Clinicians Who Inspire – Colby Millen – June 2023

This month’s Clinician Who Inspires is Colby Millen, DOR and PTA at Forest Haven Nursing Home. Colby spoke quite a bit about taking a comprehensive approach to patient care. He and the therapy team use innovative thinking to foster successful patient outcomes.   Colby elaborated about a particular patient who had trouble stopping while ambulating, walking directly into walls in front of him.  This is where creative thinking was utilized. A remote-controlled car was placed at the end of the hallway. The patient was told that if he stopped before the car, not running into it, then it would be his turn with the remote.  The continuation of this person-centered approach worked, and the patient’s family was stunned by the success.

In addition, Colby credits interdisciplinary collaboration as a major asset to patient care planning. An example of this is the Fall Team at his facility. During root cause analysis discussions regarding a resident who was falling frequently, Colby remembers reaching out to the clinical team for any additional guidance. One of the suggestions was to “go back to the basics.” Colby and the team implemented the patient’s favorite music and prior occupation into skilled therapy sessions. They were amazed that “going back to the basics” proved to be the intervention that was successful. Interdisciplinary collaboration also shines in group therapy at Forest Haven Nursing Home.

Colby spoke about the good relationship between the therapy team and nursing at his facility. He said therapy and nursing share in-depth discussions about any patient changes and difficulties. He stressed the importance of bringing concerns immediately to nursing so they can act quickly and vice versa with nursing communicating with therapy.

Finally, Colby spoke about attending this month’s Lunch and Learn webinar. The presenter said something that really resonated with Colby, “What you do for me, you take from me.” Colby used the example of a patient who can transfer out of bed on their own but needs a little more time. If care staff helps this patient instead of allowing the patient to do this on their own, potentially, the resident could eventually lose that skill and ability. Colby, your thoroughness, critical thinking, and care for not just your patients, but also the therapy team and nursing staff, is an inspiration to us all! Thank you for being a Clinician Who Inspires!

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