Esophageal Dysphagia: A Primer for SLPs (On Demand Webinar)
Esophageal Dysphagia: A Primer for SLPs (On Demand Webinar)
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This webinar is a practical primer for SLPs who work with patients with dysphagia regardless of setting. SLPs are often challenged by patients presenting signs or symptoms that don’t quite fit the oropharyngeal paradigm. This webinar challenges the notion of separate and distinct stages of swallowing to elevate your skills for evaluation and treatment of dysphagia. The speaker will explore the interrelationship between the oropharynx and the esophagus, review vital anatomy and physiology, discuss advocating with your interprofessional team about of the role of esophageal scans during videofluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS), and explain what to do when you suspect esophageal involvement as part of your patient’s dysphagia.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • Define the interrelationship between the oropharynx and esophagus for swallowing and describe the related evidence base
  • Describe the foundational anatomy and physiology of the esophagus as it impacts patients with dysphagia 
  • Incorporate knowledge of common esophageal disorders and their impact on swallowing into recommendations for additional testing and/or treatment
  • Explain the importance of interprofessional practice and how to implement esophageal sweep protocols


  • 5 minutes: Introduction, disclosures, and learning objectives
  • 20 minutes: Oropharyngeal and esophageal interrelationship - review of the literature and role of the SLP and radiologist in assessment
  • 20 minutes: Overview of the anatomy and physiology of the esophagus
  • 40 minutes: Disorders of the esophagus, case studies, further evaluation, recommendations, and treatment
  • 15 minutes:  Esophageal sweep protocols, suggestions for standardization and advocacy with interdisciplinary team
  • 20 minutes: Questions and answers

Presenter Information

Julie A. Huffman, MA, CCC-SLP (she/her/hers) is a practicing clinician with 29 years of experience in medical speech-language pathology. She works at UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, NC, where she is a treating clinician and served as the clinical preceptor and supervisor for SLP staff throughout the continuum of care for the last 11 years. Julie has taught on esophageal disorders, dysphagia, and FEES nationally and internationally for over 18 years and is a huge advocate for providing the highest level of care to the patient. Julie is passionate about promoting and supporting SLPs to be confident and competent experts in our field. Julie’s clinical interests include comprehensive dysphagia evaluation and management, the GI system, voice, VCD, chronic cough, FEES, MBS, and functional medicine application to SLP. Julie is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Employee of UNC Rex Healthcare
  • Owner of JulieHuffmanslp, providing public and private courses as a sole proprietor
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Social media platforms in relation to dysphagia and esophageal content

Assessment Type

Self-assessment—Think about what you learned and report on the Completion Form how you will use your new knowledge.

To earn continuing education credit, you must complete and submit the learning assessment by the end date below.

Program History and CE Information

Live webinar date: September 22, 2023
End date: September 24, 2028

This course is offered for 0.2 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Continuing Education

9/24/2023 to 9/24/2028

Product Information

Item #(s): PD102686
Client Age: Adults
Format(s): On Demand Webinar
Language: English
Author: Julie A. Huffman, MA, CCC-SLP

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