By Dawn Thompson, DOR, Victoria Post Acute Care, El Cajon, CA
Hope everyone has been staying safe and healthy. Here is an update from the Hidden Gem of East County, Victoria Post Acute Care [Yes, that was really once a slogan of VPAC).

VPAC has continued to accept COVID + patients, and as of August 16, there had been approximately 140 COVID admissions and 95 discharges to the community (25 skilled currently). Our entire VPAC team has continued to embrace the adversity of COVID as a challenge to overcome and catalyst for learning and growth. We’ve been honored to discharge so many residents home with family members and to prior living situations. The joy on residents’ and staff’s faces when escorted out the front doors on a red carpet to waiting family members is priceless. We’re looking forward to crossing the triple digit threshold for community discharges.

Over the last few months, there have been many non-COVID-related changes within our department. Lead PT, Melissa, had a baby and has been out on maternity leave, and our wonderful SLP transitioned to a building in Texas. We’ve welcomed two new team members and are excited for their added contribution to the team. We continue to complete the LEAF form weekly for COVID-related time within the facility to have a true picture of department productivity.

Another major change within our department is the inclusion of the RNA team. The therapy team has absorbed the RNAs fully as rehab team members. The RNAs moved into the therapy gym, contribute in team meetings and participate in team building lunches/potlucks. This has allowed for greater relationship building and communication between therapists and RNAs. The increased conversation, coupled with our LTC screening process and new QM weekly meeting, have resulted in more referrals for LTC evaluations. We hope to continue developing LTC programming to better serve our VPAC residents [and increase PNSD].

We consistently find reasons to celebrate — this summer, we have had wedding celebrations, baby showers, birthday parties, goodbye and welcome parties. It’s become part of our weekly routine to have lunch together on Tuesdays. [See attached photos of celebrations].

Last month, I was invited to lead the culture portion of the resource call. We explored the Enneagram and team dynamics. I also had the opportunity to be a part of a COVID-19 Rehab Panel for the San Diego District CPTA (thank you, Sam). I was asked to share my experience and what I’ve learned from an outbreak with the facility and accepting positive patients from the community along with staying safe in the SNF setting, IDT treatment approach and mental health of COVID and SNF residents. It was a great experience exchanging information and experiences with peers.

As we persevere through the pandemic, I am often reminded how fortunate I am to have such wonderful teammates. I continue to be the proudest team leader.

Keep staying safe, wash your hands and wear a mask.