Meet Your Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Team
Every patient is different and the members of your rehab team will reflect your needs. You may not need everybody on this list, but if you do, we want you to be familiar with some of the terms and people caring for you.
Patient & Family
You and your family are always at the center of our care. Our goal is to get you back to an independent life. We want to push you toward your goals and will communicate your treatment plan with you throughout your inpatient stay.
SCI Rehab Physician
Your SCI physicians are also known as a physiatrist. A physiatrist is a doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) with special training to help people recover from injuries such as spinal cord injuries. Your SCI physician will run tests and help coordinate treatment. This doctor will be in charge of your care throughout rehabilitation.
Physical therapists (PTs) help people move their bodies better and more safely. They’ll work with you extensively on balance, coordination, strength and endurance throughout your rehab. PTs will also help your family learn about spinal cord injury and order special equipment you may need such as a wheelchair, walker or other medical devices.
Occupational therapists (OTs) help people build and practice the skills needed to do everyday activities on their own after discharge. They work to help you adapt your environment to allow you to be as functional and independent as possible. They will help you with everyday tasks such as getting dressed, grooming, brushing teeth, using the bathroom, bathing, cooking and doing laundry.
Getting back your ability to enjoy life is a huge part of rehab. Our recreational therapists (TRs) will help you do some of the fun and relaxing activities you enjoyed before your injury. These free time activities help with communication, body movement, balance and planning out your day. If you are unable to do you favorite activities, TRs can help find new activities that adapt to your functionality.
If you have difficulty communicating, speaking or swallowing due to your injury, our speech-language pathologists, also called speech therapists (ST), will evaluate and treat any deficits you have in these areas.
Managing your mental health during your recovery is extremely important. It can have a big impact on your physical rehabilitation. Our psychologists & counselors are here to help you adjust to life after a spinal cord injury. This includes adapting to lifestyle changes, assisting with family coping issues and giving you useful tips and mechanisms to take with you once you discharge.
Respiratory Therapists (RTs) give breathing treatments, if needed. If you have a tracheostomy (a tube in your throat to help you breathe), an RT will help you make the change to breathing on your own or can train you and your family to take care of the tracheostomy after you leave the hospital. The RTs will evaluate and treat any other issues you may be having related to your lungs or breathing.
Case managers (CM) are social workers or nurses with special training in managing the finer details of patient care. Your case manager will be your main contact for family members and patients. They will be the link between you, your family and friends, the treatment team and the insurance companies. They can also help assist when transitioning from one level of care to another, such as inpatient to outpatient.
Our nurses specialize in helping you throughout your rehabilitation. They have special training in helping people recover from injuries or diseases. Our nurses will assist you with taking medication, using the bathroom, bathing, eating and anything else you may need during your inpatient stay.
Transitioning to a new normal can be hard at times. In some cases you may need to re-learn tasks that used to be simple. Our SCI educators are here to assist you with this process. They will help educate you and your family about life after discharge and empower you to be as independent as possible.
Adequate nutrition is vital for good health and wellbeing. Registered Dietitians (RD) will work with you to make a plan for healthy eating. A nutritious and balanced diet helps you manage your weight, provides the energy needed for daily activities and keeps the body strong.