Swallowing is a complex process that requires the coordinated action of muscles in the tongue, pharynx and esophagus. Many conditions, such as altered mental status, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), endotracheal intubation and tube feedings, or neurological problems such as stroke, dementia and brain injury, increase the risk for aspiration. Nurses need to work closely with other interprofessional team members (speech-language pathologists, physicians, dietitians, respiratory therapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists) to assess and manage patients at risk for aspiration to prevent the dangerous complications of aspiration pneumonitis and aspiration pneumonia. Healthcare professionals often care for patients who are at significant risk for aspiration, making it important for all health professionals to recognize and manage those risk factors to protect their patients.
The purpose of this program is to educate nurses, speech-language pathologists, EMTs and paramedics, occupational therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists and physicians about how to identify patients at high risk for aspiration and how to protect patients from aspirating. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
- Describe the three stages of normal swallowing
- Identify seven risk factors for aspiration
- List six strategies healthcare professionals can use to reduce the risk of aspiration
This course is intended for multiple professions, including nurses, speech-language pathologists, EMTs and paramedics, occupational therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists and physicians.
Physical therapists: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
OnCourse Learning is an approved sponsor by the New York State Education Department of continuing education for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants from 10/21/09 to 10/20/18.
This activity is provided by the TX Board of PT Examiners Accredited Provider GED012010TPTA2012004 for 01/01/2010 to 01/31/2013; 1601004 for 02/01/2013 to 01/31/2016; and 1902004TX for 02/01/2016 to 01/31/2019 and meets continuing competence requirements for physical therapist and physical therapist assistant licensure renewal in Texas. The assignment of Texas PT CCUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by TPTA or TBPTE.
OnCourse Learning is recognized by the Physical Therapy Board of California as an approved reviewer and provider of continuing competency courses for the state of California.
OnCourse Learning is a licensed physical therapy continuing education sponsor (#216.000275) with The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation from July 2013 through September 30, 2018.
This course has been approved as meeting the continuing education requirements for PTs and PTAs by the Ohio Physical Therapy Association (approval no. 13S1224 for 05/09/13 to 05/09/14; 14S1211 for 05/10/14 to 05/10/15; 15S1404 for 05/11/15 to 05/11/16); the Florida Physical Therapy Association (approval no. CP130020814 for 01/01/13 to 12/31/13; CP140021452 for 01/01/14 to 12/31/14; CP150024029 for 01/01/15 to 12/31/15; CE16-27167 for 01/01/16 to 12/31/16); the Pennsylvania Board of Physical Therapy (approval no. PTCE004856 for 07/13/13 to 12/31/14; PTCE007008 for 01/01/15 to 12/31/16); and the New Jersey Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (approval no. 1279-2012 for 05/28/13 to 01/31/14; 188-2014 for 02/01/14 to 01/31/16). Approval of this course does not necessarily imply the Florida Physical Therapy Association supports the views of the presenter or the sponsors.
This course has been approved by the Maryland State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 0.1 CEU for 06/25/13 to 06/25/17 and the Nevada State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 0.1 units of continuing education for 05/21/13 to 07/31/14; 08/01/14 to 07/31/16.
The Illinois Chapter Continuing Education Committee has certified that this course meets the criteria for approval of Continuing Education offerings established by The Illinois Physical Therapy Association (approval no. 437-4888 for 06/01/13 to 06/01/14). According to the Rules for the Administration of the Illinois Physical Therapy Act (section 13460.61) published by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant applying for re-licensure in Illinois can earn a maximum of 50 percent of their required continuing education hours from self-study. The hours awarded of this course are designated for self-study CE credit.
Other states may accept this course for meeting their CE requirements. Check with your state association or board.
Course Originally Released on:
Date of Most Recent Review:
Course Termination/Update Date:
Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.
For Florida professionals:
This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.
It is now required that all CE is completed and reported to CE Broker before you renew your license. When you complete continuing education with us, OnCourse Learning will report your hours for you.
Read more about the new license renewal process at AreYouRenewalReady.com and claim your free Basic Account in CE Broker to see what has already been reported for you.
Please check the licenses/certifications section under my account (after logging in) to make sure you have entered a valid FL license number. This information is required for correct reporting of your course completions to CE Broker.