Prepped and ready to go? Building the infrastructure so your investment in FEES* training pays off
Aspiring FEES Practitioners often attend a taught external course as their starting point but being able to develop and apply these new skills in clinical practice is dependent upon the pre-training preparation and subsequent in-house training and supervision.
Having the correct infrastructure in place underpins your success, and time spent bringing all the pieces together will pay off further down the line. The worst outcome of a training course is the trainee struggling to progress their skills in the clinic, and subsequently the planned FEES service development is delayed or abandoned. This results in the initial investment in the external course being wasted and the trainee’s confidence and motivation is affected. And if the organisation is funding the training, the trainee is accountable for the investment and getting a good return, or value for money.
You should make sure that there is approval for the model of service for FEES, and time and money and other resources (personnel and materials) are all in place before the investment in training is made.
One important aspect is securing appropriate local supervision and without this the trainee cannot easily progress. To illustrate this, in a survey of 111 major ENT SLT departments in the UK (1) about laryngeal endoscopy training, only 21% of trainees felt they had increased their knowledge and skill for laryngeal endoscopy sufficient to practice independently back in their clinic, and one third of trainees had not yet secured the local supervision to support their ongoing development to safe and autonomous practice. These data relate to endoscopy skills for voice assessment where the practice is already embedded within a multidisciplinary Ear Nose and Throat team, access to endoscopy equipment is commonplace and the relationship with the surgeons, who are competent endoscopists, is well-established. How much more difficult then is it for trainee FEES practitioners from stroke, long-term conditions, TBI, elderly care - where endoscopy and endoscopists are not routinely present, and where Level 3 FEES Practitioners are difficult to find?
We want you to make every minute and every penny you invest in FEES training count and help you to bring all the pieces together so that you can build your success in your FEES practice.
So, are you prepped and ready to go? Are you thinking about investing in training to become a competent FEES Practitioner, or are you setting up a FEES service? Perhaps you have had some training but now come to a full stop and it is difficult to see your next steps?
We are going to be talking about getting the correct infrastructure in place in our next SVS PodChat.
If you have any questions or issues that you would like us to address, please do get in touch and check back to see when the next SVS PodChat is on air.
In the meantime, keep safe, and don’t hesitate to get in touch about any aspect of training for your work in Speech Voice and Swallow.
*Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing
1. Slade S 2008. In Proceedings. British Academic Conference Otorhinolaryngology