Rehabilitation Center

Rehabilitation Team

"The rehabilitation team includes more than you, your physicians and staff. It includes family members and close friends. By joining you in therapy and attending classes your family and friends become your support system."

Your Rehabilitation Team will be tailored specifically to your needs. Whether you are getting rehabilitation services through an outpatient program or an inpatient program, your rehab clinical providers will assess and recommend the right team members for your needs.

Attending Rehabilitation Physician (Physiatrist)

Your doctor while in Rehab is a Physiatrist who is board certified in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Your care has been turned over to your Rehab Physician. He will coordinate and manage your rehab program as well as manage any ongoing medical concerns. The doctor who referred you to Rehab will not be routinely following you in Rehab.

Because the University Hospital is a teaching center, a resident physician training in physical medicine and rehabilitation will help your attending physician provide and monitor your care.

When you transition to outpatient rehabilitation your Physiatrist will continue to follow you and coordinate your rehab program as long as there is a need.

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Rehabilitation Nurse

Your Rehab Nurse specializes in providing rehab care for patients that are admitted to the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Program. Rehabilitation nurses assess, plan, and evaluate your day-to-day care and work with you to achieve your long-term and short-term rehab goals.

These nurses help you carry over the skills you learned in therapy and show you ways to apply them in your life. They manage all aspects of your physical care and provide you and your family with the education and training necessary to help you perform every-day activities. Your Rehab Nurse will orient you to the rehab program.

Your rehabilitation nurses in the Outpatient Physician Clinic work collaboratively with the physicians and medical assistants to create and implement an appropriate treatment plan for your ongoing rehabilitation needs.

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Occupational Therapist

The Occupational therapist focuses on the physical, cognitive (thinking) and perception disabilities that influence your ability to perform daily living tasks. The therapist evaluates your ability to use your fingers and hands (fine motor skills), cognitive function, eye-hand coordination and self-care skills, such as dressing, dining and bathing. Other tasks such as cooking, working with tools, using art materials, or taking trips in the community may be used to increase your independence.

The therapist also may provide you with special equipment (such as adaptive eating utensils, large print reading material, dressing aids or adaptive seating devices.) Energy conservation is another important skill you may be taught which will allow you more energy for your recovery.

Whether your occupational therapy is being done inpatient or outpatient, your occupational therapist's goal is to help you become as independent as possible in your daily life.

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Physical Therapist

The Physical therapist's goal is to help you return to the highest level of motor functioning possible; for you, this may mean learning to walk again or it may mean maintaining normal sitting posture in a wheelchair. For others the goal may involve higher-level skills such as learning to maximize your energy, safety and mobility while walking.

The physical therapist will look at your muscle tone, movement, balance, endurance, ability to walk, ability to plan your movements, strength and coordination. If you require special equipment (such as a wheelchair, walker or brace) the therapist will evaluate your ability to use the equipment as well as help you get the correct size and type of equipment you need.

After discharge your physical therapy may be continued on an outpatient basis to achieve your goals.

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Recreation Therapist

The therapist will assess your recreation and leisure interests. She will address any barriers you may have in achieving a healthy active leisure lifestyle. Recreational therapy uses leisure activities to improve physical, cognitive, social, and emotional skills.

You and your family will learn about adaptive techniques, equipment, and community resources and develop new leisure skills. These therapy sessions may occur at the hospital or within the community.

A Recreational Therapist may take you into the community on a "Community Re-Entry program Outing". Its purpose is to assess, treat and increase your independence within your living and community environments.

Recreation and leisure activities are important components of a full and satisfying life.

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Speech-Language Pathologist

Your Speech-Language Pathologist will evaluate your needs and provide treatment to help you relearn how to speak, read, write and understand (aphasia, cognitive retraining) what others are saying. Even if you do not have a speech problem, you may work with the speech pathologist if you have difficulty remembering, thinking or solving everyday problems. These skills are often needed in order to return home, go to school, or get back to work. Your speech pathologist will help you learn ways to improve your skills in these areas.

Your speech pathologist can also help with swallowing (dysphagia). This person works along with your Nurses and Occupational Therapist to assess and treat chewing and swallowing difficulties. Your diet will be determined in part, by your ability to swallow safely. If needed, speech therapists are trained to help you select the correct assistive device for your communication needs.

After you are safe to be able to return to home, your outpatient speech therapy may continue to work with you achieve your goals for thinking, swallowing, or communication.

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Social Worker/Case Manager

Your Social Worker will meet with you and learn about your individual and family social history including your educational and military experiences. This person will help you and your family explore what you want to achieve while you are here in Rehab. The social worker will ask you about your current living arrangements and help you identify problems that might interfere with your successful return home.

The social worker communicates and advocates for you with your insurance company to assure your financial and clinical needs.  Routine progress updates with your insurance company take place after team evaluation conferences.  Your social worker will meet with you prior to discharge to discuss your discharge needs and plans for when you have completed your inpatient treatment program.  Your social worker will communicate with service providers as necessary to assure appropriate follow-up care after discharge.

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Emotional suffering often accompanies significant injury or illness. Psychological services are available for patients and family members. An assessment done by the psychologist can help you and the rehabilitation treatment team better understand your emotional needs. Additionally, psychological counseling is available to help patients and their families cope with the stress of medical problems, disability, and hospitalization.

Neuro-psychology services are commonly offered on an outpatient basis. A neuro-psychologist is a psychologist who has specialized in neurological injuries or disorders.

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Your Pharmacist works with your physician to provide the most effective drug therapy while avoiding adverse effects or interactions. This person can also explain your medications, possible side effects and adverse reactions to you.

If you have any questions about the medications you are taking you can ask your nurse or have them notify the pharmacist of your request for more information.

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Rehab Nurse Liaison

Your Nurse Liaison is an experienced RN who coordinates your admission to acute inpatient rehabilitation. The Nurse will provide you with orientation information about your Rehab stay before admission.

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Your Dietitian ensures that you will receive the nutrition you need for successful healing. By evaluating your nutritional history, the dietitian recommends a diet that will support your rehabilitation efforts. This may involve proper bowel and bladder functioning, accommodate difficulties in swallowing or chewing, help control weight or meet sodium or cholesterol restrictions.

Outpatient Dietary consultation is available. Talk to your doctor if you feel you would benefit from this service.

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Respiratory Therapist

Your Respiratory Therapist helps keep your lungs working to their maximum ability. Special exercises, techniques and equipment may be used including chest percussion (CPT), suctioning, and assistive coughing. The Respiratory therapist will teach you or your family these techniques and exercises if you need these on a long-term basis.

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Rehabilitation Educator

Your Rehabilitation Educator is a clinically experienced RN who will provide you and your family with orientation and education materials and classes to help you adapt and adjust. Educational classes cover rehabilitation purpose, specific injury, sexuality, psychological and social issues, and financial adjustment. The Rehabilitation Educator coordinates and conducts Neuro-Education and Independent Living Skills (ILS) classes.

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Discharge Coordinator

The Discharge Coordinator will have all arrangements made prior to your day of discharge, and will provide you with a resource packet. The packet will include copies of your medical records for your primary care physician. The packet will also include contact names and phone numbers for community resources along with contact names and phone numbers of the agencies that you have chosen for your health care needs.

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Patient Care Coordinator

The Patient Care Coordinator has specific clinical nursing experience for your diagnosis and follows and monitors your progress during your stay. The Coordinator communicates and advocates for you with the rehabilitation team. Your satisfaction with our employees, your treatment program and services are very important to us. If at any time you have any questions or issues regarding your rehabilitation stay, please talk to your patient care coordinator.

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