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Rehabilitation Team

At. St. Charles Rehabilitation, our commitment to teamwork gives everyone a place at the table.

It is very important that you understand that your participation in the rehabilitation program is a crucial component of a successful recovery.  However, we do not expect you to do it alone.   Therefore, you will be meeting many different healthcare providers with a varied amount of expertise, each helping you to cope and manage with your injury and strive to reach your goals within your rehabilitation program.  You may not be seen by all of the members of the healthcare team; you and your doctor will decide what services best meet your individual needs.  It is also important to feel empowered and understand that you are the leader of a healthcare team that will help direct and guide you along the road to recovery.  A complete and beneficial treatment plan will need the input of you and your family.  The team meets frequently to develop and monitor your treatment plan.  You may request to meet with any team member at any time.  The team will help advise you of the role that you and your family play in your treatment plan and the rehabilitation process.

The Patient

Many people who come to the hospital for rehabilitation do not realize the important role that they play in their own recovery. Being an active participant in the daily decisions and activities that occur during the rehabilitation process will allow you, the patient, to realize greater gains from this program. Please do not hesitate to communicate your goals, concerns and expectations to the rest of the team. We also understand that this is a challenging time for you and your family. The rehabilitation program strives to include your family in the process of planning for your care and setting up your plan for discharge. St. Charles Rehabilitation urges the involvement of your family members to help care for you, support you and assist you in your recovery. We look forward to involving your family and friends in the education and training program to make for a smooth transition to home or the next level of care.

Rehabilitation Physician

Your doctor will be one who specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. This type of doctor is also known as a physiatrist. Your attending physician will direct all aspects of your rehabilitation program, from ordering tests to prescribing medications and various consults as needed. You may have both an attending physician (one who is more experienced) and a resident physician (one who is training to specialize in rehabilitation medicine); both are fully qualified to treat you and direct all of the aspects of your care. A nurse practitioner with special training and expertise in rehabilitation may also be involved in your care.

Rehabilitation Nurse

The nurses will provide 24 hour monitoring of your condition and coordinate your rehabilitative care with input from all team members. The nurse, along with the nursing assistant, will help to carry out and implement your plan of care in the rehabilitation program and will help you to practice what you are learning in your therapy sessions as well as assisting you with difficult tasks. The nurse will help to prepare you for discharge by teaching you and your family how to manage your care, such as taking care of your skin, teaching you how to best manage your medications and related health issues, providing pain management (if needed), and coordinating education efforts for the patient and family.

Physical Therapist

The physical therapist will evaluate your physical status and functional ability upon admission into the rehabilitation program and will then develop a plan of exercises, therapeutic techniques and functional activities to help increase muscle strength, joint movement, mobility and safety. They will teach you and your family the proper techniques and precautions for safe and effective mobility and will develop your goals for recovery. These goals are determined with your input and set on an individual basis using the information gathered upon assessment; refinement of these goals is made as needed after initial implementation of a rehabilitative treatment plan. Your therapist will also make adaptive equipment recommendations (for example a walker, cane, commode, wheelchair, etc.) and will order any equipment that you may need for a safe and efficient discharge to home.

Occupational Therapist

The occupational therapist, through evaluation and treatment, will help you reach your maximum level of physical and psychosocial function so that you can live as independently as possible. The occupational therapist will help you to learn to use your muscle strength and teach you efficient ways on how to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, eating, personal hygiene, and other activities that are important for your to return to. Individualized exercise programs and treatment techniques are developed to improve your muscle strength, endurance and functional mobility. The occupational therapist may conduct evaluations to help you and your family make the home physically more accessible as part of this program. The occupational therapist will also help you in recommending and ordering any adaptive equipment that you may need for a safe and efficient discharge to home.

Speech & Language Pathologist

This practitioner is sometimes called a Speech Therapist or Speech Pathologist. The Speech Therapist specializes in evaluating and treating difficulties of talking or understanding and swallowing problems that may be present following an injury to the brain. The Speech Therapist will tailor a plan of care for the individual needs of each patient and provide the patient and/or family with education and resources to help with their continued rehabilitative care and recovery.

Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

The Therapeutic Recreation Specialist plans activities and events that help build your stamina and strength. The recreation therapist gives you the opportunity to socialize with other people and provides written information on adaptive sports and leisure activities. Recreation therapy will provide you with an opportunity for you to develop and use intellectual abilities, learn new skills, and/or modify skills developed prior to your injury.

Neuropsychologist

The Psychologist may administer a variety of tests to assess thinking skills such as memory and intellect, behavior, emotional adjustment. This practitioner will help teach you and your family ways to cope with your injury and may provide emotional support/counseling to you and your family during your rehabilitation program.

Social Worker

The social worker and/or care manager will provide you and your family with emotional support and counseling. These professionals can be a resource for coping with illness and/or disability and refer you to community agencies for additional resources. This health care professional will also act as a liaison with the insurance companies to ensure a smooth transition to after hospital care. In addition, the social worker and/or care manager will help to set up family meetings and assist you and your family with the discharge planning process by providing assistance with financial resources, community services and any follow-up issues after your discharge.

Dietitian

The Dietitian will monitor your nutritional status and will formulate an individualized meal plan to ensure that your nutritional needs are met. The Dietitian also helps to monitor your medications for any possible drug-nutrient interactions. The Dietitian may educate you and your family on how to choose a meal plan that will promote a healthy lifestyle aft being discharged from the rehabilitation program.

Music Therapist

As a member of St. Charles Hospital’s interdisciplinary rehabilitation team, the music therapist employs research-based techniques involving rhythm and music to help you meet your rehabilitative goals. Treatment is customized according to each patients’ needs and can include movement exercises facilitated by rhythm, singing to improve breath support or oral motor control, instrument playing to increase manual coordination, listening to selected music to reduce stress, learning songs embedded with information as a memory aid, and much more. Music is a pleasurable and motivating stimulus and can help make the rehabilitation program a more positive experience. Patients do not need to have a background in music in order to participate in and benefit from music therapy. Music therapy is led by St. Charles Hospital’s neurologic music therapist.