SLP Guidelines for the Use of Endoscopy

Speech‑Language Pathologists provide diagnostic and treatment services that may call for the use of endoscopy to complete swallowing, voice, and/or velopharyngeal diagnostic and treatment procedures. For example, rigid and flexible endoscopy are techniques used to visualize the vocal tract and larynx during voice and swallowing assessments.

It is the position of the Maryland Board of Examiners that the use of rigid and flexible endoscopy by speech‑language pathologists is within the Speech‑Language Pathology Scope of Practice when used to complete functional evaluations and/or treatment interventions of swallowing and/or voice.

The following Guidelines have been adopted by the Board for speech‑language pathologists to consider when using endoscopy:

  1. Speech Language Pathologists may use flexible or rigid endoscopy independently during an appropriate diagnostic and/or treatment activity.
  2. Speech Language Pathologists should review and utilize appropriate professional protocols to ensure that their training is adequate and complete. It is recommended that such training be documented in the Speech-Language Pathologist’s personnel file and be updated annually.
  3. Speech Language Pathologists should have an on‑going relationship with an otolaryngologist for information and referral purposes.
  4. Speech-Language Pathologists should be able to access a physician when utilizing endoscopy in their practice.
  5. Care should be taken to use endoscopy only in settings that assure patient safety.
  6. Speech Language Pathologists should review relevant scope of practice documents, position statements, and related ethics issues prior to implementing the use of endoscopy in their practice.