FEES Mentoring in NY

To perform Flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES), the clinician must be competent.  Competency is typically first completed by taking a Basic FEES course.  There are a lot of options for a Basic FEES courses out there.  We recommend taking an in-person Basic FEES course if you are planning on scoping.  Traditionally FEES courses are at least 12 hours in length and at least 4 hours for hands on scoping.  It is recommended that the course includes information on anatomy, physiology of the swallow, cranial nerves for swallowing, indications/contraindications, infection control, handing the scope, FEES protocol, intervention trials, interpretation, practice documentation and practical applications such as billing/coding, establishing procedures.  During the in-person course, you should have the opportunity to scope on individuals without dysphagia.  This will allow you to see what normal swallowing looks like, how to handle the scope and go through protocols.  Check with the courses to see how many passes you will get.  

After completing the Basic FEES course, it is recommended to find a mentor and scope on patients with dysphagia.  There is not a certain number of passes that must be obtained from ASHA guidelines, however your state may require a certain number of passes.  Each person may gain competency based on a different number of passes.  

A FEES mentor should help you identify what is an abnormal swallow.  He/she can sign off on your competency.  Finding a FEES mentor is difficult due to a variety of reasons.  There is a lack of experienced and well-trained Speech-Language Pathologists in this specialty field performing FEES.  It can also be costly to get FEES mentorship as the mentor must take time off their day in order to provide these services.  

NDoscopy Dysphagia Specialists provide FEES Mentoring  to help SLPs with their competency training which includes the entirety of the process of FEES such as chart review, food and equipment set-up, procedure for providing po trials, scoping, cleaning/disinfecting.  If you are located in the greater NYC area, there are some opportunities with unique FEES mentoring programs.  

We also provide virtual FEES mentoring for individuals who have perhaps gone through a basic course and mentoring, but would like further help with reviewing and analysis of certain videos. 

Improving quality of life for patients with dysphagia one scope at a time.


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