I have over 13 years experience in adult Speech Pathology and specialise in voice and swallowing problems/cancers of the face and throat. I work very closely with Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Doctors to help diagnose voice and swallowing issues. …
I have over 13 years experience in adult Speech Pathology and specialise in voice and swallowing problems/cancers of the face and throat. I work very closely with Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Doctors to help diagnose voice and swallowing issues. This incorporates progressive neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson's Disease, Motor Neurone Disease etc), professional voice users (teachers, lawyers, performers etc), people with breathing difficulties and so on. I have a special interest in Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) and work as naturally as possible to resolve the issue. I work very closely with my patients to establish their goals, and wherever possible, aim to return them back to their usual function. I am extremely passionate about the work that I do and love helping patients improve their quality of life.
Healthshare Interview with Nikki Martin
Why did you get involved in Speech Pathology? I completed a degree in Science (Pharmacology) and realised that scientific research/transferring to Pharmacy to become a Pharmacist wasn't for me. To try to figure out which career choice to make, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (majoring in English and History). During the year of that course, I did a linguistics subject which analysed the communication differences between males and females (language content, body language, eye contact etc.). From that, I started investigating potential career options and was lead to Speech Pathology. Speech Pathology really appealed to me as there were so many different job choices adults/children, hospital/school/community health/private practice and so on.
Why do you love what you do? I love what I do because I work with brilliant doctors, I love my clients and I get to help them return to an appropriate level of function (which in turn improves their quality of life markedly) and that is incredibly rewarding.
What level of skill do you possess? I am in a highly specialised area of Speech Pathology. I work very closely with Ear, Nose and Throat Doctors and our patients have voice and/or swallowing problems. I am involved in the patient's assessment/diagnosis as well as their treatment/rehabilitation (with or without surgery). My clients range from performers (singers, actors, etc.), teachers, lawyers, Doctors, call centre operators (all are professional voice users- they need their voice for their job) to patients with progressive neurological diseases such as Parkinsons Disease. I also have a special interest in Laryngophargeal reflux (LPR), which is reflux to the back of the throat, and it's impact on voice and swallow function.
How would you define your attitude to patient / client care? I have a very collaborative attitude to client/patient care. I feel that it is absolutely essential for the client to be active in setting realistic goals for therapy for themselves. I incorporate a team approach, which means that I am constantly consulting other medical and allied health practitioners to achieve a wholistic approach to patient care. I am completely focused on returning the client to as close to previous function as is possible, as appropriate quality of life is essential for everyone.
How do you explain information to clients (like treatment options)? If the patient is seen in a combined clinic setting (such as a Voice Clinic with myself and the Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor), the treatment options are explained at that time. Otherwise, all treatment options are discussed with the client at their initial therapy session. If they require extra support or services, then that is provided too.