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Disciplines: Speech-Language Pathology
Hours: 1 Contact Hour
Author(s): Amy Hasselkus, MA, CCC-SLP
Peer Reviewer(s):
  • Janet Patterson
  • Linda Collins
  • Scarlet Webb-Henderson
Item#: O2524
Contents: 1 Course Book 

Communicating Clearly with Patients and Families

Price $9.95
Item # O2524
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: September 10, 2018

Expiration Date: September 10, 2021

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) play a primary role in ensuring that the information shared with patients is understandable and usable. SLPs can also facilitate communication for people who have speech, language, and cognitive problems. This intermediate-level course provides an overview of health literacy and plain language, as well as the potential negative outcomes related to poor health communication. The broader issue of patient-provider communication across the healthcare spectrum and the role the SLP can take in improving health communication is also explored. Resources to help professionals improve communication with patients and families when talking with them and when providing written information are included.


This program is offered for 0.10 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate-Level, Related Area)

Course Objectives

  • Define health literacy and plain language.
  • Discuss the health literacy skills of adults in the United States and how they impact health outcomes.
  • Explain the need for effective patient-provider communication.
  • Describe the role speech-language pathologists can play in improving communication in the healthcare system.
  • List at least three resources for healthcare communication education and training. 

Amy Hasselkus, MA, CCC-SLP, is a licensed and ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist. Amy obtained her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Georgia and accepted a position in a hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where she provided services to children and adults with speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing disorders. She then worked for 11 years at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), where she assisted in the development of resources for speech-language pathologists on a variety of clinical and professional issues. Amy earned a second master’s degree in communication (with a focus on health communication) from George Mason University, and now teaches as an adjunct instructor at George Mason University and a local community college, and contributes to continuing education programs for speech-language pathologists.



Financial - The authors received an honorarium from Western Schools for this work. 

Nonfinancial - The authors have no other relevant financial or nonfinancial interests to disclose.

Linda Collins, MA., CCC/SLP is a licensed and certified speech language pathologist currently managing the Department of Speech Pathology at Sharon Regional Medical Center, a Steward Hospital.  Linda has focused on the adult population specializing in swallowing, dementia care and communication disorders related to neurogenic disorders.  Linda has coauthored The Swallowing Guide, a workbook in publication for 20 years producing relevant hands on management of swallowing problems.  Linda is also active in the supervision and training of new graduate students with affiliates from three major universities in the Western PA and Northeastern Ohio regions.  Linda has previously worked with non-profit organizations providing the highest standards of care with the underprivileged populations while fund raising and educating the community on the benefits of communication skills from birth through adults.  Collaborating with Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Linda oversees Speech Pathology programming in acute care, outpatient therapy for adults and children, skilled nursing care and a strong diagnostic and swallowing department.  A graduate of Kent State University, Linda continues her expertise in Speech Pathology by serving on safety and ethics committees in a growing health system while still being an active clinician in a busy Speech Pathology department.

Linda Collins has disclosed that she had no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to this course.


Scarlet Webb-Henderson, MS, CCC-SLP is the Community Liaison at Baptist Health Homecare in Louisville, Kentucky where she facilitates the transition of patients from skilled rehabilitation to home care. For 12 years prior, she treated adult patients with speech-language and swallowing disorders in the home setting where she received the Champion Award in 2012. Ms. Webb-Henderson holds a Master of Science in Communication Disorders Sciences from the University of Louisville, a Master of Music from the University of Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Music from Cumberland College. She is a licensed and American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)-certified speech-language pathologist and holds the Lee Silverman Voice Therapy Certification as well.

Scarlet Webb-Henderson has disclosed that she had no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to this course.


Janet Patterson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Janet Patterson has disclosed that she had no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to this course.

  • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from date of purchase.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course to earn ASHA CEUs and/or receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • See author and peer reviewer tabs for disclosures. All other persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.