A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and traditional nursing home are commonly mistaken as one and the same. This should not be. Although they are similar in many things, they are worlds apart.
There are some similarities between Skilled Nursing Facilities and traditional nursing home. They both provide custodial care to aged, sick or frail individuals on short or long term due to physical, emotional and mental medical conditions.
Their services include, but are not limited to the following: Personal care assistance (getting in and out of bed, maintaining hygiene, dressing, feeding, and using the bathroom). They also offer medical supervision (colostomy care, administration of oxygen, application of eye drops, and others). 24 hour supervision of staff, housekeeping services, and meals are also provided
They both assist the patients in achieving a higher level of quality of life in their old age. They both aim to provide quality services that would contribute to a comfortable and dignified life to their clients.
The difference lies on the extra services that SNF offers. One is provision of maximum level of medical care to their clients. Hence, clients requiring more complex medical assistance or care can rely on this facility to deliver what they need to maintain optimum health. They can also render intravenous injections, rehabilitation services, and other extensive medical procedures that require skilled healthcare professionals.
The two facilities both have licensed medical professionals as part of their staff. Depending on the state where they are located, the required nursing home employees include: a registered nurse who should be at the facility for at least 8 hours per day, 7 days a week, Licensed Practical Nurses or Licensed Vocational Nurses, certified nursing assistants and a nursing home dietitian. Facilities will have administration employees, such as examples are Human resources employees, accountants, bookkeepers. As well as, support employees; housekeepers, maintenance people, custodians, and others. Find out more here.
On the other hand, SNFs have the same employees plus a medical director who is in charge of medical policies and practices plus assurance and maintenance of quality care. They also may have licensed physical therapists, licensed occupational therapists, audiologists, and speech-language pathologists. The members of the staff of SNFs reinforce the big difference on the extent of medical services that the two facilities can offer to their clients, with SNF having the ability to perform more complex medical procedures because of their highly skilled medical professionals.
To ensure quality of services, manpower and facilities, both the traditional nursing homes and SNFs are being monitored and regulated for the following: residents rights, quality of life of the residents, activities, facility practices, assessment and care plans of the residents, housekeeping services, dietary services, safety of residents, disaster preparedness, and staffing,
Depending on the state, both public and private agencies inspect and give license to nursing homes.
On the other hand, higher standards and stricter criteria are being enforced on SNFs by the Department of Health or the Department of Social Services. They are certified and regulated by Medicaid and Medicare. Both facilities must meet and maintain mandatory state standards for continued licensure.
In terms of services offered, manpower skills and features of the facility, an SNF has a greater edge than a nursing home. However, whether its traditional nursing home or SNF, the primary concern in selecting which facility to use depends on the needs and the preference of the client himself and his family.