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an apple a day... nutrition and dysphagia management


Level: Intermediate

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


Pricing & Licensure

Single User License: $109

Single UNIT License: $595

  • 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 12

Focus: Dysphagia safety and importance of nutrition for healing

This core skills course addresses the impact of nutrition and dysphagia on overall patient outcomes. Many rehab nurses do not fully understand the urgency or impact of nutrtion on the patient's ability to participate in therapy and achieve optimum outcomes. With a focus on understanding how the dietitian and speech therapist looks at the patient, this course reinforces coordintated interdisciplinary care to meet nutrition, hydration, and safety needs of patients with dysphagia.


Course Chapters

Chapter 1 Overview
Rehab nurses are often involved in coaching or supporting patients in making diet choices. But all too often, there is a gap in knowledge or a practice of do what I say not what I do.

  • What kind of role model are you for your patients when it comes to nutrition?

  • What resources help you help your patients successfully meet nutritional needs?

  • Do you know how sleep impacts appetite and function?

Chapter 2 Nutrition & Hydration Needs

Nutrition and hydration make a significant impact on the speed of recovery and the patient's ability to participate in therapy.

  • What should be included in a nurtrition assessment?

  • How important is the patient's prior habits and preferences to the current situation?

  • Is that glass of cranberry juice interferring with the absorption of medications?

Chapter 3 Identifying Risks & Problems

The biggest barrier to addressing nutrition, hydration and dysphagia is oftern recognizing and valuing risk. This chapter reviews the different types of nutrition risks common to rehab patients and explains their pathophysiology.

  • What do you really know about your patient's nutritional risks?

  • Is dysphagia a nutritional risk?

  • What are the needs of patients who have experienced trauma and are in a hypermetabolic state?

Chapter 4 The Challenge of Dysphagia

Tackle this chapter to show what you know or to review the anatomy, physiology, and evidence-based management of dysphagia.

  • What are the top 5 things you can do to reduce aspiration risk in a person with dysphagia?

  • What positioning strategies best support safe swallowing?

  • What should you do before and after meals to increase swallowing safety?

Chapter 5 Meeting Needs

Some patients have significant challenges in meeting nutrition and hydration needs while reducing aspiration risks with a modified diet. Others need to focus on calorie and protein needs. Apply your skills to meeting the care needs of the patients presented in this course.

  • What strategies help patients achieve their goals and support them in achieving functional outcomes?

  • How do you get adequate fiber in that dysphagia diet?

Chapter 6 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 dysphagia and unmet nutritional needs.

  • The anatomy and physiology of swallowing.

  • Expected behaviors for coordinating care with team members that are often involved in the care of patients with nutrition, hydration, and dysphagia problems.

  • Use of the nursing process to identify and manage nutrition, hydration, and dysphagia problems in rehabilitation patients.

  • Strategies for promoting successful patient and caregiver self-management of nutrition and dysphagia problems in the community.


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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