it was such an eye-opening experience to actually partake in the study. For starters, I was amazed with how tight of a space it really is when you are sitting in the chair with the equipment in place. Second, thickened barium is pretty awful! All of the barium trials had a chalky-sweet taste but the honey thick barium's texture really got to me! Below you can see my MBS! As you can see this is a very normal swallow. Now my hospital is able to readily share what a "normal swallow" should look like. Please feel free to share this video for education for your patients as well!


Friday, March 20, 2015

My Home Away from Home

My Home Away from Home

In the final semester of my graduate degree studies we had the course “Professional Issues.” I’ll always remember my professor telling us about the various places she had the opportunity to work and her different office locations. From the broiler room to a regular office my professor worked everywhere! I have always felt so fortunate to have my own little office at my full time position. I like to think of it as my home away from home. Sometimes it is actually referred to as “Miss Mallory’s house” by my patients. So I thought today that I would give you all a brief tour of my office.


Come on in and relax!

 You might enjoy looking at some of my educational materials...
Do you like my new drawers? I decorated them this year!

 Don't forget to say hi to Olaf!

And that is my office! Hope you enjoyed!

Now at my two PRN jobs we have a cabinet to put our things (and a few binders for TX material) and that is about it. Treatment is provided within the patients’ room. What kind of office do you work out of? What is one thing you would change about your office?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Purpose Statement ~ Dissertation Blog Post 3

(Tobin, 2012)

Purpose Statement
The purpose of this study is to determine the intra-rater reliability of diet recommendations and compensatory strategies evaluated through the modified barium swallow study (MBS) and the fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallow (FEES) in individuals with and without dysphagia. By determining a strong intra-rater reliability clinicians may have the opportunity for an accessible instrumental assessment of swallow. Conversely, if a low intra-rater reliability is found then researchers may have the opportunity of further exploration into accessible instrumental studies.

Research Questions
  1. How do diet recommendations evaluated through MBS compare to diet recommendations evaluated through FEES?

  1. How do recommended compensatory strategies evaluated through MBS compare to recommended compensatory strategies evaluated through FEES?

  1. What is the intra-rater reliability of diet recommendations and compensatory strategies evaluated through the MBS versus FEES in individuals with dysphagia?

  1. What is the intra-rater reliability of diet recommendations and compensatory strategies evaluated through MBS versus FEES in individuals without dysphagia?

  1. How does the intra-rater reliability of diet recommendations and compensatory strategies evaluated through MBS versus FEES in individuals with dysphagia compare to the intra-rater reliability in individuals without dysphagia?

Tobin, J. (2012, June 12). Why You Need a Purpose Statement. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://jeffreytobin.com/2012/06/04/why-you-need-a-purpose-statement/

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bla Bla Bla & Magic Voice App Review

One of my favorite tools to use when I was in graduate school was a voice light. I used this tool to encouraged cause and effect of use of voice with my very young patients. It was also a great tool for visual feedback for volume of voice and prolongation of voice. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find this specific tool since graduation. However, I have found two apps that are comparable. Magic Voice and Bla Bla Bla are free apps that can be used for voice prolongation, cause and effect, motivation, visual feedback, etc.

Bla Bla Bla

This app was not necessarily designed for speech-language pathology use. It was apart of a one-day workshop at the IUAV of Venice and ISIA of Urbino. The goal of the workshop was for graphic designers to learn basic design with language in mind.

Here you can see a picture of the app icon, a short video example of the app, and the “face” options you may choose from within the app.


Magic Voice

I would venture to say that Magic Voice is a more pediatric friendly version due to the friendly rabbit. This app has the option to buy a more advanced version. Additionally, it has three level of difficulty, easy, medium, and hard. I have two videos below demonstrating the difference between the easy and hard levels. With the more advanced levels the participant has to prolong their voice for a longer period of time otherwise the rabbit returns to the hat.



Do you have other apps you like to use for similar purposes?


Bravi, Lorenzo. (2011) Bla Bla Bla (1.1) [Mobile application software]. Retreived from http://itunes.apple.com

Synapse Apps LLC. (2012). Magic Voice (1.1) [Mobile application software]. Retreived from http://itunes.apple.com

Monday, February 23, 2015

Girl Scouts and AAC

One of my favorite activities outside of work is working with my Girl Scout Troop for girls with special needs! These girls are amazing and I learn so much from them at each troop meeting. One of the mothers in my troop was kind enough to give me permission to share a special video of her daughter optimally using her AAC device in our troop meeting.


This is a great example of making AAC not only functional but also personal! Have you had a parent go above and beyond to make the AAC device work for their child? What are some of your success stories?


Images For Girl Scout Law Printable. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2015, from http://imgkid.com/girl-scout-law-printable.shtml