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NIU Study Seeks Survey Feedback on Voice Disorders Among 9-1-1 Staff

Date: 2013-06-06
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The Northern Illinois University is studying the incidence of voice problems in those who work as 9-1-1 emergency telecommunicators.  “Increased voice use, particularly under stressful conditions, can predispose individuals to chronic voice problem which in turn impairs their ability to do their job, and to communicate effectively,” said Miriam van Mersbergen, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, NIU.  “This is known to be the case for school teachers and telemarketers. To date, no such study has been done for 9-1-1 emergency telecommunicators.”

To facilitate their study, van Mersbergen has created an online in order to determine the prevalence of voice disorders in the profession of 9-1-1 emergency telecommunicators.  In addition to better understand the specific vocal demands on this population we are asking questions about voice use, and other behaviors that affect voicing. We hope to share this information with professionals who care for those with voice disorders (Ear, Nose, Throat physicians and Speech Language Pathologist) in the form of a scientific publication. Our goal is to increase the understanding and care of this group of professionals who provide a vital function in our society.

“The time to complete the survey should be approximately between 15 and 20 minutes,” said  van Mersbergen.  “The information collected is confidential and voluntary. The survey is anonymous. We do not ask for any identifying information that would link respondents to the data collected.“

 Survey link for participants:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/911telecommunicators

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via Northern Illinois University, 6/4/13)

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