Practical Application of Cervical Auscultation


Cervical Auscultation has become recognized as a useful tool in dysphagia evaluation and treatment. This course outlines the basic principles of both chest and cervical auscultation for practicing Dysphagia Therapists who would like to add this technique to his/her cache of clinical tools. A brief literature review is followed by instruction in cervical auscultation with interpretation and documentation of swallow acoustics.


This intermediate-level course includes easy-to-read background, research and practice guidelines. Case study examples are provided to facilitate the application of the lecture information. Topics include: normal vs. abnormal respiratory function, description of respiratory acoustics, common respiratory illnesses of the elderly, cervical acoustics during swallowing, and tips for documentation.

Teaching Methods: this course utilizes instructor lecture in text-based format, live web links, discussion board participation, instructor/class e-mail, pictures, graphics, references and resources. There are six (6) brief practical application assignments that are required within this course, as well as a Final Exam.

Course Goal: The participant will increase knowledge of chest and cervical auscultation as a tool for evaluation and treatment of dysphagia in the geriatric dysphagia patient.

Learner Outcomes:

Upon completion of this interactive course, the Learner will be able to:

  • Identify structures related to basic pulmonary function
  • Use basic terminology as it relates to respiratory acoustics
  • Recognize common pulmonary diseases of the elderly
  • Describe the impact of an impaired respiratory system on swallowing
  • Interpret cervical swallow acoustics
  • Provide appropriate documentation related to cervical auscultation

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