Birds of Different Feathers

Improving Work Relationships

Are you objective, analytical, and logical? Are you a natural team player? Are you lively and entertaining? Are you a natural born leader? The answer to these questions and more may help you to better understand your work style, but more importantly, the work style of your coworkers.

We all have unique personalities and different learning styles. What you appreciate about your work may be different from what others appreciate about their work. What do you think a lot about, value in others, enjoy or dislike? What you have trouble dealing with may be unique to your work style. Knowing and understanding what makes you and your coworkers unique may better strengthen your relationships.

Recently at Premier Care Center, we began a distinctive training style to identify ourselves and our work style. We then share with our coworkers each other‘s work styles in an attempt to strengthen our work relationships. The therapy department took on a fun adventure to better understand our own traits and those of us on our team and how we may improve. We were introduced to a training course called “Birds of Different Feathers”. It is a quick Personal Work Style Self-Assessment. Once everyone has completed the assessment they use the score on the assessment to identify their own ‘Bird Style’. Once you know your bird, you may read the course information that identifies your unique characteristics. Knowing more about yourself is only half the fun. Once everyone shares their own unique ‘Bird Style’ with the group, then we were all able to discuss and learn about each other.

Some don’t like to be micro-managed. Some are natural ‘cheerleaders’ and thrive on the creative energy of groups. Some will respond well when they can be given autonomy and the opportunity to exercise their best professional judgment. Some prefer not to be criticized or embarrassed in front of other people. They are sensitive and care deeply what others think of them.

It was quite enlightening to learn about our teammates. We now use this ‘Bird Style’ terms when we speak to each other and it has given us deeper insight into how better to communicate together. We even presented the course to the Premier Care Center Leadership Team, and they have fully embraced it as well. More recently it was presented to the Ensign Therapy Resources as a culture training piece. So what kind of a bird are you?

Are you an Owl – a data collector? Are you a Dove – a collaborator? Are you a Peacock – an artist/creator? Are you a Hawk – a decision maker? Find out your own unique ‘Bird Style’ and how are you may better influence your communication with your team or coworkers by taking the training on ‘Birds of Different Feathers’.

So what kind of a bird are you?

Assessment: Personal Work Style Assessment (pdf file)
Training: Birds of Different Feathers (pdf file)

Be sure to take the assessment first, then the training.

Improving the Cognitive Skills of Patients with Community Project to Support Animal Shelter





Janet Denney, SLP at Owyhee Health and Rehabilitation in Homedale Idaho, is not only improving the cognitive skills of her patients, but is also involving them in a community project that supports a local animal shelter. As part of their cognitive rehabilitation, she integrates following instructions, sequencing and problem solving to make Cut and Tie blankets. These blankets are then donated to Pet Haven Cat Adoption Center.

Janet has 25 years experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist and has spent 30 years working with animal rescues. Janet realized she could blend these experiences for something special. According to Janet, “Most people love animals, and making the blankets makes them feel useful. That’s what people lose when they are in long term care”. She also said that the shelters go through them pretty fast so there is always a need for more.

Pet Haven was so happy with the blanket donations, they took the time to send a letter of gratitude. They also provided photos of the cats looking very cozy with their new gifts!

A huge thank you to Janet for not only providing excellent care to her patients, but also involving them in a great community project.



Who inspired you to become a therapist?




“I think it’s important to remember that the person you are caring for is or was someone’s daughter or son, mother or father, husband or wife. And someday, that could be a loved one or even you.”

Jennifer Kuehn, PT, DPT, WCC
Director of Rehab
The Villas at Sunny Acres



What inspired you to pursue a career in aging services?




“I didn’t always know I wanted to work in aging services until after a few years in sports medicine. I was big into sports growing up and to this day, and always wanted to help athletes rehab from their injuries. I realized after seeing more and more elderly patients come into the clinics with a smile on their face and appreciation for what we do, made me want to pursue these patients more and more.”

Jeremy Nelson
Rehab Director & Physical Therapist
Carmel Mountain Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center



Helping others progress through the aging process with comfort and dignity




“It is a career that will tug at your heart strings. Your days will be filled with a wide range of emotions and hard work, but at the end of the day, your heart will be full.”

Patty Fantauzzo
Therapy Program Manager
Julia Temple Health Care Center



First ENspire Grants Awarded



Congratulations to the first two recipients of the ENspire grant program! Inaugural projects receiving ENspire funds include “Focused Occupational Therapy Interventions for Clients with Heart Failure in Skilled Nursing Facilities” and “Translating Evidence Based Mental Health interventions in a Skilled Nursing Facility Environment.”

ENspire is a seed money grant program designed to support therapy graduate students who want to elevate evidence-based therapy practice in post-acute rehabilitation and dignify long term care in the eyes of the world. More information and an application form can be found on the ENspire page.


 

Focused Occupational Therapy Interventions for Clients with Heart Failure in Skilled Nursing Facilities
The ultimate goal of the SNF is to help clients stabilize their medical conditions and attain their therapy goals so that they can return home (Orr, Boxer, Dolansky, Allen, & Forman, 2016). However, approximately 27% of heart failure (HF) clients are readmitted to the hospital after being discharged from the SNF (Allen et al., 2011). High readmission rates may be due to the cognitive, psychosocial, and lifestyle barriers HF clients face. However, interventions in the SNF tend to be emphasized on activities of daily living (ADLs) and therapeutic exercise (Rafeedie, Metzler, & Lamb, 2018). This project aims to create and implement a clinical pathway for occupational therapists (OT) within SNFs, in order to address patient barriers and improve the quality of care. To create the clinical pathway, needs assessments in the form of interviews and Likert surveys will be conducted at Ensign SNFs. The project team will create a clinical pathway addressing the identified gaps in OT practice with evidence-based research. The project team will present the clinical pathway to Ensign OTs in northern California. A survey will collect feedback from the OTs on strengths of the pathways, areas to improve, gaps to be addressed, areas of concern, and the likeliness that the pathway could be used effectively in a SNF. In addition, online modules and surveys will be created for Ensign OTs who cannot be at the presentation. The project team will incorporate the feedback into the clinical pathway and present the finished product to Ensign Facility Services.

Principal Contact: Elena Vaccaro
Study Collaborators: In Hwa Chae and Camille Schilling

Translating Evidence Based Mental Health interventions in a Skilled Nursing Facility Environment
The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a workshop and toolkit to enhance occupational therapists’ (OTs) skills in providing evidence based mental health interventions in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Based on the literature physical and social environmental factors are barriers limiting residents in achieving their highest occupational performance. Within a SNF, OTs are currently not practicing mental health interventions rather they are focusing on therapeutic exercise and therapeutic activities. OTs are expressing concerns in their scope of practice regarding being client-centered in a SNF due to the inability to engage residents in preferred occupations. Within the scope of practice, OTs are trained in mental health interventions and are skilled in analyzing environment and contextual factors that impact occupational performance. OTs are in a strong position to implement mental health interventions into a SNF. Due to the gap in service delivery, a workshop and a clinical toolkit will translate evidencebased mental health interventions for residents with a serious mental illness (SMI) in a SNF. This will equip OTs in the SNF to better serve the needs of residents with a SMI. The OTs participating in the workshop and receiving the toolkit are working in an Ensign affiliated SNF within the United States. The outcome measures of the project will come from surveys.

Principal Contact: Cecelia Ly-Peh
Study Collaborators: Jan Martha Conducto and Natalie Barrales

What’s Up in Walla Walla

Check out some of the latest snapshots and video from the field, featuring the Therapy Team at Park Manor Rehab Center in Walla Walla, Washington. Thank you for sharing your accomplishments, Sonya Taylor, OTR/L, Director of Rehab!

Park Manor raised over $3,500 for the EEF (Ensign Emergency Fund) to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The son of a PTA brought his piggy bank to pour into the EEF collection jar that was eventually filled with $240 in loose change!

Park Manor Therapy Team was represented in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Lots of bright colors and smiles to share!

Preparing a meal with the Park Manor team at the Christian Aide Center. PT and ST and her family helped with the cooking and OT and his family helped with the serving along with other Park Manor staff.

Fiddle Mitt Fiddle Mitt – For our lower level dementia patients to utilize when restless.