A group of Strathclyde students have joined an online campaign to raise awareness of ‘forgotten’ medical professions, as part of national Allied Health Professions Day.
The Allied Health Professions (AHP) are a group of 14 professions distinct from nursing and medicine, and include the likes of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dietitians. Today, October 14, is national AHP Day, an event created to both celebrate and raise awareness of the vital work carried out by such professionals which often goes under the radar.
As part of AHP Day, Strath Speechies – a society based around the Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) course – have released a series of online videos featuring students describing the work SLTs carry out on a daily basis, as well as the wide variety of clients they work with.
In preparation for #AHPsDay we, along with @Strath_SLT have been thinking about the role that SLTs and AHPs play in our healthcare. We are excited to be posting some videos over the next few days and hope you can help us by retweeting and spreading our message! #weareAHPs pic.twitter.com/2TQTANui3t
— Strath Speechies (@strathspeechies) October 10, 2019
Phoebe Moffat, a 2nd year SLT student, described the basis for the idea: “We wanted to raise awareness of the importance of the job we do, so we went around the year group asking people about the different roles of Allied Health Professionals. “We are the healthcare professionals you don’t usually hear about. On newspaper headlines, for example, you always hear about doctors and nurses coming into work on Christmas Day, but you never hear about the other people helping to rehabilitate patients.”
Today, in the lead up to #AHPDay we are thinking about the specific role of the SLT and the diversity of the clients that SLTs can be involved with #StrathSpeechies #SLT2b #AHPDayScot #weareAHPs pic.twitter.com/SbPkuVmCpq
— Strath Speechies (@strathspeechies) October 11, 2019
Speech and Language Therapists work with clients of all age groups, assisting patients in overcoming speech disorders caused by stammers, strokes and traumatic brain injuries, amongst other causes.
But they represent just one of the 14 professions celebrated on AHPs Day, professions which, according to Moffat, all too often go unnoticed.
She added: “It’s true that a doctor might nurse you back to health, but what happens when you go home?”
“Will you be able to communicate with your loved ones? Will you be able to ask for what you need? Speech and language therapists help with that, and physiotherapists help with mobility, and there are so many other professions helping people to get their life back on track.”
Happy #AHPsDay #AHPsDayScot! Today we are recognising and celebrating the wonderful work by AHPs all across the country! #WeAreAHPs #StrathSpeechies #SLT2b @rcsltscot @Ahpscot pic.twitter.com/lDc5xTN0XA
— Strath Speechies (@strathspeechies) October 14, 2019
AHP Day is one of a number of causes currently being supported by Strath Speechies. This coming Friday, they will be raising awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), a condition which affects both children and adults who struggle to understand speech and language.
As part of a global awareness day, the society will be using Makaton – a programme used to support language development in children and young people with difficulties in expressive language, mostly commonly those affected by Down’s Syndrome – to sign Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Someone You Loved’.
“We’re hoping Lewis Capaldi might share it on Twitter,” Moffat explains, “but the goal is just to raise awareness of as many different conditions and speech disorders as possible.”
By Rob McLaren
This article was edited on 15/10/19 in response to an inaccuracy regarding Makaton. A previous version of this article claimed that Makaton is a simplified version of sign language, when it is in fact a language programme used to facilitate language development.