In today's everchanging healthcare climate, recruits looking for jobs are looking at a lot of red carpeting laid out before them. There are ample jobs available and a shortage of people to fill them. Therapy Specialists has long prided itself on a workplace that stands above other rehab providers. Our longevity in the industry as well as our recognition as being a top workplace within San Diego for 6 years by the San Diego Business Journal speaks to our success. But rather than us tell you why we're one of the best workplaces, we'll let our own employees tell you because they say it best!
Recently we had our Director of Partnerships, Keith Carson, sit down with one of our Director of Rehab services, Dhiraj Poojari, and talk candidly about why he chose Therapy Specialists as a workplace and what he finds so fulfilling about working in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) . Here's what he had to say:
Q: You probably had a number of places in which you could have worked, and so I'm curious as to why you chose to work at Therapy Specialists?
A: Oh well, for one, the reputation that Therapy Specialists had, to be the best place to work. Four, five, six years in a row, that says a lot. When you have employees liking the place that they work at, liking the company that they work at, you know they have good work ethic. And that means a lot to me, and that was the primary reason I switched to Therapy Specialists. And in the last four years I can totally vouch for it. I'm very happy working at this place.
Q: You could have picked a number of different settings to work in as well, whether it's home health, whether it's outpatient, whether it's in the acute, and you chose a skilled nursing facility. I'm curious about your interest in geriatrics and specifically serving older adults.
A: Absolutely, that has a lot to do with my background. My Master's degree is in neuro science, motor control and while I was at the University of Delaware we did a lot of research on aging of the neuro system, so it was a very geriatric oriented research work that I spent a few years doing. My primary interest was in aging, so it was not just working with the senior population per se, but all the changes that a body undergoes in the muscular skeletal system, the nervous system, the cardiovascular system and how your body copes with it.
And as for why I chose a skilled nursing setting, just knowing how fragile that population is, I think we can have the most impact in a in a skilled nursing setting because I think the amount of time that the therapist gets to spend with patients is considerably more than any other healthcare worker gets to spend with the patient, be it nurses, physicians or anyone who works with the patients per se. Being a therapist, I thought this was the best way to use my skills to work in the area of my interest, and to create the most impact.
And also working in a CCRC community like the one I work in, we have the entire spectrum of care. We get the patients coming straight from an acute care hospital, and therefore we get to spend a lot of time with the patient, get them to a level where they can then transition over and go home with whatever level of assistance they need at that point to be safe. Furthermore, we can always transition them over to home health, or the services that we provide in the campus includes home health and outpatient services, so there's a good continuity of care. I can have the same therapist following the patient from the moment they came out of surgery till the moment they're completely independent in all different kinds of settings because their needs change based on what kind of setting they're in.
Q: What is your focus or philosophy to the patient in the skilled nursing facility? I know you can see a number of different diagnoses, and that approach is probably going to be customized based off of the diagnoses, but just your overarching kind of philosophy on caring for the patient in the skilled nursing facility.
A: Regardless of the diagnoses, when a patient comes from an acute hospital to a transitional care unit like our skilled nursing facility, the main focus for anyone, actually the number one question that we get when we go in to see the patient when they come in is how long they have to be in that setting. As you can imagine, the patient is eager to go home. Regardless of how good the care is, regardless of how wonderful the people are, it's still not home unless they live there.
Q: What do you find most fulfilling about your job working in a skilled nursing facility on a CCRC campus?
A: Well, as a therapist it's just like I said. We are the most hands on with the patient. You get to know the patient, not just as a medical record number, you get to know the patient as a person. They have a history, and while working with them we get to learn that historty. Most of our poulation is over the age of 65, so these are folks that have been through war, and traveled the world. They have amazing, amazing stories. And if you think about it, these are people who find themselves in this kind of a setting 24/7 for the next few days or weeks. If you're spending the time with the therapist, working on something physical, you end up opening up about a lot of topics that can touch the emotional side and actually it helps a lot with progress. It helps build the trust, which is why the continuity of care helps.
They also have beautiful family members that come in and visit. It's just amazing. The whole experience of getting to touch someone's life, I guess is best accomplished as a therapist, than any other profession. No other profession I can think of can you get so intimate with people and their past and their stories.
We at Therapy Specialists recognize that any new grad or veteran therapist has plenty of options when choosing where to work. We also want you to know that we understand the value of a good employee. We make a pledge to every new hire to provide a workplace that will support you, embrace you, challenge you, and grow with you because at the end of the day we recognize we provide a service, and this service is only as good as those who provide it! If you'd like to join our team, or learn more about the positions we have available, please contact our HR department: