February 15, 2021 | Net Health

3 Minute Read

How Rehab Therapists at SNFs Can Manage Stress and Burnout Due to Staffing Challenges

“We’re living through unprecedented times,” is something we’ve heard nearly every day since the pandemic began almost a year ago. Hearing this quote is one thing — actually living it is another. And right now, rehab therapists everywhere are living it. 

Since the pandemic began, thousands of rehab therapists have been reassigned from their respective facilities to emergency and intensive care units, to address a potential surge of COVID-19 admissions. Now, skilled nursing facilities are struggling to retain adequate staffing, all while grappling with operational changes that can ensure the safety of therapists and residents alike. 

Rehab therapists are tired, frustrated, and most prominently, burnt out. The question remains: How can we manage stress and burnout due to staffing challenges during these unprecedented times? The answer may lie in a nimble SNF management software solution.

The Current State of Staffing Challenges Among SNFs

It’s no secret that there are current staffing challenges among skilled nursing facilities. SNFs and post-acute rehab facilities rely on nearly 1.2 million healthcare personnel, ranging from licensed practical nurses to rehabilitation therapists, personal care aides, and more.¹ Between the pandemic and the accompanying infection-prevention and control practices, the demands on nursing home staff have escalated an already critical shortage.

With current pandemic restrictions, there are limited times and shifts that SNF staff can work. Rehab therapists are often restricted to one section of their facility and must turn to messaging, FaceTime, and telehealth software to replicate their previous day-to-day operations. These limitations can create stress, essentially trapping them in specific sections of their facility and ceasing face-to-face interaction with other staff members. 

Manage Stress and Burnout with Reliable Solutions 

With more piled onto rehab therapists’ plates than ever before, the pandemic has pressured skilled nursing facilities to demand more from their electronic health record (EHR) systems. Rehab therapists require a SNF therapy software that connects with the existing EHR to drive functionality, communication, and engagement. Fortunately, SNF/Rehab management software can do just that. 

An effective therapy EMR can assist in alleviating stress.

Additional methods to leverage their EHR system despite staffing challenges include:

  • Utilizing the efficient scheduling tools in their therapy EMR
  • Utilizing the messaging capability in their therapy EMR.
  • Use secure videoconferencing and messaging to expand the ability for patient care.
  • Leverage reporting and analysis tools to monitor and evaluate operations.

Even with a reduced staff, these methods can help streamline a therapist’s daily duties—as well as newfound additional duties—to encourage them to thrive. An efficient EHR system allows rehab therapists to save time and energy on repeated tasks, so more time can be spent with patients. But most importantly, a functional EHR empowers rehab therapists to reclaim their own time, so they can confidently manage stress and burnout.

Despite not being together in person, virtual tools, like Zoom or Skype, can alleviate the isolation therapists may be feeling. Timely, effective communication is at the heart of reducing stress and anxiety during these unprecedented times.

Allow Therapists to Confidently Navigate the New Normal Together 

Throughout these past few months, skilled nursing facilities have found ways to navigate these unknown, and often confusing, times together. It’s important to empower rehab therapists with solutions that allow them to celebrate their wins, remain connected, and manage stress and burnout. 

Software solutions provide skilled nursing facilities and continuing care retirement communities with the industry’s leading SNF management software to streamline operational workflows, improve patient care and outcomes, and alleviate the burden. 

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1 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “COVID-19 Intensifies Nursing Home Workforce Challenges,” October 19, 2020. 

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