Interviewing tips for finding ethical SNFs

interview tips

I’ve answered emails regarding finding a good job for many therapists, so I thought it was about time I write it up into a blog post.

Some of the most frequent questions I get is from clinicians are:

  1. Do you know of an ethical rehab company?
  2. How do I know if a company is ethical?

The answer: Directors seem to make the biggest difference in whether you have an ethical experience or not. Take time to get to know the director and ask them questions. Don’t be afraid of turning off directors with questions about ethical care. If they won’t hire you because you asked questions about ethical care, do you want to work for them? Of course not.

Books like this are great in helping you ask questions. Stop worrying so much about how you will answer questions. Asking questions is the best way to get an idea of if the job is right for you.

Here are a few other ideas for interviewing a building, team, or job:

  • Talk to other therapists. Ask questions, but also assess their level of stress. If you talk to two people on a team that are flustered and stress, could it be a product of the team (rather than just a bad day)? Shadow for half a day if you can.
  • Get a tour of the building. I look to see if residents have their hair brushed and matching clothes, food on their face or clothing, and whether the halls smell like urine. These are all signs that CNAs care and aren’t overworked. This is super important when you want to get CNA and nursing buy-in to adopt dysphagia or cognitive-communication strategies.
  • Ask about the activities department and how they scale for varying levels of cognition. Bored residents are unhappy residents. Better activities will mean you have to learn the schedule and your patients’ interests, so you can schedule therapy around activities. However, happier patients are worth it!
  • Beware of interviews that purely consist of logistics (e.g. when you can start, availability, etc.) The interview should be about finding a good match for both of you. If they don’t care if you are a match or a good clinician, run.
  • If that hourly rate sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Medicare reimburses the same amount for services at building A as they do building B down the street. Consider why one building would pay so much more. Also, consider vacation time or paid time off. Our jobs can be stressful and we need to take real vacations (opposed to making up for time off on the weekend).
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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  • Kelly Brewer

    Great post! I am a rehab manager- don’t be afraid to ask me what my productivity expectations are. Ask me how patients/residents are scheduled- do the therapists recommend a session length/frequency or is it driven by an administrative goal or algorithm? Ask me what is the process when a resident stops making progress or reaches a plateau. Just a few questions I don’t mind, because I’m not ashamed of my answers :)

    • SpeechJan

      Great questions to add to my list! I’m interviewing for an SNF/rehab center, coming from 5 years in the schools and I have no idea what types of questions to ask for this setting! Those are very important! Thanks again

  • Pat Zureich

    Wow, great post. Great topic. Thanks!

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