skilled nursing facility

Skilled nursing facility benefits

A skilled nursing facility is a healthcare facility with at least one full-time registered nurse and a doctor on staff (many facilities have significantly more at any given time), offers nursing care 24 hours a day, and has a location to store and administer medicine. Meals and personal hygiene are also assisted by the employees in skilled care facilities.

After being released from the hospital, many patients travel to a skilled nursing facility to rehabilitate or mend after an injury, sickness, or surgery. They are cared for in a skilled nursing facility until they are able to return home. While this concept appears wide, a skilled nursing facility (SNF) is defined by a few particular characteristics.

  • SNFs are frequently utilized for short-term stays following medical treatment.
  • SNFs provide sophisticated services such as therapy and physician assessments.
  • SNFs frequently focus on a certain patient population or people with unique medical requirements.

Skilled nursing facility services

A skilled nursing facility provides a variety of other services. Among them include, but are not limited to:


Nursing refers to all of the everyday care that a patient receives to help them recover. Everything from daily meds to physical exams to bathing, feeding, and activity help. In a skilled nursing facility, you may see different types of nurses that can support a patient during their stay.

Physical Rehabilitation

Physical therapy (PT) is used to aid with strength and stamina and is offered by qualified therapists. In a skilled nursing facility, most patients receive some type of physical therapy. Depending on the patient’s needs, the types of therapy and the degree of that therapy vary substantially.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is defined as the instruction and practice of certain life skills. Occupational therapy at a skilled nursing facility frequently includes teaching and practicing skills that have become more difficult as a result of an accident or disease. 

Certain injuries and diseases can make opening doors, getting in and out of automobiles much more difficult. Occupational therapists provide the skills needed to safely overcome these challenges.

Speech therapy

Speech therapy is frequently used to examine individuals in a skilled nursing facility who may have trouble swallowing. Swallowing necessitates the use of several muscles in the mouth and throat. They can grow weak, much like any other muscle, causing difficulties swallowing. To deal with these challenges, speech therapists are qualified to give therapy and nutrition recommendations.

Respiratory Treatments

Patients with diseases including pneumonia, asthma, and COPD need respiratory therapists (RTs) to help them recover. These practitioners conduct therapy to assist people improve their breathing and coughing capacity. While not commonly found in a skilled nursing facility, you may see some RTs on staff.

Other programs

While a skilled nursing facility provides many forms of rehabilitation, they also provide specialized care for patients with certain illnesses. Some examples are:

  • Stroke program
  • Parkinson’s disease treatment
  • Antibiotic administration
  • Wound care

What distinguishes a skilled nursing facility from a nursing home?

The most significant distinction is that a skilled nursing facility offers a greater degree of specialized care. Nursing homes are built to provide more generic care, which does not always need a higher degree of qualification or expertise. Of course, organizations that provide high-quality care will employ personnel who have obtained professional training.

Nursing homes, on the other hand, can have employees with the expertise and credentials required to offer general, continuous care and medical supervision. In other words, a nursing home can choose to hire skilled experts, whereas qualified specialists are required in a skilled nursing facility. 

Nursing homes are frequently less able to cope with rehabilitation from an acute illness or recovering function lost after a hospital stay because they lack the specialized training necessary as found in a skilled nursing facility. Physical rehab, cardiac treatment, pulmonary treatment, post-stroke recuperation, wound management, and speech therapy are all therapies that are not likely to be offered in a nursing home.

Assistance with activities of daily life (bathing, eating, etc. ), hemodialysis, medication reminders, blood sugar monitoring, and insulin injections are all services that can be provided in nursing homes. The distinction is that nursing homes provide these services in a full-time environment, whereas a skilled nursing facility provides them in a much more medically intense, short-term setting.

What Is the Difference Between a Skilled Nursing Facility and an Inpatient Medical Rehabilitation Facility?

A skilled nursing facility and inpatient rehabilitation facility provides similar treatments, but at varying levels of intensity. Inpatient rehabilitation centers provide therapy for many hours every day, whereas a skilled nursing facility will only do so once or twice a week.

For people with specific ailments or in certain stages of health, the less frequent and rigorous therapy provided by a skilled nursing facility may be more appropriate. Doctors, nurses, and therapists collaborate to establish which sort of facility will benefit patients the best.

A Skilled Nursing Facility’s Advantages

A patient’s recuperation depends on the services provided by a skilled nursing facility. This is typically referred to as transitional care since it occurs after a hospitalization and continues until the patient is well enough to return home. There are various reasons why skilled nursing facilities are beneficial:

  • Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Nurses and personnel are available 24 hours a day to assist if an issue arises.
  • Physical exercise.¬†Exercise is frequently a crucial component of healing.¬†Depending on a patient’s condition, many exercise choices are available.
  • Socialization. Socialization can also aid a patient’s recuperation.¬†Different forms of social activities are frequently included in the everyday routine.

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