St Vincent’s Speech pathologists see patients across a range of settings including acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, community rehabilitation and residential care. Speech pathologists are specialists in the assessment and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders. It is estimated that over 1.1 million Australians have a communication or swallowing disorder that impacts on their quality of life.
St Vincent’s Speech Pathology department is committed to providing the best care to our patients. The department runs the deaf and hard of hearing program to improve access to healthcare for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing. They do this by providing information, equipment, support and training for patients, families and staff members.
The department also runs the Supported Conversation Volunteer program to provide opportunities for patients with acquired communication difficulties following a stroke or laryngectomy to have social conversations with a trained volunteer. Patients and volunteers have embraced the program as it provides opportunities for conversation with patients who may be isolated due to communication difficulties.
The Speech Pathology team is committed to teaching and training, and has senior speech pathologists who mentor and train others across the state in the management of patients with laryngectomy.
These rural and regional mentoring programs have meant that patients with a laryngectomy can be treated locally by a speech pathologist skilled in laryngectomy management.