The Rehabilitation Team
Individualized care is provided to patients by a team of dedicated and skilled health professionals who are experts in specific areas of rehabilitation.
Working together with the patient and family, the rehabilitation team provides an assessment and develops a coordinated plan of care, with the goal of utilizing each patient's individual strengths and abilities to achieve the maximal level of independence.
Several medical specialists may evaluate and treat the patient during their stay on the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. All patients are under the care of an attending physician, who is a specialist in rehabilitation medicine with experience and expertise in physical rehabilitation. The role of the rehabilitation physician is to provide leadership and to coordinate the clinical and administrative care within a rehabilitation team model.
The Physical Therapist
The physical therapist is a health professional who prevents, identifies, corrects, and alleviates acute or prolonged movement dysfunction. The physical therapy staff evaluates the function of the musculoskeletal, neurological, pulmonary, and cardiovascular systems and treats relevant problems through exercise, functional training, gait training for ambulation, and cardiovascular endurance training.
The Occupational Therapist
The occupational therapist is a health professional who strives to improve functional independence of the physically impaired patient through purposeful therapeutic activity, exercise, and self-care retraining. The occupational therapy staff evaluates the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, including cognitive and perceptual skills, with a special emphasis on the impact of any deficits upon daily performance demands such as self-care, homemaking, and work practices.
The Speech–Language Pathologist
The speech language pathologist evaluates and treats individuals experiencing difficulties in communicative, cognitive, and/or swallowing functions. The most common diagnoses seen by the Department of Speech-Language Pathology are decreased communicative-cognitive function, dysphagia, dysarthria, dysphonia, and aphasia.
The Rehabilitation Nurse
The major role of the rehabilitation nurse is to act as the primary educator for patients and their families. Using a flexible, innovative, and creative approach, they prepare and maximize a patient's ability to return to successful and independent functioning. They act as team facilitators and patient advocates on a 24-hour basis. Working in collaboration with the other disciplines, their goal is the restoration and maintenance of physical and social health, with special emphasis on function, independence and the quality of life for the patient and family.
The Social Worker
The role of the social worker is to assist the patient and their family members in making the necessary adjustments to functional changes imposed by disability.
They offer counseling and support in coping with the emotional stress of illness/injury and preparation for the patient's return to the community. The social worker also coordinates among the patient, family, physician, and rehabilitation team to arrange post discharge services. These may include home care, equipment, transportation or placement outside the home and providing information about financial resources or referrals to community services.
The Clinical Dietitian
Clinical dietitians identify and work with all patients who are at nutritional risk. They ensure that patients are placed on correct therapeutic diets; provide nutritional education for patients and families as well as initiate and monitor the adequacy of enteral and parenteral nutrition for patients.