Bridging the need between hospital and home
Our Extended-Care Rehab program, sometimes called Swing Bed, Skilled Nursing or Transitional Care, is designed for patients who are well enough to leave the traditional acute-care hospital setting but aren't quite well enough to go home. These patients still require additional skilled medical care, nursing care or rehabilitation services.
Without an Extended-Care Rehab Program, like Morton Hospital's, these patients are typically transferred to out-of-the area nursing homes for their stay. But with Morton Hospital you'll not only be able to recover close to home, you will receive our special brand of personalized care.
Our team is equipped to care for patients with complex needs, all the while providing nearly three times the nurse-to-patient ratio than found in nursing homes.
Our Extended-Care Rehab unit provides:
- Hospital-level nurse staffing to keep you safe and help you recover
- A personalized plan of care
- Bedside rounds that engage you, your family and your care team to help you reach your goals
- Intravenous (I.V.) Antibiotics to treat a variety of infections
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Respiratory therapy
- Wound care
- On-site physicians, therapy, radiology, laboratory and pharmacy that will address your specific needs
- Coordination and ongoing assessment of complex plans of care
Call 360-496-3533 for more information.
Becky recommends Arbor Health over nursing homes any day
Becky Fredrickson, of Eatonville, sits down on a bench in the Arbor Health—Rehabilitation Services gym located within Morton Hospital. Sipping on a cup of water after her physical therapy, she tells the story of her journey from being completely unable to walk, up to today when she walked the distance of the therapy gym with the aid of a cane to ring the bell on the other side.
We’re not telling her age, but what we will tell you is that she likely had a twinkle in her eye and a mischievous grin on her face when she was born. This one oozes monkey business—and kindness and gratitude.
Becky selected Morton Hospital’s Transitional Care Rehab, or Extended-Care Rehab, for her extended rehab following her two hip-replacement surgeries. She knows post-surgery recovery. She’s been there, done that. She had had both knees replaced and back surgery before getting to the point of needing both hips replaced as well. Therefore, she knew full well that it wasn’t going to be any type of in-and-out procedure for the next round of surgeries.
She heard about the great care in Arbor Health’s Rehab Services Department from another Eatonville resident. And on inquiry, learned about the inpatient care available for post-surgery patients, what Arbor health terms “Transitional Care Rehab” or "Extended-Care Rehab" but is also known in other circles as “skilled nursing” or “swing bed.”
“I did not want to go back to a nursing home. They don’t have PT (physical therapy) there—even though they say they do,” she said with a raised eyebrow and knowing nod of the head.
Becky first hip surgery was two days before Thanksgiving 2021 and the second was February 28. “I stayed here between the two surgeries because I knew I couldn’t take care of myself,” she recalled, noting that she hadn’t walked for three months prior to the first surgery. In fact, she estimates it having been a couple years since she’d walked unaided from a cane or walker.
Her hip replacement surgery was performed at Centralia Providence by Dr. Keith Birchard from the Washington Orthopedic Center in Centralia. On discharge, she moved back to Arbor Health where she stayed one more week before being discharged to home after her second hip. She credits the rehab staff for her ability to do so well on her own. Since then, it’s been twice-weekly outpatient physical therapy.
“I can’t say enough about the PT staff and the (Rehab) administrative staff,” she said. “Jayme was my cheerleader,” she cited, adding that the administrative staff is always willing to work with her if she has to change an appointment.
Becky’s playful attitude is infectious. She said the therapists became competitive with each other as another way to encourage her. They would say things like, ‘You walked so far for (another therapist), you have to walk even farther for me.” So she would.
She compliments the PT staff for their continually evaluating her, re-evaluating and changing her exercise program to match. “They kept changing it. Whenever I reached a goal that they had set, they changed the exercise. The treatment wasn’t redundant like I had experienced before with other physical therapists.”
She told of the head of the hospital’s dietary department coming to her room when hearing she was having indigestion and reviewed the menu, making adjustments to suit her tastes. Becky said she came in every three days after that. “They worked with me,” she said, giving the example of her not being a fan of gravy so when the breakfast was biscuits and gravy, they gave her biscuits with butter and jam—which she loved. “And their cookies are to die for,” she said with a laugh.
She also appreciated the nursing staff, naming certified nursing assistants Diane, Taylor and Shelby on days and Sara and Lana on nights. “Karli in occupational therapy is great too,” she said.
Becky recalled housekeeper Doris who used to fish out the dropped M&M under her bed (gifts from her son) and Darla, a nightshift registered nurse (RN), who took special care of her. “I’d like to adopt her,” Becky said.
She told of Vern, a nightshift RN, coming in to introduce himself to her, calling her “Mrs. Fredrickson.” She said she motioned him into her room the following night and told him, “You can call me ‘Mrs. Fredrickson’, if you want, that is my name. But you could also call me Becky, Becky or as Darla calls me, ‘Becca.’” He decided on “Becca,” she said with a grin.
Becky said she recently saw Registered Nurse Ashley, who she hadn’t seen since she was discharged. She said Ashley was thrilled to see how well she was doing and did a double take to recognize her. “I don’t recognize them in street clothes, and they don’t recognize me upright,” she said in good humor.
By the time she was released to go home, Becky had spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and her son’s 40th birthday in Morton Hospital. Because of the pandemic, the facility was not allowing visitors into the patient wing during those months but because she was there for so long, her doctor arranged for her son to be able to come into the waiting room at in the evening once a week to visit with her. It made all the difference for her.
Becky is continuing her twice-weekly physical therapy. Sometimes she’s in the therapy pool and sometimes she works in the therapy gym. She credits the staff for her making the strides she’s made. They were just as good at inpatient care as they are in outpatient. I got the same great individual care as an inpatient,” she said. “The only difference is that I am coming here (as an outpatient) rather than rolling down the hall in a wheelchair. They are dedicated in getting me the best I can be.
“It’s the way they work with you that makes the difference, she said. “They actually care about my progress.”
Getting Jim back on his feet
Jim Williamson, 77, of Randle has two new knees—and a strong respect for Morton Hospital’s staff from the front office person, to the nursing staff, to the rehab services staff. However, he didn’t come by that respect from his surgery experience—Morton Hospital doesn’t do orthopedic surgery. No, Jim came by it after the fact.
Jim has lived in Randle full time for the last 18 years. He first bought an unfinished cabin in 1990 with the idea that he’d live in it after he retired from his position as head of maintenance at a chemical plant. “I retired on August 1, 2000 and I’m still working on the cabin,” he said with a laugh.
A career working in maintenance requires a lot of mobility—bending, lifting, packing, wrenching… and Jim’s knees paid the price for it. He had his 1st knee replacement surgery in August of 2017 and then the second in June 2018, both at St. Clair Hospital in Lakewood. He then spent two weeks at Morton Hospital following both surgeries as a Transitional Care Rehab Patient.
In a word, Jim summed up his experiences as both a two-time inpatient and the many weeks of outpatient physical therapy as “Excellent.”
Jim had three different physical therapists during his two hospitalizations—and post discharge at Morton Hospital. He named each one by name and told how accommodating they were to him and his needs. Referring to Chana Albracht, the physical therapist who worked with him most recently, he said, “She is really a top notch therapist.”
But Jim’s compliments don’t end with the Rehabilitation Services Department, they also stretch to those in the admitting office who coordinated the insurance coverage, to the nurses and the nurses’ aids. “Bless their hearts,” he said with a shake of his head. He told how nurse’s aid Sue Dunaway was at the hospital when he checked after his second surgery. “I had two suitcases with me and when I went to PT and came back, both were empty and everything was put away.
“The first time I was here, it was new to me. The second time, I knew what to expect,” he said. “If I had to ring the nurses bell, they were right there.”
“If I had to go back into a hospital, I definitely would come here,” Jim said. “If it was something (Morton Hospital) provided, I’d be here. Why stay in Tacoma or somewhere else when you can be 30 minutes from home?” he questioned.
“I don’t think people in this area really know how valuable you people are here,” Jim said. “You’re a true asset. I consider myself privileged to be among you.”