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Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Team

Admission Coordinator – The admission coordinator facilitates your admission to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Beginning as the liaison with the acute care hospital, the admission coordinator helps make arrangements for transfer to Mary Free Bed.

Driver Rehabilitation – Driver evaluation, education, and behind-the-wheel instruction is offered to physically challenged individuals 15 years of age or older who are physically and mentally capable of operating a vehicle with adaptations for driving or transportation needs.

Nutrition Services – Every patient’s nutritional needs are evaluated by a clinical dietician. A nutritional history and assessment are taken to determine possible nutritional and feeding problems as well as individual food preferences. An appropriate diet is then planned to provide sufficient calories and nutrients. Throughout your hospital stay, the dietician continues to assess nutritional adequacy and make diet modifications, as needed. The dietician also counsels all patients and families requiring nutritional education to provide you with an understanding of dietary needs and care.

Occupational Therapy – The goal of occupational therapy is to increase independence with self-care activities such as feeding, dressing, and hygiene and pre-vocational skills such as writing, typing, and computer operation. The occupational therapist is responsible for evaluating and treating upper extremity range of motion, muscle strength, muscle tone, coordination, and sensation. Often various pieces of adaptive equipment will allow you to be more independent in functional skills. This equipment will be fabricated or issued by the occupational therapist. If necessary, an occupational therapist will evaluate the home or job setting to make recommendations so that the setting is more accessible and functional for your use.

Pastoral Care – The chaplain at Mary Free Bed is available to you and your family for pastoral counseling and to help you obtain the services of a clergy person of a particular denomination.

Physical Therapy – The goal of physical therapy is to increase strength and mobility. The physical therapist evaluates and provides treatment in the areas of muscle strength, sensation, joint range of motion, muscle tone, bed and wheelchair mobility, transfers, and gait training, if appropriate. The need for specialized equipment such as a wheelchair, hospital bed, or bathroom equipment will be evaluated. If necessary, a physical therapist will evaluate the home setting and make recommendations. The physical therapist is involved in the training and educating of family members.

Physician – All patients are admitted by a physician who is an active member of the Mary Free Bed medical staff. Your physician is responsible for your medical care during your hospital stay and will see you regularly. Post-discharge rehabilitation needs are also monitored by your physician through the Outpatient Spinal Cord Injury Clinic.

Psychologist – The psychologist is responsible for providing individual and/or group psychotherapy to help you identify and work through various adjustment issues, and administers and evaluates formal psychological assessment measures of cognitive, emotional, vocational, and educational function. Other services, such as sexual counseling or crisis intervention, may be provided in conjunction with other team members, particularly the social worker.

Rehabilitation Nurses – Rehabilitation nurses provide nursing assessment, physical care, and education regarding spinal cord injury. Family members and care providers may be included in the spinal cord injury education. Rehabilitation nurse will teach and assist you with or direct your physical care to the greatest extent possible. Rehabilitation nurses help you apply what you learn in therapy. “Practice makes perfect” is part of the daily routine on the nursing unit. The more often you perform an activity, the easier the activity becomes.

Social Workers – Your social worker provides services such as individual counseling, family counseling, sexual counseling, family education, assistance with discharge planning, and information and referral services. The social worker often functions as a liaison between the patient’s family and other members of the rehabilitation team.

Speech-Language Pathologist – The role of the speech-language pathologist is to maximize communications skills of individuals with communication disorders. Areas addressed include: speech, language, cognition, voice, and fluency. Additional responsibilities include the diagnosis and treatment of oral motor/swallowing disorders and the assessment and selection of nonverbal communication modes.

Recreation Therapists – The onset of a disability may change the way you manage time and your ability to participate in certain leisure time interests. Recreational therapists provide leisure counseling to prepare you for this change. Recreational therapy, with occupational therapy, provides regular community outings for you to practice skills in the “real world”. Recreational therapy provides both a swimming program and an evening social program. Families are encouraged to participate in all of these programs.

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor – The vocational rehabilitation counselor assists you in exploring plans for returning to a previous job, homemaking responsibilities, or preparing for a new job. Services may include vocational assessments, vocational counseling, coordination of services from other community resources, training, job placement, home or work site assessments, and/or modifications.

© 2014 Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital., Grand Rapids, MI | 1.855.MFB.REHAB
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