Type of Resources
In 2019, a novel virus was discovered and spread resulting in a global pandemic. Individuals with severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) experienced critical illnesses such as pneumonia, hypoxemic respiratory failure/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and complications from prolonged hospitalization (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020e). Some individuals with severe cases required mechanical ventilation in the acute care setting (Bernstein, 2020). Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, this study was developed to better understand the practices of speech-language pathologists (SLPs), nursing professionals, and healthcare organizations prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic with particular focus surrounding interprofessional collaboration and communication studies for mechanically ventilated, recently extubated, and/or patients with tracheostomies (MVRET). A 38-question SLP survey and a 40-question nursing professional survey were created. There were 15 nursing professionals and 30 SLPs that indicated that they were practicing in a setting that was seeing COVID-19 positive patients and these individuals were asked to continue with the survey. The findings from these surveys suggest that there have been minimal changes in the types of communication strategies used and in the frequency of collaboration. However, both SLPs and nursing professionals indicate that they want better access to communication strategies and/or better access to training and education on communication strategies to support individuals who are MVRET. Further research is warranted to facilitate advocacy at the personal and educational level so that a hospital-wide/organizational shift may occur for healthcare workers to best serve their patients.