Coming to a skilled nursing facility to live or for a short-term rehabilitation stay can be very stressful experience for most people. Because there’s no place like home, most people fear losing independence when someone else is providing the most basic care needs such as bathing and dressing, eating or toileting. Experiencing the unknown is not easy; the more we understand and the most information a person has, may lessen the associated stress. When people come to a Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services facility, they are able to interact with friendly staff at all levels. The Liberty facilities take a person centered approach to care, realizing that it is much more than just addressing the medical need. It is also about helping to meet the needs of the whole person. The accommodations at Liberty are much nicer as well; most with private rooms offering more of a hotel type atmosphere.
What can a person expect on admission? The first thing that helps reduce a person’s anxiety level is meeting a friendly person who can explain what is about to happen. The Certified Nursing Assistant (C N A) is usually this first person seen, followed by the attending nurse. The C N A is the first greeter in most cases engaging the person in conversation with an introduction of themselves and a welcome followed by other questions that will help the person feel better about the experience. C N A’s play a critical role in a facility because they are seen more frequently than other staff and they are the people responsible to help meet the ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living).
The second person usually seen is the attending nurse. The nurse engages the person in conversation while asking a number of questions including whether they wear eye glasses, dentures, or a hearing aid. The nurse asks about any pain or discomfort the patient may have and whether they have any allergies to food or medication.
In addition, an overall evaluation is done to look at skin conditions including current wounds, abrasions, or surgical incisions that need special attention. At some point early in the arrival, the nurse or the C N A will also obtain vital signs and get an initial weight of the person to ensure a good starting point to the rehabilitative process. All of this data is entered into the patient’s secure electronic medical record (EMR), and will be reviewed by a physician that works for the facility.
The third individual seen is usually a representative from the dietary department. They ask about any food likes and dislikes. The dietary department reviews any specific diet restrictions and communicates with nursing anything relating to food and diet needs as ordered by the referring physician.
The Physical, Occupational, and or Speech therapists are the next team members who do an initial evaluation to determine the course of action in regard to beginning therapy. The goal of the therapy department is to get the person as independent as they were prior to whatever episode happened and back home safely enjoy the things they love to do.
Other key people that engage the patient are the Business Office Manager and Admission Coordinator. The Business Office Manager talks about insurance coverage and how the billing works especially in regards to Medicare and Medicaid coverage. The Admission Coordinator meets with the person to go over guidelines; the rights of the patient while having them sign a number of papers including a Consent to Treat, Advance Directives, and release of information. The Activities Director reviews the extra opportunities to engage the person in leisure activities such as singing, bingo, auctions, movies, and a number of other great opportunities to help the person relax and take their minds off of their medical issues at hand.
When considering a place for rehabilitation or for long term extended care, the importance of staff within a facility offering kind words, a genuine smile, and simply explaining the process, speaks volumes in the recovery process. At Liberty Health and Rehabilitation Services, our goal is to strive to make the patient experience, the best it can be.