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Rehabilitation institute interdisciplinary team
A physiatrist specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation physicians are nerve, muscle, bone and brain experts who treat illness or injury to help restore function. By evaluating the impact of a condition on the whole person — mentally, socially, emotionally, and vocationally — rehabilitation physicians help their patients understand and take control of their health.
Physiatrists have a team approach to caring for people who have had serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, strokes, amputations and other neurological disorders. With these patients, the aim is to improve their function and quality of life.
To become a physiatrist, individuals must complete four years of graduate medical education and four additional years of post-doctoral residency training.
The staff at Regions is trauma- and rehabilitation-trained. They have the specialized knowledge and clinical skills to provide care for people with physical disabilities and chronic illness. They provide support to the patient as well as family education, both formally and informally.
One third of the staff is certified in this specialty and has a four-year degree in nursing. They have excellent functional assessment skills and take a comprehensive approach to care. The nursing staff takes personal pride in their work and this is reflected in greater than half of the staff being employed on this unit 10 years or longer.
Problems with depression, anxiety and thinking skills can have a negative impact on health and medical recovery from injury and illness. The rehabilitation psychologist works to clarify the patient’s ability to participate in and benefit from rehabilitation services (i.e., physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech). The psychologist also partners with patients, their families and hospital staff to improve patients’ adjustment to health changes. For patients with longer-term adjustment needs, the psychologist may continue to work with the patient after the patient leaves the hospital.
A Social Worker helps the patient and family plan for discharge from the hospital to as independent a setting as possible. Referrals may be made to various community agencies. After discharge, support is provided to the patient and family during the period of adjustment to home and community.
Aquatic Therapists (AT) provide physical therapy and adapted aquatics (in a warm water pool) to people affected by an injury or illness. Treatment emphasis is on the use of exercise and aquatic techniques to meet the person’s rehabilitative needs.
Occupational Therapists (OT) evaluate and treat people who have limitations in activities of daily living, arm function, visual perception or cognition. They also can evaluate the need for and recommend adapted equipment to make living easier. We have occupational therapists who specialize in treating hand injuries whether from trauma, disease, congenital deformity or acquired deformities.
Physical Therapists (PT) evaluate and treat musculoskeletal disorders and orthopedic and neurological disabilities, as well as provide physical rehabilitation of major disabilities. They can also evaluate the need for and recommend equipment to assist with mobility, such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs and orthotics.
A Recreation Specialist evaluates individual leisure skills and provides treatment to increase independent functioning in both home and community recreational settings. Treatment may include learning adaptive techniques, expanding leisure interest, planning and participating in community recreational outings and creating a discharge leisure plan. Treatment is provided individually or in small group settings.
Speech therapists evaluate and treat developmental speech and language disorders and acquired neurogenic and cognitive disorders. They also treat learning disabilities, hearing impairments and reading problems as well as problems related to voice, dysphagia, laryngeal speech and cleft palate.
A Registered Dietitian (RD) evaluates patients’ ability to meet their nutritional needs by diet, supplements or tube feedings. They also provide education on new diets, help adjust meals to fit patients’ food preferences, recommend appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements and follow patients’ nutritional intake and status.
A Hand Therapist (HT) is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who specializes in the rehabilitation of patients with hand and upper extremity conditions. The hand therapists at Regions Rehabilitation Institute specialize in treating the hand, wrist and elbow through evaluation, treatment, education and a strong home exercise program.
A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who has a minimum of five years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy. In addition, they also pass a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory.
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