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he said? she said? disorders of communication, speech & language


Level: Intermediate

Contact Hours: Contact hours are no longer offered for this course.


Communication Course Cover Graphic

Pricing & Licensure

Single User License: $59Order Your Copy Today

Single UNIT License: $395

  • A unit license covers all staff of a single inpatient unit of 0-30 Beds for the life of the course.

Unit, multi-unit and facility pricing/licensure is determined by number of beds. Contact us if your unit has more than 30 beds or if you are interested in multi-unit or facility pricing. For more information on licensure, go to


Course Description

Rehab Nursing Series Course 13

Focus: Understanding Communication Deficits and Promoting Functional Communication

This course reviews the complexity of communicating with each other, provides a primer for the review of pathophysiology, and demonstrates the need for consistent and effective intervention by all team members to improve functional communication.


Course Chapters

Chapter 1 Overview

Loss of communication abilities is one of the most challenging and impactful disabilities our patients face.

  • Have you ever thought what your life would be like if you could not communicate?

  • Do you wonder why they are called speech-language pathologists? What about those terms they use?

  • What do you remember about the brain and communication?

Chapter 2 Assessing for Communication Disorders

A patient's safety is dependent on her ability to communicate.

  • What strategies do you use to determine if a patient can reliably communicate, particularly when the speech-language pathologist is not present?

  • Or, perhaps you need a quick way to objectively evaluate expression and comprehension in order to score the FIM correctly.

Chapter 3 Communication Disorders Primer

Has it been a while since you looked at the features of the various communication disorders common to rehabilitation settings? This primer walks you through aphasia, apraxia, and dysarthria, emphasizing the characteristics and interventions most common for each type of problem.

  • Do you know the difference between fluent and nonfluent problems?

  • Do you know which strategies are more likely to be effective for fluent vs. nonfluent problems?

  • Do you know which patient is most likely to be cognitively intact?

Chapter 4 Improving Functional Communication

Functional communication skills in persons with aphasia or other communication impairments do not improve with just one or two hours of therapy per day. They require many opportunities for practice and repetition, in many different settings, with many different partners.

The frequent and intimate contact that nursing caregivers have with the patient while performing routine care allows ample opportunity for practice and assessment of the patient’s use of the identified communication support strategies and efforts at communication in natural patterns and circumstances (context) where he might perform better. This chapter provides strategies to support consistent interdisciplinary care.

  • What are the general strategies you should use when caring for patients with communication disorders?

  • How do you incorporate specific strategies from the speech-language pathologist into your daily care?

  • How do you help patients and families practice and identify effective functional communication?

Chapter 5 Posttest


Learning Outcomes:

As a result of participating in this activity, the learner will be able to pass the posttest with a score of 80% or better, demonstrating knowledge of:

  • Risks associated with communication disorders and the impact of communication deficits on daily life.

  • The components of normal communication.

  • Common acquired communication deficits found in rehabilitation care, differentiating between dysarthria, aphasia, and apraxia.

  • Expected behaviors for coordinating care with team members that are involved in the care of patients with communication disorders, and understand terminology commonly used by other team members to describe speech and language deficits and interventions.

  • The nursing process to identifying and managing communication disorders in rehabilitation patients, including the appropriate use of gestures, language, and augmentative communication techniques and devices.

  • Strategies for promoting functional communication across the continuum of care.

Contact hours no longer will be provided for this course after October 1, 2019.If you would like to provide contact hours for this course at your site, contact us at for the details of the Mergener formula.

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