Meet HTS SHEro Jessica Duffy
You may be asking yourself, what exactly is a SHEro? A SHEro is a woman admired for her courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities; a heroine. The pandemic has made it clear that HTS has been blessed with many heros and sheros but for this story from the field’s purposes we will focus on Jessica.
“Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader, they set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role…always about the goal.” Author Unknown
Jessica is an OTR and Regional Director who has been with HTS for 13 years. Like many HTS facilities, staffing became cumbersome due to a COVID-19 outbreak resulting in therapists being unable to provide therapy at multiple buildings. This has become common practice and is done in order to mitigate risk of exposure. Jessica knew there was a need and immediately jumped in to help navigate this all too familiar situation. Census soon began increasing a couple months after the pandemic began. Jessica took swift action to assist with the staffing issue which ensued. She began by facilitating and setting-up PT with telehealth treatment sessions. Jessica herself also served as the primary therapist and OTR for the facility. As she juggled her primary responsibilities to provide support and management for her region, she also provided patient care to ensure each patient received the vital therapy services needed.
“Ultimately, it is our responsibility to the patients we serve to figure out a way to make it work” said Jessica. And make it work she did! According to Jessica and the therapy team, the most challenging aspect of an outbreak within a SNF is logistics. Scheduling of patients becomes tricky at times as does assuring all precautions are appropriately taken to keep the staff and the families they return home to safe. Jessica does have a tip for other facilities going through a similar situation… over-communicate. Educating nursing staff on patient needs observed during therapy (which are constantly changing and evolving) is of utmost importance. Communication of isolation, environmental stimulation techniques, and activity engagement to combat contagion and depression risks are some examples of the training Jessica has provided facility staff members.
Jessica is encouraging fellow therapists to assure they are taking time for themselves and engaging in activities that are fulfilling. Jessica herself likes to spend time with her family outdoors which has helped her refocus during stressful, overwhelming times. Just as many of our star therapists in the field, Jessica has gone above and beyond and for that we thank her (and you)!
Past Stories From the Field can be found on the HTS Portal. Have a great “Hoping & Coping Story from the Field ” you would like to share with fellow HTS therapists?