Award easy to swallow
WARWICK speech pathologist Rachelle Pitt has taken out the New Graduate Award for her work with early identification of patients with swallowing difficulties.
Statewide Speech Pathology Network chair Gai Rollings said the New Graduate Award for Quality and Innovation recognised the unique contribution of new graduates in the Queensland Health workforce.
“Applicants were required to submit a report that demonstrated their ability to initiate, plan, implement and evaluate an activity that resulted in improved outcomes for patients/consumers,” Ms Rollings said.
“Rachelle’s project aimed to improve the early identification of hospital patients with swallowing difficulties and to increase variety and ensure consistency of thickened fluids and modified diets for patients with swallowing difficulties.”
Ms Rollings said Ms Pitt’s work had made a “huge difference” to the lives of patients as early identification of swallowing issues meant treatment or rehabilitation could start straight away.
“Another aspect of Rachelle’s work was the variety and consistency of thickened fluids for patients,” Ms Rollings said.
“Patients with swallowing difficulties may not be able to have a normal diet, so a number of foods must be pureed for ingestion.
“Rachelle looked at making the food more palatable and also ensuring that the fluids were the correct consistency for swallowing.
“We’re very pleased to present this award for the first time, and we hope that our graduates next year participate in this rewarding work.”