21 NCAC 64 .1004 AUTHORIZED TASKS OF SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY ASSISTANTS
(a) Direct Patient Services:
(1) Obtaining case histories from patients and/or families and completing observation checklists.
(2) Administering speech-language screening protocols, as directed by the supervising speech-language pathologist. These screening procedures, including tests and checklists or parts of tests and checklists, will have the purpose of determining the need for further (diagnostic) testing by the supervising speech-language pathologist and must meet the following criteria:
(A) Have unambiguous administration protocols and methods.
(B) Consist of test items which require no more than a binary judgment (i.e., yes-no, present-absent).
(C) Require no more than a specifically-elicited single response.
(D) Require no clinical interpretation by the assistant.
(3) Administering therapeutic protocols, provided that all of the following criteria are met:
(A) Supervision provided by the supervising speech-language pathologist(s) according to the supervision standards of the rules.
(B) Utilizing appropriate stimuli according to a specified protocol determined by the supervising speech-language pathologist(s).
(C) Recording specific target behaviors.
(D) Reinforcing the patient=s responses appropriately following a specified protocol
(E) Providing appropriate cues following a specified protocol when the patient does not produce a correct response.
(F) Summarizing observations of the patient's performance for the supervising speech-language pathologist(s).
(4) Tabulating/scoring screening results, target behaviors, and performance data.
(5) Managing the behavior of patients using behavioral management techniques, as directed by the supervising speech-language pathologist, to establish and maintain appropriate social interaction and motivation/attention to task.
(6) Preparing or positioning patients for evaluation or treatment following specific guidelines of the supervising speech-language pathologist and of the facility.
(7) Communicating with patients, families, and professionals in order to respond appropriately and effectively to patient/family emotional needs and to alert the speech-language pathologist of any problems which may affect treatment outcomes or service quality.
(8) Documenting written/verbal communication with patients, parents, families and educational or medical personnel on the above or related management issues, as directed by the supervising speech-language pathologist.
(9) Direct patient services for evaluation are not within the approved scope of responsibilities for assistants.
(10) Demonstration projects will be authorized by the Board to develop safe and effective swallowing protocols for speech-language pathology assistants.
(b) Indirect Patient Services:
(1) Organizing and managing patient data and patient records, including the following examples:
(A) Documenting historical information in sequence (e.g., chronologically).
(B) Listing missing information.
(C) Confirming, obtaining, and documenting orders/permissions.
(D) Obtaining patient records from external agencies.
(E) Recording patient information from medical or educational records.
(F) Compiling session-to-session data and compiling/comparing outcome data.
(G) Tallying scores on standardized and criterion-referenced tests which require no clinical interpretation by the assistant.
(H) Calculating/determining percentages, frequencies, averages, percentiles, standard scores, etc. from raw data or reference manuals.
(I) Graphing performance data.
(J) Providing a clear, legible record of patient/client performance.
(K) Administering and profiling patient satisfaction measurements.
(L) Assigning/verifying communication disorder and procedure codes.
(M) Scheduling/confirming patent appointments.
(N) Recording treatment and procedure times.
(2) Transporting or escorting patients to/from the testing or therapy area.
(3) Arranging the clinical or treatment setting to maintain a safe and positive environment by providing appropriate seating, providing age-appropriate and culturally appropriate material or toys, and adjusting light and temperature.
(A) Creating materials and/or games to be used during therapy.
(B) Assisting patients/families to obtain and organize materials needed for treatment programs.
(4) Managing, operating, programming, and/or monitoring clinical equipment and materials, including the following:
- Assistive listening devices
- Augmentative communication devices
- Voice equipment
- Audio recording equipment
- Other audiovisual equipment
- Computer-based equipment and software
(A) Setting up equipment and materials for feeding and swallowing sessions.
(B) Setting up other clinical equipment or materials for tasks.
(C) Verifying safety status of equipment.
(D) Maintaining equipment records.
(5) Cleaning equipment, reusable materials, and treatment/work areas using appropriate infection control procedures.
(6) Adhering to the principles of universal precautions when providing services to patients/clients.
(c) Requirements For Providing Services Ethically and Responsibly:
(1) Maintaining patient confidentiality and security of patient records.
(2) Respecting the rights and dignity of all individuals.
(3) Reporting any workplace conduct which appears to be unethical or illegal to the supervising speech-language pathologist or to the Board of Examiners.
(4) Requesting assistance from the supervising speech-language pathologist, as needed, in order to ensure continuous service quality.
(5) Observing universal precautions and safety procedures.
(6) Releasing patients only to the care of appropriate caregivers.
(d) Participating in Research Activities:
(1) Categorizing task-related materials.
(2) Obtaining parent/patient permission forms.
(3) Conducting computer and literature searches.
(4) Encoding and analyzing data.
(5) Establishing reliability.
(6) Filing research information.
(e) Administrative and Clerical Tasks:
(1) Operating office equipment such as word processors, copying machines, laminating machines, fax machines, telephone and voice mail, e-mail, etc.
(2) Copying and sending reports, as appropriate.
(3) Documenting telephone calls and meetings.
(4) Operating and using scheduling, reporting, test scoring software, etc.
(5) Ordering and maintaining supplies and materials.
(6) Organizing and filing patient handouts and educational material.
(7) Verifying insurance coverage, filing insurance claims, and following up on denied claims.
History Note: Authority G.S. 90-298.1; 90-304(a)(3);
Eff. July 1, 1998;
Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. October 4, 2016.