Current Roles and Continuing Needs of Speech-Language Pathologists Working in Neonatal Intensive Care Units This study surveyed 45 speech-language pathologists working with infants who are medically fragile in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the United States. It explored current roles in the NICU setting, considering such issues as factors affecting, and support available for, NICU involvement, assessment and intervention goals and procedures, educational ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   May 01, 1993
Current Roles and Continuing Needs of Speech-Language Pathologists Working in Neonatal Intensive Care Units
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shanna L. Dunn
    Rehabilitation Hospital of Austin, TX, Shanna Dunn, 505 Kathleen
  • Anne van Kleeck
    Rehabilitation Hospital of Austin, TX, Shanna Dunn, 505 Kathleen
  • Louis M. Rossetti
    Rehabilitation Hospital of Austin, TX, Shanna Dunn, 505 Kathleen
Article Information
Healthcare Settings / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   May 01, 1993
Current Roles and Continuing Needs of Speech-Language Pathologists Working in Neonatal Intensive Care Units
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1993, Vol. 2, 52-64. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0202.52
History: Received February 6, 1992 , Accepted January 11, 1993
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1993, Vol. 2, 52-64. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0202.52
History: Received February 6, 1992; Accepted January 11, 1993

This study surveyed 45 speech-language pathologists working with infants who are medically fragile in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the United States. It explored current roles in the NICU setting, considering such issues as factors affecting, and support available for, NICU involvement, assessment and intervention goals and procedures, educational activities conducted, and training levels and needs. Results demonstrated that speech-language pathologists have begun establishing a multifaceted role in the NICU setting, including providing assessments and intervention focused on feeding and communication interaction, and education to medical professionals, team members, and parents. These findings should be valuable to other speech-language pathologists currently considering NICU involvement. They should also be helpful to university training programs that are planning to develop coursework and practicum experiences to meet the needs of this newly emerging role.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank Fredric Jablin for his assistance regarding survey methodology and Shirley Sparks for her suggestions when we were developing our questionnaire. We are also grateful to two anonymous reviewers and to Jeanne Wilcox, all of whom provided extremely helpful comments and guidance.
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