I’m Nervous About Starting My CFY in a SNF | Reader Question

By September 29, 2015 CFY No Comments
Dear Gray Matter Therapy

A new SLP graduate recently emailed me nervous about starting her CFY in a SNF. She gave me permission to share her comment and my response. Please share any recommendations you have for Julie in the comments.

Dear Gray Matter Therapy,

My name is Julie and I am a recent SLP graduate. I will be starting my first job as a CFY at a rehab center. The bulk of patients are seen for cognition or swallowing disorders. I am very nervous about starting and part of me worries that I will not be able to keep up with the productivity standard (82%). I subscribed to your blog but I was wondering if you can give me any tips or ways I can prepare before I start? Any assessments or intervention strategies that I should be familiar with? I would really appreciate any advice.




Thanks for emailing Gray Matter Therapy.

Here are a few tips for new SLPs in the skilled nursing rehab setting include:

  • Have a game plan for how you will assess swallowing function. Check out this blog post for some tips about what you should be looking for.
  • When it comes to cognitive treatment, try to understand the difference between a rehab approach and a habilitative approach for those with dementia. We can’t make people with dementia “better”, but we can help them function in their environments better. Becky Khayum and I wrote some articles that show examples of habilitative treatment. Developing Personally Relevant Goals for People with Mild Dementia and Developing Personally Relevant Goals for People with Moderate to Severe Dementia.
  • Also, check out this post from an SLP who completed her CFY in a SNF.
  • Finally, I would understand the role of your CFY supervisor and their responsibilities. ASHA has some great resources for CFs and their mentors. Understand both roles and try to build a great relationship with your CFY supervisor.
  • In regard to assessments, find out what assessments your building has and if there is any availability to borrow specialized assessments from sister buildings if needed. Start with what’s available to you. Also, develop a game plan for informal assessment, which I find incredibly helpful for developing functional goals. Check out this Gray Matter Therapy post about my favorite informal assessment question.
  • My advice to you is to not worry about productivity. Try to use your time as efficiently as you can, but don’t work off the clock to make the 82% productivity mark. When your company hired you, they knew you were a new graduate. New clinicians often need more time to get oriented to a new employment setting and providing patient care. Focus on excellent patient care and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great therapist!

I hope you have an excellent CFY experience! Best of luck!

Rachel Wynn

Rachel Wynn
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Rachel Wynn

Speech-Language Pathologist at Gray Matter Therapy
Rachel is a speech-language pathologist and creator of Gray Matter Therapy. She started making noise as a patient-centered care advocate in 2013. She believes great care happens when patients are informed and engaged.
Rachel Wynn
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