Horizon Ridge: Looking Back on COVID

Aug 9, 2022

To this day, very few of the employees in Horizon Ridge Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center’s COVID unit have ever tested positive for the virus. Considering the fears of many healthcare workers at the height of the pandemic, this fact is remarkable.

Now that California and Nevada’s daily cases are relatively low and experts are predicting that another global pandemic is all but certain, it’s time to find actionable lessons we can take from our experiences.

That’s what Rhett Jensen, administrator of Horizon Ridge, is doing. As a young cancer survivor, Jensen has a deep respect for nurses and has prioritized relationship-building throughout the facility. Running one of the area’s few transitional COVID units, the lessons he has learned are well worth sharing: eliminating tension between admins and nurses, prioritizing PPE, and erring on the side of caution.

Eliminate Tension between Admins and Nurses

After two years of surgeries and several grueling rounds of chemotherapy, Rhett’s cancer was gone. As Rhett looks back now, the medical staff who helped him changed his life.

“While in the care of these facilities, my respect and admiration for nursing staff definitely grew a lot,” he says. “The nurses in the infusion clinic are all like second mothers to me.”

Through this experience, Rhett gained immense respect for nurses, and he understands firsthand that nursing staff and administrators are often at odds with each other. In his position as administrator, listening to his staff before jumping in with a solution is key to remaining unified and fostering job satisfaction.

Prioritize PPE

Generations Healthcare didn’t limit spending on PPE. They authorized creative methods of gathering protective equipment when supplies were low due to the supply chain breakdown,like bidding on eBay or purchasing from Amazon.

“Gathering equipment from these places was more expensive than other places, but it was worth it to ensure the safety of our patients and staff,” Rhett says. “This enabled us to provide our employees with a safe environment so they felt comfortable coming to work and caring for our patients.

Err on the Side of Caution

“Caring for the infirm truly is a sacred trust,” Rhett says. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we were willing to take upon us the risk, liability, financial burdens, and logistics, because caring for the sick, elderly, and infirm is our calling—it’s not to do whatever is easiest. Generations supported us to do just that.”

Generations’ COVID guidelines were very strict. And because remarkably few of the staff in Horizon Ridge’s COVID unit ever tested positive for the virus, the team was able to give excellent, consistent care to each patient throughout all the changes of the pandemic.

As we move forward on the tail end of the pandemic, we can eliminate tension between admins and nurses, prioritize PPE, and err on the side of caution. As Rhett and his team found through their experience with their COVID unit, following these guidelines will lead to better results and a more unified team that is better able to give care to our patients.

Generations Healthcare began operations in January 1998 with a single, 89-bed skilled nursing facility. Today, Generations operates 28 skilled nursing facilities throughout California, along with one facility in Henderson, Nevada. The company also specializes in behavioral healthcare, with three dedicated mental health care facilities and plans to add more. Other specialities include memory care, assisted living and rehabilitation.

Generations Healthcare was founded upon the belief that caring for the sick, the elderly and the infirm is a special and sacred stewardship. Guided by the values of kindness, competence and compassion, Generations has established an excellent reputation in the communities served by its facilities because of its focus on quality, service and regard for the changes facing adults in today’s world. For more information about Generations Healthcare, visit www.lifegen.net