Meet Mary – she is a dedicated private practice SLP in Florida, with a deep passion for her work.
Mary started her career as a medical speech- language pathologist in acute care, and then in 2009 she took the leap to lead her own practice, Voice Aerobics, LLC. This move allowed her to create a comfortable space to see adult patients and infuse her work with her personal values and vision.
One of her ongoing commitments is to evaluate new technologies in the field and adopt them into her practice when it makes sense. We met Mary when she purchased a Mobili-T® to use with her patients.
She was interested in bringing sEMG biofeedback into her practice, because she believes in the power of visualizing the swallow and, as she says, “for any of us, having some feedback when you exercise makes it more meaningful, and makes it more fun”.
Mary has been using the Mobili-T® with patients to help them see what they are doing – to educate them with the goal of improving adherence and engagement with their swallowing exercises. She views her role as an educator as a key part of her identity. This is partly why visualizing the swallow, and learning from it, is important for knowledge and treatment’s sake.
“It’s important being able to give the patient real-time feedback, that they are actually activating those muscles with the hope that they integrate that movement, and that feeling of effort it takes that is different than just the normal swallow.”
The Mobili-T® can also empower a clinician with confidence about their approach. When speaking about her colleagues, Mary says “having some tools available to them, and for their patients, can help them feel more confident that they are targeting what they think they are targeting”.
This may contribute to longer-term success for clinicians and patients. “I think it’s important to be able to set targets with a patient in a training session,” says Mary, “and then over a course of therapies so that you are really able to have some measurable outcomes.”
She sees a wide range of patients, often with complex needs, and finds fulfillment in identifying new ways to provide treatment. “I like the detective work. I like figuring out what’s going on and how to approach it.”
Running her own business has meant managing both the clinical decisions and the financial. “When I went into private practice, again, I think the challenges of any small business owner is always balancing that revenue.”
She had been interested in incorporating sEMG biofeedback into her work for some time. “It’s always been on the top of my list of things to add, but in the past was just not affordable to me. And so, again, not unlike my patients, what I can afford, kind of drives my decision making.” Having access to affordable sEMG technology through the Mobili-T® was advantageous. Mary was able to introduce both the Mobili-T® and another technology into practice this year. “Because I see a lot of patients with swallowing, both of those felt really meaningful for me to be able to provide these tools to patients.”
Her commitment to her patients is evident, and her willingness to explore and embrace new technologies has kept her on the cutting edge of her field. When she reflects on her journey she is grateful for the amazing opportunities she has had, including starting her own business, “It was sort of a risky move kind of late really, in my career, but one that I have never regretted.”
If you would like to learn more about the Mobili-T®, please visit our website here: True Angle – the Mobili-T®
You can also learn more about Mary by visiting her website here: https://voiceaerobicsdvd.com/