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Introduction

Continuing professional development is a requirement for all speech and language therapists.

Here you will find resources to help you to continually improve your skills and expand your knowledge.

For related RCSLT topics please see Clinical Guidance A-Z

For RCSLT professional guidance see Delivering Quality Services A-Z and Professional Accountability and Autonomy

Please contact us if you have any suggestions or feedback on these pages.

Please note: the resources on this page are provided for informational purposes only. No endorsement is expressed or implied unless otherwise indicated and while we make every effort to ensure this page is up to date and relevant, we cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.

Knowledge and skills

The Intensive Care Society developed a multi-professional competency framework (2018), designed to support career development within critical care.

This can be used in conjunction with the RCSLT Tracheostomy competency framework (2014) which aims to reflect the broad range of patients with whom SLTs work, and includes sections on:

  • Core tracheostomy skills
  • Attainment and maintenance of competences
  • Critical care tracheostomy competencies
  • Head and neck competencies
  • Paediatric competencies
  • Burns tracheostomy competencies and/or long-term tracheostomy competencies
  • Community and/or long-term tracheotomy competencies

Visit Dysphagia Learning for:

  • RCSLT FEES competency framework
  • RCSLT dysphagia training and competency framework

Resources

The following resources will help you understand the critical care environment, wider workforce and role of the SLT within it.

Elearning

Tracheostomy Safety elearning is available from the Health Education England eLearning for Healthcare site.

The National Tracheostomy Safety Project website (and App) have many free elearning tools and video resources for SLTs, other professionals, patients and families. Videos specifically show the importance of communication, speaking valve assessment, Above Cuff Vocalisation (ACV), cuff deflation and the benefits of FEES.

Elearning modules also available from Austin Health Tracheostomy and Management Service (TRAMS), Australia.

Many trusts have on-site clinical simulation labs which offer a unique opportunity to practice hands-on skills for mouth care, basic tracheostomy care and fibreoptic nasendoscopy with life-like mannequins in varying scenarios. Examples of these facilities are:

Modules may also be available at regional centres.

Courses

There are currently no regular post-registration courses to train SLTs working in critical care, however, organisations do advertise relevant study days that would be suitable for SLTs. Please refer to the relevant RCSLT CENs, Twitter handles and Basecamp groups.

Critical care is an area for Advanced Clinical Practice training with modules being developed within Higher Education Institutes for a mix of healthcare professionals, including SLTs.

Attendance at speech and language therapy specific conferences provides access to new research projects and networking opportunities. These include (list not exhaustive):

As critical care is a multi-professional environment it can be valuable to attend study days or conferences organised by other professional groups such as: