Submitted by Cory Robertson, Therapy Resource, Idaho
Jace has been DOR at Temple View since October 2021 after being a staff PT at Gateway Transitional Care Center in Pocatello with Angela Anderson PT, DOR, who prepped him for leadership. Jace stepped in and hit the ground running and is such a pleasure to work with. He has a growth mindset and exemplifies CAPLICO. He is loved everywhere he goes and we are so fortunate to have him. He recently gave some perspective about some of the great things about being a PT in skilled nursing and specifically at an Ensign-affiliated facility:
I had no intention of working in a SNF through school. I, like many students who enter PT school, had every intention of working an outpatient ortho-type job. COVID-19 made that very difficult. When I graduated, I spoke to two OP clinics and one pediatric clinic who had some interest in me working with them, one of them a specialized manual therapy clinic that really interested me, but the general response was “We don’t know what our caseload will look like right now with COVID-19; we will get ahold of you in a few months.” I took a job at Gateway in the meantime, as it was the only interview that had offered me the job and there was no contract if I did leave earlier. I even did accept a job at the manual clinic part time for just a few days and quit to stay at Gateway.
SNFs have a really bad reputation in PT school, and the truth is I don’t really know why. There is a lot to love about working in an Ensign-affiliated SNF. First, the ‘customer second’ core value does make me feel valued and appreciated at my job. I know that Gateway has put effort into training me and helping me to become the best practitioner I can be, and they care about my professional development. I know that I have the freedom to take that professional development wherever I want. Do I want to focus on manual therapy, orthopedic conditions, neuro conditions like stroke or TBI, vestibular therapy, wound care, or functional interventions? Gateway is happy to support education and development in that direction, and the SNF setting does have enough variability in the patient population to get practice with those patients and develop what I want to do.
This leads well into the next point that is great about my job: there is a lot of freedom in this setting. There are general requirements for visits, but they are generally pretty broad and within those requirements there is a lot of freedom with what I want to do with them, how to get them to their goals, how long to work with them, and when to see them. The patients on my schedule need to be seen, but I can see them early in the day or late, I can leave work to make appointments and come back, however I need to work things out so they are seen but I can still fit that in however I need.
The last major point about what is so great about Gateway is the team and teamwork. Because there is so much care in developing the staff, the teams at our Ensign-affiliated facilities are excellent. They work well together, are great sources of more information and education, and are a great support. The teams I have worked with in our facilities have made the workday enjoyable, they have been fun to work with and have made me a better practitioner, too.