Nutrition and Hydration Week is an opportunity to highlight the importance in which food and drink plays in a patient’s recovery. Here, we feature Emma Daly, Speech and Language Therapy Student at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, as she explains how important her role is in a patient’s nutrition and hydration journey.
After having children, Emma decided to take on a part-time speech and language degree studying at Birmingham City University. She has worked at Walsall Manor Hospital since October 2021, with her placement finishing in May this year.
The role of a speech and language therapist is to provide a life-changing treatment, care and support for children and adults who find communication, drinking, eating, and swallowing quite difficult. This is the reason why Emma was drawn to study to become a speech and language therapist.
Emma commented: “We get to help a wide range of patient’s speech, language and swallowing needs and I am really enjoying getting to be involved in this side of service at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust. I have been involved within the community team, helping people who have difficulties with speech, language and swallowing after having a stroke or with other neurological conditions.
“Ensuring patients are eating appropriately is of optimal importance as people with health needs require a higher calorie intake to help their bodies heal and safe swallowing is an integral part of this.”
We asked Emma what an average day as a speech and therapist entails, she said: “An average day on the ward involves preparation first thing the morning. We must get ready to assess patients and ensure we have good stock of thickener which is required if a patient is having difficulty swallowing thin liquids.
“After we have sorted the admin duties, we then get time to spend with patients, chatting to them and essentially making things easier for them – it’s the best part of the job!
Thank you for featuring as part of Nutrition and Hydration Week Emma!