Assessing Breath Sounds in Dysphagia

Can a Feeding Therapist use a stethoscope? Yes, we absolutely can! A stethoscope is a very valuable tool in gathering information about swallowing and we’re not talking about listening for clicks or clunks.

Note: Participants will need a stethoscope for hands-on practice. Just a cheap $15 to $25 variety from your local drugstore will work fine. We also highly recommend having a “lung buddy” to listen to!

Listening to breath sounds in the upper airway and pharynx can help us identify the likelihood of fluid in the airway and can be used as another screening tool for aspiration. Also knowledge of basic principles of the pulmonary system is critical when working with swallowing. Come learn why the technique of THORACIC auscultation (NOT Cervical Auscultation) is different than anything you’ve learned before, and how you can add it to your toolbox of techniques in working with dysphagia. You will walk out being able to use your stethoscope that same day!

Note: Participants will need a stethoscope for hands-on practice. Just a cheap $15 to $25 variety from your local drugstore will work fine. We also highly recommend having a “lung buddy” to listen to!

Key Learning Outcomes:

  1. Explain the basic principles of thoracic auscultation and how it differs from the technique of Cervical Auscultation.
  2. Identify the normal vs. adventitious breath sounds heard during auscultation and their relationship to aspiration.
  3. Discuss 3 important principles of pulmonary hygiene as related to dysphagia.
  4. Demonstrate basic thoracic auscultation techniques using a stethoscope.


30 minPrinciples of auscultation and pulmonary hygiene
30 minIdentifying and hands-on practice with normal (pharyngeal, bronchial, and vesicular) breath sounds
45 minIdentifying and hands-on practice with adventitious (rales, rhonchi, wheeze, stridor) breath sounds
15 minQ and A


2 hours.    

About the Presenter:

Jennifer Meyer is a popular national speaker in the areas of NICU and Pediatric Dysphagia and has received exceptional ratings for her courses. She has over 25 years experience specializing in pediatric feeding disorders, working in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, developing outpatient hospital-based feeding programs, providing consultation and program development for Early Childhood Intervention Programs and Home Health Companies, and serving as Assistant Clinical Professor at Texas Woman’s University and Clinical Coordinator of the Center for Assisting Families with Feeding and Eating (CAFFE).  
Presenter Disclosures:
Jennifer Meyer is a co-owner of CEU-Espresso, Inc. and was paid an honorarium for this presentation. She owns a private practice, Feeding and Dysphagia Resources, P. C. in Denton, TX.
Jennifer is a personal friend of the developer of the Res-Q Infant Wedge, sometimes mentioned in her presentations.  
Sponsor Disclosure:
This course is presented by CEU-Espresso, Inc.  
Content Disclosure:
This learning event does not focus exclusively on any specific product or service.
Note: Participants must attend the full two-hour session and complete all course requirements to receive a Continuing Education Certificate. No partial credit will be awarded.  
AOTA Approved Provider Logo
CEU Espresso is an Approved Provider for AOTA #11452 (OTs).
This course provides 0.2 AOTA CEUs.
AOTA Classification Codes:
Category 1 Domain of OT: Activities of Daily Living
Category 2 OT Process: Evaluation
Category 2 OT Process: Intervention
ASHA Brand Block for CEU Espresso
ASHA CE Provider approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures.


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