Physiatrists specialize in the rehabilitative treatment of patients recovering from neurological disorders, stroke, brain injury, spinal injury, amputation, orthopaedic conditions and other physically debilitating illnesses.
Geriatricians specialize in the care of the elderly. They aim to promote health by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities and are able to distinguish between diseases and the effects of normal aging.
Care Coordination Specialist
The care coordination specialist is either a nurse case manager or social worker who serves as the link between the family and the members of the patient’s interdisciplinary team. The care coordination team keeps families informed about their loved one’s progress and helps them make important discharge preparations. The care coordination specialist also serves as the point of contact for insurance issues, working closely with the family and insurer to identify and address any potential issues.
The admissions coordinator assists with assessing individual rehabilitation needs prior to admission to the Center for Rehabilitation. A financial screening and pre-certification, if warranted, is done prior to admission.
In addition to monitoring each patient’s medical status 24 hours a day, registered nurses specializing in rehabilitation help patients practice techniques learned in therapy. The nurse will assess and assist with bowel and bladder continence or regulation, skin integrity and assessment of nutritional and hydration status in patients with swallowing impairments. Information about the injury, condition, training in medical techniques (tracheotomy, tube feed and catheter) and medication administration is reviewed and provided. This information includes what to do in the event complications arise after discharge as well as planning for continued medical care. Nurses are assisted by Nursing Assistants who support continued care for personal needs throughout the day.
Licensed physical therapists evaluate individual functional deficits and offer treatment sessions specifically designed to improve joint range of motion, muscle strengthening, coordination, balance, mobility and physical capabilities. Treatments emphasize bed mobility, transfers, walking, stair climbing and maneuvering around obstacles. Physical therapists will assess the need for modalities to manage pain, provide treatment to increase range of motion and facilitate neurological return. Physical therapists also assist in coordinating prosthetic evaluations and equipment recommendations.
Licensed occupational therapists help patients re-learn or adapt ways to perform activities of daily living such as personal hygiene, dressing, bathing, feeding, handwriting, meal preparation or basic housekeeping. An occupational therapist will provide activities to improve mobility, coordination and balance. For some patients, the occupational therapist will address cognitive function to improve problems in perception, loss of memory, decreased attention span or impaired judgment. When needed, the occupational therapist will provide splinting to manage spasticity, provide treatment to increase range of motion or facilitate neurological return.
Dietitians assess individual nutritional status and recommend a diet based on each patient’s specific needs. The dietitian assists in maintaining appropriate nutrition keeping in mind the patient’s activity level while participating in therapies.
Speech-language pathologists focus on speech/language, swallowing or cognitive deficits resulting from stroke, head injury or neuromuscular disease. To address speech and language impairments, the speech-language pathologists will assess and treat aphasia, dysarthria, apraxia and voice disorders. Speech-language pathologists provide interventions for reading and writing disorders and augmentative communication devices if needed. A speech-language pathologist can assess deficits in chewing or swallowing to assist with the prevention of aspiration of food or liquids due to impaired muscle control or weakness. For cognitive deficits, the speech-language pathologists will assess and treat skills for memory, thought organization, reasoning and problem solving.
The neuropsychologist is a specialist with formally trained expertise in the differential diagnosis of disorders of higher cerebral functioning. Disorders may include aphasia, dementia and specific disorders of attention that may impact memory and thinking ability.
Spiritual Services Chaplains
Spiritual services chaplains offer companionship, encouragement and spiritual comfort to patients and their families. The hospital chapel is open for prayer and meditation throughout the day. Visits by your personal pastor/religious leader are welcomed.
Other Rehabilitation Specialists
Other services available may include, but are not limited to specialized doctor consultations, respiratory therapy, orthotics and prosthetics, diagnostic imaging, laboratory services and pharmacy.