5 must have materials in a SNF

I recently had a friend reach out for me to post about materials to have when doing practicum in a SNF.

Materials can be very expensive and even DIY activities can get costly. My opinion is to not purchase anything but a good planner before your first day. Your supervisor will have materials on hand and if there is something that comes up she will most likely be able to order it. I personally spent about $20 on items when I did my rotation but I have had friends tell me that they spent much more. Unless you know that you want to work in this setting and will be able to use your materials in the future, I would get with your supervisor and see what she has available first.

Even though I didn’t need to buy some of these materials. I learned quickly that these 5 are good to have.

  1. A good planner. Scheduling can be hectic with meetings, conferences, and d/c appointments. Make sure you have it all laid out. I prefer a good thin monthly view calendar. This is the one I used and it was super portable and cute. Pineapple Monthly Planner
  2. A Fingertip Pulse Oximeter. In this setting it is absolutely necessary to check your patients vitals before treatment occurs. More times than I can count, a patients oxygen was low and they were unable to communicate this to the staff.  Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
  3. A stethoscope. I recommend purchasing a good Littmann Lightweight Stethoscope. Again, it is necessary to check vitals but is also a great tool to listen to your patients swallow.
  4. A pen light. I got this pack of two on Amazon and they work great!  Opoway Nurse Penlight.
  5. A puzzle/ pattern block/ pegboard. One or all of these are great materials to use to target an array of cognitive goals. I prefer peg boards so that I can have them follow a certain pattern and it is SUPER easy to come up with endless options. The Lauri Deluxe PegBoard Set. 

This is not to say that you will not end up needing tons of other things! This depends on your caseload and preferred treatments plans. If you find yourself making a lot of memory books or doing a lot of other DIY things. Keep the below in mind:

  • There are tons of AWESOME free aphasia applications if you have an iPad/ tablet
  • Free online resources via Pinterest (great for aphasia materials)
  • Buy from Amazon!
  • If you are an ASHA member you receive discounts from OfficeMax! YASSSSS!!!
  • Remember to keep it simple. 🙂


Well that’s all I got for meow. If you are about to enter a skilled nursing facility have a blast!



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