I Love The SNF Setting and Here’s Why
Just as I was starting to think our jobs in therapy were getting consumed with Medicare rules and regulations, a patient encounter reminded me otherwise.
In visiting one of our skilled nursing facilities recently, I was sitting in the therapy department when a gentleman in jeans and a plaid shirt approached and asked for one of the therapists. He was told that she was with a patient so he reached in his pocket and pulled out a note. “I have that recipe for her,” he said. On the paper was a carefully typewritten (from his computer) recipe for what are reportedly the world’s best Ginger Snap Cookies.
This man, named Kenny, was a former therapy patient and a retired farmer who lives at an apartment on the nursing facility campus during the winter and back on the farm in the summer. He is a baker, enjoys woodworking, and has a very active life.
Kenny is 96 years old.
Just coming in contact with this man reminded me of the reasons we are in the business of therapy. It comes down to the care we provide and the relationships we build with our patients.
We’ve come a long way. Eighteen years ago when I started with RehabVisions, I would drive from nursing facility to nursing facility, treating patients on average two times per week. I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know the facility very well or to develop much of a relationship with the patients.
Now we have full therapy departments with all three disciplines, high-tech equipment and lots of activity. Our departments are seen as bright spots in these facilities, helping to create vibrant environments. Patients, like Kenny, stop back to say hello because friendships are formed and because they are appreciative of the care we provide.
Yes, it’s important that we work within the constraints of Medicare and comply with regulations. It’s important that we do our jobs in an efficient manner, too. But what it really comes down to is helping people get better so they can live life to its fullest. Isn’t that why we became therapists? For patients like Kenny. His recipe is below.