Taylor Nelson Empowers Excellence in the Therapy Department

Taylor Nelson, MRHC Physical Therapist

Taylor Nelson, MRHC Physical TherapistAs the Therapy Director at MRHC, Taylor Nelson, PT, DPT, is committed to elevating the therapy department to new heights, offering cutting-edge treatments, and fostering a culture of excellence. As a Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist, Nelson specializes in orthopedic-type conditions, implementing a multifaceted approach, including hands-on and exercise-based treatments to help patients achieve their physical therapy goals. Since starting at MRHC in 2021, Nelson has been dedicated to providing high-quality, evidence-based care.

“I enjoy working with individuals, and I like to think that I am a good listener. I believe this helps in determining what patients have going on and planning different strategies to improve their condition,” Nelson shared. “MRHC has been more than willing to listen to new ideas and develop new service areas that not only help our department grow but more importantly, provide patients with new treatment methods that will help them achieve their overall goals.”

Most recently, the therapy department collaborated with the respiratory therapy department to develop a Pulmonary Conditioning Program for patients suffering from respiratory issues. This was a service that the hospital was not able to offer previously. This collaborative initiative underscores MRHC’s commitment to meet evolving community healthcare demands.

“I feel like MRHC is a great representation of what the community of Manning strives to be: progressive in accepting new possibilities while maintaining their core values and respecting each individual that comes through the door,” said Nelson.

While expanding and enhancing treatment options and services for physical, occupational, and speech therapy at MRHC is one of Nelson’s main priorities, his vision for the therapy department goes even further.

“My broad, overarching goal for the department is to be experts in our field so that people know they will receive top-notch, evidence-driven care for whatever condition they are coming to us for,” Nelson emphasized. “I realize that it can be frustrating when it seems like to receive the care you expect and deserve, you must travel long distances. I want our department to have the reputation that we can help, and we are the experts you can rely on.”

Central to Nelson’s success is the supportive environment cultivated by MRHC administration and his peers. In addition to the support he receives, he is also appreciative of the emphasis on teamwork and mutual respect that fosters a positive work culture where every voice is heard. He points out the administration’s dedication to creating an enjoyable workplace, where collaboration thrives, and professional development is encouraged.

“A good team environment is always a selling point for a job. At MRHC that is the genuine truth. It is a goal of our administration as well as every department lead to create an environment that listens to each other as well as make it an enjoyable place to work long term,” Nelson shared.

It is also evident that Nelson plays an important role in helping young professionals grow in their healthcare careers. As Therapy Director, Nelson oversees the physical, occupational, and speech therapy staff. His team is made up of four additional individuals, Physical Therapist, Lucas Schwery; Occupational Therapist, Amy Osbahr; Speech Therapist, Carrie Scharfenkamp; and Intake Coordinator, Stacy Arp – who all share Nelson’s vision of helping the therapy department continually grow and improve.

“Taylor has been a major help in preparing me for my career as a physical therapist,” shared Lucas Schwery, DPT. “He leads by example as to what it means to be a good physical therapist and is always there to answer any questions that I may have.”

For aspiring physical therapists or those interested in pursuing a general career in healthcare, Taylor offers advice rooted in his own experiences.

“Take advantage of all the opportunities afforded to you in high school. Many schools provide training to get your CNA before graduation. This would be a great way to get your foot in the door and gain experience in general with the healthcare world. Having that experience would be greatly appreciated when starting the interview process to get into PT school or just expose you to other jobs in healthcare that you initially might not be aware of,” Nelson recommended. “If someone is dead set on PT, having a solid plan for the steps necessary to become a PT would help in terms of looking into which schools offer direct paths into their PT programs.”

If you are interested in joining the MRHC team, visit www.mrhcia.com/careers or call (712) 655-2072 for more information.

Struggling with COPD? Try Pulmonary Conditioning

pulmonary conditioning

Do you or a loved one struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or respiratory challenges? A pulmonary conditioning program at MRHC can help individuals manage COPD symptoms and improve their quality of life.

“This integrated form of therapy can be a valuable tool in helping people manage their COPD and live a healthier, more active life,” said MRHC Physical Therapist, Taylor Nelson, PT, DPT. Taylor Nelson, MRHC Physical Therapist

Chronic respiratory conditions, such as COPD, asthma, and pulmonary fibrosis, can significantly impede an individual’s quality of life. These conditions often lead to symptoms like shortness of breath, chronic cough, tightness in the chest, fatigue, and reduced stamina, limiting one’s ability to perform daily activities and affecting their overall health.

Recognizing a need to address these issues, various MRHC departments have collaborated to develop an integrated, specialized pulmonary conditioning program tailored to meet the unique needs of each participant. The program has a multidisciplinary approach, combining exercise training, education, and personalized support to empower individuals to manage their respiratory conditions effectively.

Once a patient’s primary care physician has recommended the need for a pulmonary conditioning program, a respiratory therapist will perform a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) and gain a baseline understanding of the severity of the individual’s condition. Based on these results, a program will be personalized to meet the patient’s needs and goals.

Key components of a pulmonary conditioning program include:

  1. Individualized Exercise Regimens: Participants undergo comprehensive assessments to evaluate their current respiratory status and physical capabilities. Based on these assessments, personalized exercise regimens are crafted to gradually improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and endurance. This is the primary component of pulmonary conditioning and is facilitated by a physical therapist. Activities may include aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, and strength training. The exercise program will be tailored to individual needs and abilities and designed to maintain independence at home.
  2. Occupational Therapy: If needed, patients may be referred to an occupational therapist if activities of daily living are difficult or if their home is not conducive to their lifestyle. A living assessment may be performed and recommendations for alterations may be made.
  3. Education and Lifestyle Modification: Education plays a pivotal role in empowering individuals to take control of their respiratory health. Participants will gain insights into their condition, learn breathing techniques, and acquire strategies to conserve energy and manage symptoms effectively. Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, proper nutrition, and stress management are emphasized to promote holistic well-being.
  4. Additional Services & Ongoing Support: Depending upon the condition, patients may also be recommended to a registered dietitian to develop a healthy eating plan to meet nutritional needs or a mental health counselor to help them cope with the emotional challenges of living with COPD. Participants receive continuous support and guidance from a dedicated team of healthcare professionals. Regular progress assessments are conducted to track improvements and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan, ensuring optimal outcomes.

“Pulmonary conditioning has been proven to be effective in improving many outcomes in people with COPD,” Nelson said. “It can help you improve your ability to exercise without becoming out of breath; control COPD symptoms, like shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing; improve quality of life by making it easier to perform everyday activities; and reduce the risk of being hospitalized for COPD exacerbations.”

Learn more about how pulmonary conditioning can help with COPD and other interstitial diseases. Contact the MRHC Therapy Department at (712) 655-2072 or your MRHC primary care provider at (712) 655-8100.

Walk-in Flu Shot Clinic & Fall Prevention Screening at MRHC

MRHC exterior

Still need a flu shot? MRHC will be hosting a walk-in flu shot clinic on Saturday, October 14th from 8-11am at MRHC in Manning.

The cost is $30 or can be billed to insurance. No appointments are necessary. Those who would like to get a flu shot sooner can schedule an appointment in the clinic by calling (712) 655-8100.

“Getting the flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others during flu season, so we encourage anyone six months and older to get their flu shot,” said MRHC Infection Prevention and Employee Health Nurse, Jill Arp, RN, BSN.

Local businesses that are interested in having MRHC administer flu shots to their employees should reach out to Arp at (712) 655-8170 or email jill.arp@mrhcia.com.

Fall Prevention Screening

The MRHC Physical Therapy department will also be hosting a fall prevention screening on Saturday October 14th from 8-11am. Anyone who has concerns of falling, has fallen in the past, is fearful of falling, or is using a device to prevent falls is encouraged to attend.

“We will spend time interviewing individuals about their fall history followed by evidence-based tests that are predictive of fall risk,” said MRHC Therapy Director, Taylor Nelson, DPT.

Based on the results of the tests, participants will work with a physical therapist to determine appropriate next steps to reduce their fall risk with physical therapy treatment and schedule follow-up appointments. Attendees can anticipate this initial consultation to take 15-20 minutes.

Physical therapy for fall prevention is covered by Medicare and referrals are not needed. Call (712) 655-8298 to find out more or schedule an appointment.

MRHC Welcomes Lucas Schwery, New Physical Therapist

The therapy department at Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) is excited to welcome an additional physical therapist, Lucas Schwery, DPT. Schwery will be joining Taylor Nelson, DPT, in offering physical therapy services to address a variety of impairments including musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, balance, gait, and post-surgical impairments and injuries.

“I chose to work at MRHC because my wife and I live just outside of Manning. We are looking forward to planting our roots and starting our family here,” said Schwery.

After needing treatment for an ankle injury in high school, Schwery became interested in the physical therapy field.

“My injury inspired me to pursue an athletic training work study job in college,” said Schwery. “It was at this job that I found my passion for helping others return from injury to do the things that they love and achieve their goals. In many cases, physical therapy is a conservative way to improve a variety of our patients’ impairments.”

Signs and symptoms that indicate someone would benefit from physical therapy include any pain associated with the movement of a body part, frequent falls, dizziness, the inability to complete daily activities, and chronic pain.

Schwery grew up in Kimballton and attended Exira EH-K High School. He completed his undergraduate schooling at Morningside College where he worked with the athletic training staff helping provide sideline coverage for athletic events. He then graduated from Briar Cliff University from their Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

To schedule a physical therapy appointment, call (712) 655-8298.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy

Taylor Nelson, MRHC Physical Therapist

“I had knee pain all the time and it was hard to walk very far. I decided it was time to have surgery when I went to shoot a basketball with my son and could not bend my knees enough to even do that. I want to be able to do more activities with him,” shared Julie Lamp, a Manning resident who recently underwent a double knee replacement.

Due to the close proximity of having the knee replacement surgery and physical therapy services in the same building at MRHC, Lamp could start physical therapy as soon as her surgery was finished. That same day she was up and walking and well on her way to recovery.

“Being able to do surgery, recovery, and rehab at MRHC has made it a lot easier and faster to recover,” Lamp said. “All the providers are under one roof and can talk to each other, and it saved me having to drive somewhere else. Driving and getting in and out of the car makes a person tired. I also had more time after therapy to go home and put ice on to keep the swelling down and get things to heal faster.”

Lamp was also grateful that she was able to recover close to home and continue her physical therapy sessions at MRHC with Therapy Director, Taylor Nelson. Taylor Nelson, MRHC Physical Therapist

“Taylor is very helpful, knowledgeable, and keeps things light with his sense of humor,” Lamp shared. “If something isn’t working, he will find a different way to get it done. And he has taught me how to use practical items at home for weights instead of having to go out and buy new equipment.”

Nelson is a Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist, which uses an exercise-based program to improve balance and reduce dizziness-related problems. He also specializes in orthopedic type conditions, implementing a multi-faceted approach, including hands-on and exercise treatments to help patients achieve their rehab goals.

“Here at MRHC, we pride ourselves in providing individualized care and creating varied treatment plans for everyone,” said Nelson, PT, DPT. “We evaluate, diagnose, and manage health conditions and movement problems in people of all ages and abilities.”

Nelson also reminds people that physical therapy is not just for those recovering from a surgery or an injury. “It is also commonly used to treat lower back, neck, or chronic pain as well as muscle and joint pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, weakness or loss of motion, body misalignments, and to recover from strokes,” said Nelson.

Studies also show that starting physical therapy sooner rather than later can lower out-of-pocket expenses compared to injections or surgery and is also associated with decreased opioid use, healthcare costs, and imaging services.

“Physical therapy allows us to identify factors contributing to your pain such as muscle weakness or joint and muscle stiffness and develop a treatment plan to fit your needs including hands-on treatment, exercise, and education,” Nelson shared.

Physical therapy appointments can be made without a doctor’s referral by calling (712) 655-8298.

MRHC Welcomes New Physical Therapist

Taylor Nelson, MRHC Physical Therapist

Manning Regional Healthcare Center is excited to welcome new Physical Therapist, Taylor Nelson, PT, DPT. Taylor Nelson, MRHC Physical Therapist

Nelson is an Iowa native, excited to be back working close to home. “My wife and I are originally from Exira. We moved to Maine for about two years and then just recently made our transition back to the area. So, I’m looking forward to starting our family here, getting to know the community and taking the hospital to a new level with PT services,” he shared.

Nelson is a Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist, which uses an exercise-based program to improve balance and reduce dizziness-related problems. He also specializes in orthopedic type conditions, implementing a multifaceted approach, including hands on and exercise treatments to help patients achieve their rehab goals.

After graduating from Central College in 2015 with a degree in Health and Exercise Science, Nelson obtained his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of New England in 2019. He then worked as a physical therapist at Proactive Physical Therapy in Lewiston, Maine for two years.

A knee injury in high school requiring extensive rehab inspired Nelson to pursue a career in physical therapy. “The whole rehab process and having a good experience is what led me to this field. Especially in small towns, we’re kind of limited on how many healthcare professionals we have here. We didn’t really have the option of driving to Omaha or Des Moines for everything, so that’s what made me interested in coming back to this area – just having a place for everyone to receive high-quality, evidence-based care here.”

MRHC Physical therapist helping high school boy exerciseEvidence-based practice includes the integration of best available evidence, clinical expertise, and patient values and circumstances related to patient and client management, practice management, and health policy decision-making, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

Physical therapy can help those with back, neck, muscle and joint pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, stroke, sprains and strains, orthopedic or sports related injuries, weakness or loss of motion, body misalignments and more.

MRHC also offers additional rehabilitative services such as occupational and speech therapy. Occupational therapy provides services for people of all ages who, because of illness, injury, developmental, or psychological impairment, need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. Speech therapy can address issues with speaking, reading, listening, writing, thinking, and swallowing.

To schedule a physical therapy appointment at Manning Regional Healthcare Center, call (712) 655-8298.