People of KHSC: Emma Hum

News / General / Critical Care

Portraits of caring, compassion and commitment.

For more than 20 years, Emma Hum has been helping stroke patients regain their ability to swallow safely and recover their communications skills.

The speech language pathologist works on Kidd 7, an acute stroke unit, at Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s Kingston General Hospital site.

“This has been my dream job,” says Hum. “I am a member of a talented team of health-care professionals with stroke expertise. Our team approach ensures we are optimizing stroke recovery.”

Recently, approximately 74 per cent of all stroke patients spend time on the unit. They receive specialized care from an interprofessional team featuring neurologists, occupational and physiotherapists, dietitians and others.

The care Hum and the team provides is based on a framework of stroke best practices and features protocols and comprehensive plans used throughout a patient's stay on the unit.

“The whole team collaborates in supporting our patients in their recovery in areas of physical function, vision, cognition, communication, nutrition and emotional health,” explains Hum. “Our stroke expertise drives most of our protocols and we've noticed better patient outcomes when they recover in the acute stroke unit.”

She adds patients and families are at the heart of the team, and the collective goal is to help people recover so they can regain some independence to return home.

Working closely with patients and collaborating with her peers is what Hum enjoys most about her job.

“I love being a speech language pathologist!” exclaims Hum. “The best part of my job is seeing a patient eat for the first time or saying ‘I love you’ to their family. Being there for them is the reason I do what I do.”