Understanding Rehabilitation

Neurological Rehabilitation
Neurological rehabilitation is a physician-supervised program designed for people with diseases, trauma, or disorders of the nervous system. Neurological rehabilitation can often improve function, reduce symptoms, and improve the well-being of the patient.
Statistics of Disability
Approximately 54 million people in the US have some type of disability, with physical, sensory, mental, and self-care effects ranging from mild to severe.
Overview of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R)
PM and R is a medical specialty that works to restore function for a person who has been disabled as a result of a disease, disorder, or injury.

Rehabilitation Team

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Treatment Team
The team is usually directed by a physiatrist, with other specialists playing important roles in the treatment and education process.
Patient and Family
You as the patient and your family are the most important members of the rehabilitation team.
Physiatrist
The physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation is called a physiatrist.
Rehabilitation Nurse
A rehabilitation nurse specializes in helping people with disabilities and chronic illness to reach their best function and health, and to adapt to an altered lifestyle.
Clinical Social Worker
A clinical social worker is a professional counselor who helps alleviate problems related to personal, family, or social situations.
Physical Therapist
Physical therapists focus on restoring a patient's mobility (movement) and function, and preventing of further disability.
Occupational Therapist
An occupational therapist helps patients learn how to carry out activities of daily living at home, on the job, and in the community.
Speech/Language Pathologist
A speech/language pathologist helps treat people with communication problems that result from disability, surgery, or developmental disorders. This specialist also treats people with swallowing disorders caused by stroke or brain injury.
Psychologist, Neuropsychologist, and Psychiatrist
These specialists work with the rehabilitation team to offer counseling and support for the patient and family.
Recreation Therapist
Recreation therapists design programs to help patients develop social skills and learn to participate in leisure group activities.
Audiologist
Audiologists measure and evaluate a person's ability to hear sounds, and specialize in the treatment of people with hearing disorders.
Registered Dietitian
Registered dietitians work with health care providers to calculate calorie and nutrient needs, design special diets, and offer other nutritional advice to patients.
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Vocational rehabilitation counselors assist people with disabilities in planning careers and finding and keeping satisfying jobs.
Orthotist and Prosthetist
An orthotist makes and fits braces and splints for patients who need added support for body parts that have been weakened by injury or disease. A prosthetist makes and fits artificial limbs for patients with disabilities.
Rehabilitation Case Manager
Case managers usually don't provide direct patient care, but may work either as part of the rehab team or for the patient's insurance company.
Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory therapists help treat and restore function for patients with airway and breathing problems.
Chaplain
Chaplains act as spiritual counselors to help patients and families through periods of crisis.
Physical Rehabilitation at the Hospital
If you are in the hospital recovering from surgery, healing from an injury, or being treated for a disabling medical condition, physical rehabilitation may be an important part of your treatment.
Outpatient Rehabilitation
If you’re recovering from an illness, surgery, or injury and need outpatient rehabilitation, this means you’ll receive one or more types of therapy after you’ve been discharged from a hospital or clinic.

Family and Community

Effects of Rehabilitation on the Family
One of the most important factors in a patient's recovery is family involvement and support in his or her rehab.
Community Re-Entry
One of the main goals of rehabilitation is to prepare the patient for life after discharge.
Choosing a Rehabilitation Unit/CARF
Rehabilitation services are provided in many different places, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community health centers.