Can We Replace Ageist Attitudes?

Posted:
RehabVisions

Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us. Or maybe they do, and we’re so accustomed to using them that we don’t notice the damage done.

One of the trickier culprits is ageism and how we communicate with geriatric patients. This article explains why ageism isn’t good for anyone and should remind us to be thoughtful when selecting our words and treatment tasks. So how can we keep ageist talk and attitudes out of our rehab departments?
More

Specialty Program: Pulmonary Conditioning

Posted:
RehabVisions

Rehab Director Steve Finn, PT leads a multi-disciplinary therapy team with a state-of-the-art therapy department and wellness center at one of our Iowa critical access hospital partners.

With a continued emphasis on what role rehabilitation can play in population health, our department focused on a patient population that has frequent hospitalizations, rehospitalizations and emergency room visits. In 2015, the physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) teams combined with our respiratory therapy (RT) team to develop a pulmonary conditioning program to look at a myriad of chronic cardiopulmonary conditions, and specifically chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
More

Falls Prevention Awareness

Posted:
RehabVisions

Each year around three million people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. Falls are preventable, and therapists can play a part in reducing these numbers from the National Council on Aging (NCOA):

  • One-fourth of Americans aged 65+ falls each year
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall
  • Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall
  • By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $67.7 billion


More

Employee Testing Program … A Win-Win Situation

Posted:
RehabVisions

We’ve previously outlined the basics of how to get started with pre and post-employment testing programs, a service offered in many of our locations because it can be marketed to a variety of businesses. So, how is it working for our teams?

Rehab Director Stephanie Foust, PT has offered a functional employment testing program for a few years. Testing is provided to employees and future employees of area clients with whom she maintains an annual contract. Therapists determine if individuals are capable of performing lifting, pushing, pulling and other job-specific tasks deemed necessary by the client. The testing is also provided to employees who have been injured or off the job to decide if they can return to work.
More

Understanding Aphasia

Posted:
RehabVisions

Written by Clark Dalton, SLP in Ephrata, Washington.

Aphasia is an acquired neurogenic language disorder that can affect spoken-language expression, spoken-language comprehension, written-language expression and reading comprehension. And if that sounds too convoluted, then you can boil it down to having problems with speaking, understanding, reading and writing.

While aphasia almost always involves word-finding deficits, that is only one of the four areas listed above. Because the brain is a complex collection of neural connections, aphasia rarely occurs in such isolation that it affects only one part of communication.
More

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Posted:
RehabVisions

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) and we’re encouraging all our speech pathologists to get involved in raising awareness about their services and the communication disorders they treat.

As part of the “Communications for All” 2018 theme, take advantage of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association resources for everyone from pediatrics to older adults and get your rehab departments
More

Therapists should be treating wounds

Posted:
RehabVisions

Written by Jennifer Fuentes, PT

As a PT student, I never imagined that wound care would become such a huge part of my future. I had never seen a therapist treat wounds, so it wasn’t something I envisioned in my practice. In my first job, though, it became a necessity. I was working at a skilled nursing facility and over half of the residents had wounds or had experienced some sort of skin breakdown during their stay. I saw the need, had the knowledge through my graduate school training, and figured out the details from there.
More

Say No to Drugs, Yes to Therapy

Posted:
RehabVisions

This country’s opioid crisis is a hot topic in healthcare. Because of the national attention the issue is garnering, physicians are feeling the pressure to reduce prescriptions for these drugs. Fortunately, there is a better avenue.

Physical therapy can be just that—long-term relief from pain without medication.

Rehab Director Skylar Tarbet, PT heads our outpatient clinic in South Bend, Washington. We asked Skylar about the issue.
More

Mentorship and Aligning Interdisciplinary Goals

Posted:
RehabVisions

Matthew Vermillion, PT has been with RehabVisions since September 2015. The solid understanding of mentorship he established while in school and during his first two years with RehabVisions has led to knowing when to seek mentorship as a growing clinician and when to transition from a mentee to a mentor.

“At Wichita State, I was fortunate in that we did a lot of interdisciplinary learning,” he said. “During one clinical rotation I was in a hospital setting learning with occupational therapy students. It reinforced that within a rehab unit everyone is working toward the same goal, and that you have to communicate with each other to get the patient home. It was good to learn early that you can always learn from another therapist, even if you are not the same discipline.”
More

With the right support, you’re never truly alone

Posted:
RehabVisions

Rehab Director Kilah Dunn, PT graduated in the spring of 2012 and took a position with RehabVisions in Kansas as the rehab director and only treating physical therapist. Five years later and she is still the sole PT at the facility, working confidently in that role thanks to the mentorship she received and her own hard work to grow her clinical skills.
More

Football Season opportunities with local EMS providers

Posted:
RehabVisions

The physical therapy team in Harlan, Iowa spent the summer working on new programming to provide comprehensive emergency coverage for football games with local school districts. Rehab Director Steve Finn, PT is thankful for the teams’ efforts to provide training to local EMS providers for high school game coverage as it also “demonstrates commitment and dedication to area athletes.”
More

Backpack Safety Awareness

Posted:
RehabVisions

The American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) National School Backpack Awareness Day is held on the third Wednesday of each September. The AOTA provides strategies for hosting backpack events as well as handouts, artwork and videos that therapists can use to promote awareness for backpack safety. AOTA member Jordyn Braun, COTA is leading the backpack safety awareness charge at RehabVisions’ outpatient clinic in Dickinson, North Dakota.

“It is estimated that 23,000 people go to the emergency room each year because of injuries related to backpacks,” says Jordyn.
More

Communication Keeps Us Healthy

Posted:
RehabVisions

No two rehab departments are the same. However, working together to cultivate a healthy rehab team is a goal all teams should work toward, no matter the setting or how small or large the staff. Rehab directors Lili Wells, PT and Jenefer Mills, PT believe communication plays a large role in creating healthy environments.

“Effective and clear communication is very important,” says Lili. “It’s helpful to allow an open line of communication between all employees at all levels in the organization.”
More

Sensory Room Provides Respite

Posted:
RehabVisions

Omaha, Nebraska houses the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home, a skilled nursing facility founded in 1982 and partner of RehabVisions since 1986. Our therapists recently helped Rose Blumkin install a sensory room, a space designed to abate the symptoms of dementia and other cognitive disorders. Occupational Therapist Rosie Gneym chose the sensory room as her passion project, an initiative she pursued during her doctorate program’s professional rotation at Rose Blumkin. The room required extensive design and conceptual research.


More

Smooth Transition in New Mexico

Posted:
RehabVisions

In November 2016, RehabVisions acquired an outpatient clinic in Española, New Mexico—Española Sports Medicine.

The first half-year of RehabVisions’ ownership of this outpatient clinic has proven a success. We were able to hire all existing staff of the clinic and promote their long-time employee, Clair Bradbury, PT to rehab director. “We saw in Clair the skills we look for to lead our therapy departments,” Director of Operations Steve Kinkead, SLP said.
More

Getting Involved With Senior Wellness

Posted:
RehabVisions

Tomorrow is National Senior Health and Fitness Day, and thousands of seniors will participate in activities that promote healthy living for older adults. Therapists in every setting are involved, not just tomorrow, but year-round with helping geriatric patients achieve and maintain a level of health and fitness that helps them be safe and independent. We asked a few RehabVisions therapists to share how the post-care involvement manifests in their respective settings.
More

Three Strategies for Treating Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Posted:
RehabVisions

April is National Autism Awareness Month and an appropriate time to reflect on how wide the autism spectrum is. Autism is a complicated disorder that can affect social behaviors, communication skills and family relationships in so many ways. Therapists can work to enhance patient and family quality of life by focusing on these three clinical tips:

  1. Identify and work on their sensory issues
  2. Observe and communicate with parents to identify what motivates the child
  3. To be individualized in each and every treatment session after identifying their sensory need for that day and what will motivate them through treatment
    More

Patient Safety Awareness Resources

Posted:
RehabVisions

Led by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), Patient Safety Awareness Week occurs annually to promote the safe care of patients to both the public and practicing health care professionals. This year the campaign will run the week of March 12 – 18. Show your facility is engaged in the topic by downloading and sharing these materials with patients and providers:
More

Accessing and Educating Mastectomy Patients

Posted:
RehabVisions

Patients with breast cancer whose lymph nodes have been disrupted during surgery have an increased risk of lymphedema. Providing education to pre and post-mastectomy patients is an important service for physical therapists to provide.

Rehab Director and lymphedema specialist Jennifer Fuentes, PT believes there is opportunity for therapists to be more aggressive in establishing relationships with therapy and oncology teams at treatment centers to reach patients earlier in the treatment timeline.
More

Falls Prevention Resources

Posted:
RehabVisions

Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD) occurs this year on September 22, the first day of fall. This day is an opportunity for therapists to raise awareness among the older populations in their community about the dangers of fall-related injuries and how to prevent them. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) and national therapy organizations have collected helpful educational resources therapists may provide to patients and caregivers:
More

From Patient to PT

Posted:
RehabVisions

It took Deann Garrett, PT 12 years to get a job at RehabVisions.

Actually, it took just one phone call from her former physical therapist, friend and now rehab director Stephanie Foust, PT. But Deann’s journey to her first full-time job as a newly licensed physical therapist in Dalhart, Texas began way back in 2004in Dalhart.
More

Practice Flexibility with Speech Therapy and Autism

Posted:
RehabVisions

Jennifer Howe, SLP started with RehabVisions in 2011 and for nearly five years has been treating patients in a hospital setting in eastern Iowa. Part of her caseload includes autistic children who come to her for supplemental treatment, beyond what is provided at school. Her pediatric patients refine their communication and learn additional skills that are transferable as they progress through the education system and into adulthood.

“Most of my patients have some sort of functional deficit or behavioral problem,” says Jennifer. “Sometimes it’s as simple as behavioral management and assisting in being more ‘socially appropriate,’ or to better communicate their emotions.
More

Finding Value in Medically Oriented Gyms

Posted:
RehabVisions

Value has always been a core metric at RehabVisions. As the therapy industry moves from pushing volume to proving value, we continue to feel confident in our suggestions of programs that both add value to a practice and prove value to patient populations.

Steve Finn, PT and rehab director in Iowa is a proponent for the medically oriented gym (MOG), saying “When you think about future medical payment models, the MOG fits in well with what is coming down the pipeline.”
More

Shaping and Speech Pathology

Posted:
RehabVisions

Jennifer Howe, SLP started with RehabVisions in 2011 and for nearly five years has been treating patients in a hospital setting in eastern Iowa. Part of her caseload includes autistic children who come to her for supplemental treatment, beyond what is provided at school. Her pediatric patients refine their communication and learn additional skills that are transferable as they progress through the education system and into adulthood.

“My clients diagnosed with autism need a lot of shaping,” says Jennifer. “You’ll do lots of teeny-tiny steps forward and accept responses that are close, then keep molding and molding behavior until it’s more accurate.” Shaping is changing a response to a more desired behavior through trials and rewards. It can be very successful when trying to establish strategies for parents to cope with undesirable patient responses.
More

Occupational Therapy Influencers of Change

Posted:
RehabVisions

Those who attended the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 2016 Annual Conference and Expo in Chicago may have heard the new AOTA President, Amy Jo Lamb, OT, highlight two of RehabVisions’ own therapists in her inaugural speech, given to a record 10,000+ attendees.


More

From Population 2.2 Million to 6,211

Posted:
RehabVisions

Rehab Director Stephanie Gougenheim, PT graduated in May 2014 from Texas Women’s University in Houston. After graduation she was looking for opportunities outside the Houston area, where commutes could reach an hour or more. So when her husband was offered a job in Schuyler, Nebraska (population 6,200) she was willing to consider the move. Cut to Stephanie landing her first director-level job and a home in nearby Columbus, Nebraska (population 30,000).
More

Four Things to Remember with CVA/Stroke

Posted:
RehabVisions

Aimee Wagner, OT sees every diagnosis that comes through her therapy department and works across inpatient, outpatient and home health settings. Aimee sees a lot of CVA/stroke patients, but even as the sole OT it’s a rare opportunity to treat a patient recovering from stroke through the whole gamut of therapy. 

When a patient is admitted to our hospital after a fairly significant stroke, they may leave after the initial few weeks of acute therapy and go directly into a specialized rehab center where they receive more intensive therapy. Occasionally we will see a patient who has suffered a stroke from beginning to end.
More

Developing Collaborative Care Teams

Posted:
RehabVisions

Area Manager Jean Herauf, SLP has 30+ years’ experience, more than 20 of them with RehabVisions. Collaborative care between all therapy disciplines plays an important role in the success of her outpatient clinic in Dickinson, North Dakota. We asked her to share advice on developing and sustaining a collaborative model for interdisciplinary patient care teams.

Hire the Right Staff

This can be challenging, as it’s sometimes difficult to find staff, let alone those with the passion, spirit and communication skills we’re looking for. I’ve learned that it’s better to wait for the right person rather than bring someone on the team who disrupts the flow of trust and support.
More

The Benefits of Hands-On Exercise

Posted:
RehabVisions

As therapists grow in their skill-sets it’s beneficial (for both therapist and patient) to occasionally get “back to the basics.” Mary Cater, PT explains why you should take breaks from equipment, and get back to hands-on exercise.

Many of us therapists can become bored with the same routine at work. We get into the habit of performing the same exercises the same way on each patient. It is no wonder patients become bored and we become frustrated that they don’t seem to be progressing. We can get so involved in using fancy equipment and new treatment techniques that we forget the basic exercise techniques we were trained in. Maybe it is time to return to the basic fundamentals of exercise without the use of all our equipment.
More

Concussions—Not Just For Athletes

Posted:
RehabVisions

With the recent release of “Concussion” in movie theaters, much attention has been given to the subject of concussion injuries in sports. But concussions don’t just occur on the football field. Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur in non-athletes at the workplace, in the home or while out performing daily tasks or errands. We asked Makayla Tremel, PTA to share her own experience with the topic:

A year-and-a-half ago I was loving life and in excellent health. I was halfway through training for my first half marathon. Little did I know that on a warm Monday morning in August all of that would change. I was at work seeing patients as usual when I had a few cancellations come up. I took advantage of this “down time” to complete regular chemical maintenance to our department’s therapy pool. Unfortunately, I injured myself on an unforgiving metal beam in the process. I remember being in tremendous pain, thinking to myself, “Geez, I about gave myself a concussion.”
More

Lymphedema Program Basics

Posted:
RehabVisions

Last month we posted about the importance of educating referral sources and communities on the importance of early lymphedema diagnosis and treatment. Equally important is the actual creation and marketing of a lymphedema program.

Many different kinds of swelling can be treated in the same manner as a lymphedema diagnosis, and the program can also be marketed as swelling management services. There are a few basic elements to consider, according to Rehab Director Jennifer Fuentes, PT:
More

Dementia & Physical Therapy

Posted:
RehabVisions

RehabVisions and our therapists are no strangers to the topic of dementia. Cognitive testing is a great way for disciplines to work together using their expertise in order to provide the highest level of quality care. We asked Regional Clinical Manager Jolene Denn, SLP to share how her team approaches dementia and her PT’s role. Jolene is an expert on dementia and has presented a CEU course on the subject to RehabVisions therapists.

Know the Stage

Using the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS), developed by Dr. Barry Reisberg, there are seven different stages of dementia.
More

Educate to Increase Early Identification of Lymphedema

Posted:
RehabVisions

Lymphedema, a complex medical condition affecting one or more limbs of the body, can present additional challenges for people at risk who live in smaller communities, in that they are likely not surrounded by enough general providers and medical staff who know how to appropriately identify and treat it. This can create an under-served population and situations where patients are identified less quickly and at later stages.
More

Experience Drives OT’s Management Style

Posted:
RehabVisions

RehabVisions Rehab Director Michele Roesch-Johnson, OT worked for a giant of a contract therapy provider before transitioning to her management role with RehabVisions. In her former position, she dealt with company communication issues and navigating changes in her role. Her experiences led her to think differently about the way she manages her own team.
More

LSVT BIG

Posted:
RehabVisions

An estimated one million Americans live with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and around 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. There is no cure for the progressive disease. Many physical therapists and occupational therapists are learning a newer exercise-based behavioral treatment technique, called LSVT BIG, that patients with a PD diagnosis can continue to practice after completing the initial program.


More

Increasing Concussion Awareness

Posted:
RehabVisions

It’s back-to-school season and we can’t stress enough the importance of educating local communities on the dangers of concussion injuries. RehabVisions physical therapist Lynn Schmitz is passionate about preventative education, being no stranger to severe concussions himself. He believes therapists have a responsibility not only to treat but to share knowledge that can prevent a recoverable injury from progressing to a life-threatening situation.

“One of the biggest challenges therapists need to overcome is creating a paradigm shift in the mindset of the coaches and parents,” says Lynn.
More

ACL Injury Prevention Program

Posted:
RehabVisions

There never seems to be a shortage of ACL injury stories in sports news (hear about Stephen Hill earlier this month?). Many professional athletes, like Tom Brady and Tiger Woods, have torn their ACLs and subsequently raised societal awareness of this injury. The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine estimates there may be between 100,000 and 250,000 ACL injuries each year in the United States alone. Physical therapists are uniquely trained, educated and positioned to engage communities in the prevention of a torn ACL.
More

Get Your Patients Back to Golf

Posted:
RehabVisions

The diverse regions of our country offer unique opportunities for rehab clinics to develop programs that will most benefit their surrounding communities. In the retirement-friendly resort area of central Missouri, golf is a popular recreational sport. We asked Courtney Hulett, PT about BACKtoGOLF, a leading fitness program recognized by GOLF magazine.
More

Aquatic Therapy for Geriatric Patients

Posted:
RehabVisions

In upcoming decades therapists can expect to treat an increasing number of geriatric patients as the United States experiences the coming “boom” in older populations. One therapy that has proven beneficial for a range of deficits in this population is aquatic therapy.

From conversations with our clinical students we know that not all physical therapy and occupational therapy students will receive hands-on aquatic therapy experience prior to graduation.
More

Acute Approach To Neuro

Posted:
RehabVisions

Patients recovering from stroke and experiencing mobility difficulties are a common diagnosis seen by Steven Nicholson, PT.  Neurological patients present some unique challenges in the inpatient environment. We asked Steven how he works with an acute care approach to neuro, and he recommended these three focuses to help short-term patients reach a safe and improved level of stability before discharge.

Education

The initial goal must be education for both the patient and the family/primary caregiver. Because the patient may be experiencing cognitive impairment due to the stroke, it is important to provide comprehensive education for the family.
More

Know Pain or No Gain — Patient Education is Key

Posted:
RehabVisions

Over the past decade we have seen an explosion of research on how to become more effective in dealing with patients who are in pain. Global statistics consistently demonstrate 25 percent of the world’s population deal with chronic pain. Looking at current research, one of the overriding treatment strategies is patient education.
More

Combating Struggles with Acquired Brain Injury

Posted:
RehabVisions

The physical, neurological and emotional challenges that may arise from an acquired brain injury (ABI) are vast. Different causes and injuries create consequences that vary among individuals. Therapists need to be perceptive in order to both address struggles and provide avenues for constructive thinking.

One of the largest hurdles therapists encounter in rehabilitation with individuals who have suffered an ABI is the patient often lacks insight into their own deficits.
More

Dementia & Occupational Therapy: Treatment Techniques

Posted:
RehabVisions

Last month we asked Regional Clinical Manager Jolene Denn, SLP to share how her team approaches dementia and her OT’s role. Jolene is an expert on dementia and has presented a CEU course on the subject to RehabVisions therapists. This month she is sharing specific treatment techniques to consider when treating patients with a dementia diagnosis.
More

A Common Issue with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Posted:
RehabVisions

Our role as therapists is to help all residents perform at their best and to ease the burden on caregivers and family members. One patient population that can be particularly challenging is patients with a dementia diagnosis. Speech-language pathologists play a key role in improving their nutritional intake.

A common problem observed by speech-language pathologists in skilled nursing facilities is residents leaving the dining room before finishing their meal. Here are a few intervention ideas to ensure patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnoses are eating sufficiently for proper nutrition.
More

Running & Jogging Season

Posted:
RehabVisions

It’s the time of year to discuss running safety with patients and communities. Sharing your expertise and advice can help properly prepare a body for running and jogging season–and hopefully prevent injury.

Kilah Dunn, PT, an avid runner sent in some of her tips for getting patients ready to run.
More

Dementia & Occupational Therapy

Posted:
RehabVisions

RehabVisions and our therapists are no strangers to the topic of dementia. For OT month, we asked Regional Clinical Manager Jolene Denn, SLP to share how her team approaches dementia and her OT’s role. Jolene is an expert on dementia and has presented a CEU course on the subject to RehabVisions therapists.

Too often, when caregivers, family members and even therapists think about dementia we seem to focus on what the person CAN’T do anymore. They can’t be alone, can’t use the stove, can’t drive, can’t dress themselves, and can’t even find the bathroom. However, occupational therapists play a crucial role in working with clients with dementia, because they focus on what the person CAN do. Occupational therapy approaches treatment with a focus on a patient’s remaining skills or abilities, and how to capitalize on those to make the individual as independent as possible.


More

An appreciation for compassion

Posted:
RehabVisions

Compassion is something most therapists have in common and one of our corporate values. True compassionate care rarely goes unrecognized. We’re often humbled by the words of appreciation, thank-you notes and patient testimonials that therapists receive from former patients.
More