Current Environment:

Conditions We Treat | Overview

Our Inpatient ACP team supports several overarching needs during a hospital admission including:

  1. Communication access: Ensuring patients have appropriate and effective means of communication, supportive strategies, and associated equipment and technologies to meet their unique needs.
  2. Rehabilitation and recovery: Addressing early recovery for acute changes in speech, language, and communication. This includes early mobility support in intensive care units and implementation of augmentative and alternative communication across the inpatient hospital environment.
  3. Developmental support: Providing developmentally appropriate interventions for early communicators who may require prolonged hospital admissions.
  4. Patient-provider communication: Supporting effective communication between patients and their providers to enhance expression, comprehension, participation in care, socialization, end-of-life communication, and more.

Potential candidates for AAC assessment and intervention in the ICU/acute care setting may include patients who have:

Baseline speech, language, and/or communication challenges

Acute communication challenges

  • new tracheostomy
  • intubation or other forms of mechanical ventilation
  • medical procedure, treatment, or device that impedes a patient’s ability to effectively speak (e.g. jaw fixation, complex dental procedures, swelling, etc.)
  • neurological injury, aphasia
  • aphonia or new onset vocal cord paresis
  • dysarthria
  • altered mental status
  • behavioral health needs
  • decreased motor skills needed to effective use and access the nurse call system
  • and more

Patients at risk for communication challenges

  • risk for intubation or other form of mechanical ventilation
  • anticipated tracheostomy
  • evolving neurological status
  • future medical procedures or treatments that may impede a patient’s ability to effectively speak or communicate
  • degenerative conditions
  • prolonged hospital admission affecting developmental speech, language, and communication skills

Patients receiving palliative care and end of life care

  • People living with life threatening illnesses that may impact effective expressive and receptive communication.
    • Communication strategies are tailored to patients’ and families’ unique needs to promote expression, understanding, social connection, advanced care planning, dignity, and preservation of legacy.