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.

MRHC Welcomes New Occupational Therapist, Amy Osbahr

Amy Osbahr

The therapy department at MRHC recently welcomed Amy Osbahr, OTR/L, a new occupational therapist. Trained and certified in an array of specialized therapies and experience working with all ages, Osbahr brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to MRHC.

“I have treated a wide range of patients from 3 months old to 105 years old,” Osbahr shared, a testament to her commitment to meeting the unique needs of every individual she encounters.

Osbahr is certified in many different areas from neurological rehabilitation (catering to conditions like strokes, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis) to orthopedics (managing joint replacements, wrist pain, sprains, fractures, arthritis, and more). She is also trained/certified in ASTYM treatment, blood flow restriction Therapy (BFR), LSVT-BIG Parkinson’s management, lymphedema treatment, and vestibular rehabilitation. In addition, Osbahr can perform workstation and ergonomics assessments as well as custom wheelchair assessments.

Additional common occupational therapy services include assisting adults who have difficulties with routine care such as brushing their teeth, getting dressed, feeding themselves, or driving to work.

Pediatric therapy is another area of expertise for Osbahr. She can address conditions such as autism, developmental delays, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, and more. Osbahr can also help ensure that children are meeting developmental milestones and progressing as they should, as well as helping with handwriting and behavioral health.

“I’m looking forward to using my skills in this new opportunity, and I am thankful to be part of the MRHC team,” said Osbahr.

A graduate of the College of St Mary’s in Omaha, Nebraska, Osbahr has since dedicated herself to the occupational therapy field, gaining a wide array of skills and certifications over her two-decade career. With over 15 years at RehabVisions, Osbahr has had experience with a variety of specialized therapies within inpatient, outpatient, and home health settings.

Her previous roles have been with the Glenwood Resource Center, Methodist Hospital’s ICU and medical floors, and the psychiatric unit at Jennie Edmundson Hospital. She worked on-site at Smithfield, focusing on work-related injuries and rehabilitation. Osbahr has also worked at numerous nursing homes across Southwest Iowa, demonstrating her dedication to reaching and assisting individuals in need throughout the region.

To schedule an occupational therapy appointment, call (712) 655-8100.

MRHC Helps Individuals Live at Home Longer with Occupational Therapy

aging in place

90% of older adults want to stay in their homes as they age. Occupational therapy at MRHC can help promote aging in place to help individuals live, work, and play more independently. Therapy treatments can help with aging in place by promoting independence and safety to make activities of daily living more doable.

Aging in place refers to an individual making a conscious decision to live in the residence of their choice for as long as they can with the comforts that are important to them. As they age, adding supplementary services to facilitate their living conditions and maintain their quality of life may be necessary. These could include assistance with personal care, household chores, making meals, money management, or health care.

Family members should consider the following questions when determining the best course of action for an aging adult:

  • What is the ideal way for them to spend their retired years?
  • What type of home environment do you see them living in – individual, community, assisted?
  • What special health care requirements are needed or anticipated?
  • What other types of supplementary services are needed?
  • What options are available in case of emergencies, life changing events, accidents, etc.?

MRHC Occupational Therapists remind individuals that aging in place does not mean that you need to do everything yourself. You can choose to do as little or as much as you want, can, and are capable of.

Occupational therapy at MRHC is available for people of all ages who need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. Services can promote independence and aging in place by assisting with the following:

  • Getting around (adaptive devices: cane, walker, wheelchair)
  • Safety concerns and fall prevention
  • Home modifications (grab bars, lighting, and toilet risers)
  • Cooking
  • Laundry
  • Showering
  • Shopping
  • Medications
  • Cognition and memory
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Balance.

A doctor’s referral is required to be seen by an occupational therapist.

In addition to occupational therapy, MRHC provides a variety of other services to help community members live at home longer. Physical therapy is beneficial for those who are suffering from an injury, recovering from surgery, or dealing with any sort of acute or chronic pain. Senior Life Solutions offers an outpatient group counseling program to meet unique needs of adults over 65 struggling with depression and anxiety, often related to aging. Residential and outpatient medical care, behavioral therapy, and social support to enable a healthy lifestyle free from drugs and alcohol is available through the Recovery Center.

If you or a loved one would benefit from services that enable you to live at home longer, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider at MRHC by calling (712) 655-8100. To learn more about occupational therapy services, click here.

Lymphedema Services Now Available at MRHC

lymphedema treatment

“For those experiencing swelling due to lymph node removal or cancer treatments, lymphedema services can be very beneficial,” explained Manning Regional Healthcare Center Occupational Therapist.

Lymphedema is a pooling of lymph fluid that results in swelling in a portion of the body. If left untreated, the collection of protein-rich fluid provides a culture rich for infection and inflammatory processes. Reduced oxygen transport then decreases healing to compromised tissues and wounds.

Lymphedema is a progressive condition characterized by:

  • Excessive protein in the tissues
  • Excessive fluid in the tissues
  • Chronic inflammatory reactions
  • Excessive deposition of fibrous tissues

“We began seeing more and more patients experiencing the effects of lymphedema, so we knew it was essential to provide treatment for our patients,” said Director of the therapy department, Taylor Nelson, PT, DPT.

Patients will now be available to receive the following treatments at MRHC:

  • Manual lymph drainage
  • Compression bandaging
  • Compression garments
  • Exercise and elevation
  • Education in self-management

To schedule a lymphedema consultation at MRHC, call (712) 655-8100.