Practice Alerts

Disclaimer: Practice guidelines provide licensees with general guidance to promote good practice. Law, rules and regulations, not guidelines, specify the requirements for practice and what may constitute professional misconduct.

Passing of Nasogastric Tubes

Passing a nasogastric tube feeding (NGT) or training a patient to pass such a tube is not within the scope of practice of a speech-language pathologist in New York State. That scope is set forth in Education Law §8201, and is described as:

the application of principles, methods and procedures of measurement, prediction, non-medical diagnosis, testing, counseling, consultation, rehabilitation and instruction related to the development and disorders of speech, voice, swallowing, and/or language for the purpose of preventing, ameliorating or modifying such disorder conditions in individuals and/or groups of individuals.

While a patient who is experiencing swallowing difficulty may require a NGT in order to maintain nutrition, the use of the NGT tube is not directly related to the disorder itself, but rather is part of a medical procedure to maintain the patient's health while the disorder is being treated.

While the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) may have an opinion regarding this procedure nationally, the scope of practice varies state-by-state, and is dependent on a state's statutory scope for speech-language pathologists.

Last Updated: April 15, 2021