FEES Competency Training is a necessity when planning to provide endoscopic instrumental swallowing assessment. SA Swallowing Services provides a rigorous, one-week competency training experience for qualified SLPs–scoping, analysis, problem-solving and writing concise reports. FEES Competency Training goes beyond nasoendoscope insertion. To be competent, the SLP must:
(1) be thoroughly trained in the use of their specific equipment;
(2) use and adhere to a predetermined, standard FEES administration protocol with every patient;
(3) be prepared to encounter uncooperative patients and complete the instrumental swallow assessment;
(4) have a thorough understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of both swallow peristalsis and airway protection mechanisms;
(5) have a thorough understanding of infection control procedures, whether using high-level disinfectant or sterilization;
(6) be knowledgeable of the potential medical complications that could occur during the procedure and know what steps to take if they occur;
(7) be practiced in the mechanical aspects of the FEES procedure to insure the study is video-recorded, the endoscope is placed correctly, and that the quality of the images will allow high-quality analyses;
(8) be able to recognize structural abnormalities and to be able to describe them professionally;
(9) be able to analyze the completed study using a predetermined scored analysis system
(10) be able to analyze the findings as they relate to both swallow peristalsis and airway protection and their efficiency;
(11) be able to quantify the results of the FEES study and write a concise and usable clinical report.
Note: Contrary to some opinions, FEES competency cannot be accomplished through a two-day training course and with a day or so of supervised scope practice. Supervised training must be from a qualified, experienced FEES provider, not a physician, occasional FEES user, or non-SLPs.
For more information and planning, contact Michelle Skelley, M.Ed., CCC-SLP at 615-306-3693 or Michelle@sasspllc.com.