Imagine what it is like to be in a hospital, unable to speak or understand what is said to you.
The ability to communicate is critical, yet many stroke and head injury survivors, intubated patients, developmentally disabled individuals and non-native English speakers are unable to do so. Medical staff often overlook or never explore the use of low-cost communication solutions. Hospitals, urgent care centers, skilled nursing facilities and medical offices are critical places to be able to express wants and needs and ask questions. The use of pictures as well as multi-language text support may reduce stress and promote more effective medical care. We need to advocate for individuals who can’t speak for themselves and provide them with tools to support their ability to communicate
If a paper/pencil or whiteboard solution is not sufficient, there are other methods to try in order to establish functional communication. A speech-language pathologist would be the ideal professional to assess the most appropriate approach to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions. However, this skilled service is not always an option.
The use of images and written words with medical personnel and family can help people understand and remember what is said to them. Picture support can also help individuals express their needs, thoughts, and symptoms.
As a speech-language pathologist and technology specialist, I spend the majority of my time working with many types of everyday mobile devices to improve communication, learning, and productivity. I also customize dedicated communication devices that provide speech output and apps to support the development of language and speech.
Technology-based solutions are not always available or appropriate. We can’t lose site of readily available paper-based solutions. We need to advocate for our loved ones who can’t speak for themselves. A thorough AAC assessment may be ideal, but trying out a few options listed here is a great way to to get started.
I’ve spent time searching online and am pleased to share with you free digital downloads that I found to facilitate communication in medical settings.
Learn about resources to support communication in hospitals, urgent care centers and doctor’s offices. Click here to access materials >>
I just started in aged care facility & I have noticed a lack of communication between non verbal patients. If the patient can only answer yes or no questions with a middle or shake of head. Often pointing & crying because she become frustrated with staff not understanding what she needs or wants. I found this site while researching communication boards.
Hi, I do volunteer work helping an elderly lady. She’s a stroke survivor. She’s paralyzed of her right side of her body. She doesn’t have much strength to walk. She is also non verbal at this time. She tries and uses sounds. I’ve learned many of her sounds, but it’s difficult to know what she’s saying. I’m looking for a communication board to help her communicate. She does read. I need things like: I’m not well. I’m hungry. etc. Letters/numbers.
Were you able to find a communication board that works for your situation? There are others available for purchase that may also be appropriate. Feel free to take advantage of a free 15 minute consultation with me at be selecting a day and time at https://innovativespeech.com/appointment-booking.
Hi Im a ward manager on a orthopaedics ward. I need a language board preferably in Portuguese
Carla.email@example.com– Were you able to view the free downloadable boards that I’ve made available in this free mini-course? I gathered free online resources for you to view. Some require you to log in to their site. It’s great that you are making communication boards available to those in your orthopedics ward. This is the site that may be most helpful for you.
If you continue to need help, free free to find a time for us to connect online for a free 15-minute consultation. https://innovativespeech.com/appointment-booking/
Have you been able to get help with your communication? If you have someone helping you, perhaps they can sign up for a free 15-minute consultation with me so I can help you figure out next steps… https://innovativespeech.com/appointment-booking/
I would like to access the free materials you have linked to this article. When I click on the link it tells me “this school is not yet published.”
How can I access the materials? Thanks! I am an SLP student completing an internship at a SNF and gathering resources and ideas to make a communication board for a monolingual Spanish resident
The free materials are available when clicking on the links on my website.