BY SABRINA BATES
DRESDEN (October 6) – The last 18 months have brought challenges and changes to the medical field. On a local level, the locally-owned, taxpayer-owned skilled nursing facility, Weakley County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center located just outside of Dresden, has seen its share of adjustments. Steven Totty now leads the team at WCRNC. Totty joined the facility about three months ago and has already expanded on the above-industry standard level of care provided to patients of the facility.
Totty went from a private, corporate-owned company in a local town to the country setting of Weakley County Rehab and Nursing. In just a few months, Totty says this is the best facility he has had the pleasure of working with.
The new Administrator’s experience in the medical field as a registered nurse, along with his Master’s degree in Business Administration, made for a good fit at WCRNC. Totty’s background in accounting, supervising and health care was a trifecta of experience. At his home away from home, Totty is learning the county-owned facility offers a higher staffing ratio than those in the corporate world. He said it isn’t uncommon to see private-owned facilities with one Certified Nursing Assistant for every 15 patients. At WCRNC, that number is drastically reduced, with above the industry standard staffing. There is more flexibility with funding, allowing for better quality of service down to the food served to the residents. Dietary and housekeeping services aren’t contracted out. Instead, WCRNC hires its own staff to handle cleaning and food service.
WCRNC, a skilled nursing facility, offers patients in-patient rehabilitation services and a staff of medical professionals. WCRNC contracts services to offer physical, occupational and speech therapy for its residents, using people from the community to provide therapy. Psychological services are even offered for residents.
“We want to be the best place in Tennessee and provide positive outcomes for all of our residents. Our goal for the rehabilitation center is to take the best care of them short-term, so their stay at home is as long as possible,” Totty said. With a rehabilitation wing on premises, WCRNC offers short and long-term rehabilitation. Not all residents are long-term residents of Weakley County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
As for long-term residents’ care, Totty said the team is constantly incorporating activities into their daily routines. “It’s a big part of their lives and gives them something to look forward to,” the Administrator shared.
Every room is equipped with a television and landline phone. Residents are free to accept and make phone calls. Staff members even offer video-chatting for residents and their families, which has become a popular activity amidst the COVID health pandemic.
The pandemic created many challenges for medical facilities, but especially for residents and their family members. WCRNC has an in-house infection preventionist, who tracks daily case counts to develop the safest plans for residents. After navigating through the changing rules dealing with safety and handling cost issues with PPE, Totty and his team say they are starting to see signs of relief. Residents and family members can now enjoy visits with one another outside.
While a new normal may be created among the family at WCRNC, the family and attention to quality care remain the same. Totty has made some personnel changes in the last few months at the facility.
Holly Woodrough, a long-time health care professional, is the new Director of Nursing. Brittany Mitchell, the former Activities Director, is now the facility’s Assistant Administrator. Kelly Harrison has moved into the position of Activities Director. Jennifer Conner serves as the Marketing Director for WCRNC. She has spent much of her career forging relationships with medical providers in the West Tennessee area and continues those partnerships through the county-owned, skilled nursing facility.
“Residents become your family. Staff becomes your family. We have a big family and are looking to add to that family,” Totty shared. With 136 beds, WCRN has room to grow. The team is also looking to recruit highly-qualified staff members.
To find more information about services, staffing and levels of care, contact WCRNC at 731-364-3158. The skilled nursing facility also has a website, www.weakleycountynursinghome.com, and all community members on social media are encouraged to give the locally-owned facility a “like” and “share” on Facebook as the staff works to keep residents connected to the community.