Current Job Situation.

OT Month has me all inspired to talk about occupational therapy, and healthcare, and all things functional. In case you missed it, I added a page to the blog to collect all posts related to OT, and I thought a post about what the heck I actually do might be a good place to start.

So I’m a geriatric occupational therapist {primarily} and I work in a Skilled Nursing Facility or what we healthcare people often call a SNF (read: ‘sniff’). Tbh, the SNF setting was not my first choice when I was in school; mostly because there tends to be a bit of a stigma around SNFs. Specifically that they have a high employment turn-around because of high productivity standards and poor treatment of employees.

But friends, since starting my career in September I have found a new love for geriatrics, particularly within this setting.

I work for a large rehab company (one that will remain unnamed to respect the privacy and security standards of my employer), so we act as a contract service to the SNF that we are based in. We are a small team, comprised of PT, OT and SLP, and we serve a small single-level facility.

I love working for a small facility. I know every single resident by name, I interact with a majority of the day-time staff on a routine basis, and I’m not running around throughout a large facility to get to my patients.

Because we are a skilled nursing facility, we have some patients who are admitted for acute care with a heavy focus on rehabilitation intervention to increase strength and safety before returning home. And usually these skilled patients are coming to us after an acute hospitalization for something like pneumonia, the flu, a COPD exacerbation, or a surgical orthopedic procedure.

The other half of our facility is dedicated to patients who require long term care. Most of these residents are here because they have dementia that has progressed to the point where they require constant care that the family simply can’t provide anymore.

As far as therapy goes, we {of course} work with all of the skilled patients. But we also work with a quite a few of our LTC residents as well. With the skilled patients, the goal is often to build up strength, endurance, activity tolerance, and safety awareness to ensure that people can safely and independently return home. It usually takes about 2-3 weeks to get these folks up and running. With the LTC residents, the goal is a little different. We obviously know that we are not working towards a discharge home, so the intervention plan works more on increasing independence where we can, and identifying appropriate compensatory strategies to make up for what we can’t improve.

The job has its ups and downs just like any other job, but I truly am thrilled to be in the position I am, with the team that I’m a part of. The SNF setting is the perfect place to gain a generalized skill-set as a new grad, and I would 100% recommend any other new grad OT to find a job similar to mine.


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