Some days in home health are MESSY. There’s no other way to put it. You have a patient in the middle of the day cancel, your first asks to be seen later in the day, and your clinical manager hasn’t processed their work flow, so that patient you planned on seeing is no longer feasible. There went that day’s schedule. Oh, and to top it all off, a patient’s family is calling you incessantly to ask you about each piece of equipment that they think might help. “No, I actually don’t think the hiking stick will suffice for your balance impaired husband, Mrs. Jones.”
Beware of the lone wolf!!!! Every office member, physical therapist, nurse, occupational therapist or social worker knows at least one. They are the co-worker you never see or hear from. Emails go unanswered and calls unreturned. This is the story of the lone wolf. Be wise and heed the warning.
One of the first tricks I learned when I entered home health was the “Floater” or “Flex” patient. The Floater is the patient who saves your bacon time and time again. He or she is most likely a very sweet or possibly minorly confused older adult who is as flexible as a palm tree in a hurricane.
There are some clinicians who struggle nightly to determine a schedule for the following day because they prefer it that way. For most though, the nightmare of scheduling is best solved in one swoop. These clinicians know that their weekly (or in some cases, bi-weekly) battle with determining who they’ll be seeing and when, is worth the sweat it costs, because ultimately it saves them tremendous challenge and hardship during the week.
Occupational therapy is difficult to pin down, define, and explain to patients (even doctors struggle from time to time). So feel no shame about struggling to understand what it is that OTs do. That being said, we’ll start with what they don’t do: OT, despite the name, is not about getting anyone employed. It’s also not just another name for physical therapy- our cousins in the therapy world. So then, what is it that they actually do? And when is it appropriate to refer to them?
Speech is so critical to the essence of our function that it's hard to imagine anyone without it, and yet many are robbed of their very voice through pathology or pure bad luck. But what a SLP or Speech Language Pathologist does is so much more than helping return a person's voice and ability to communicate. The full breadth of this incredible profession is rarely understood, making speech language pathologist often underutilized. We hope to bring a better understanding to what they do and when to send them a referral.