Rehabilitation takes a team effort. That team includes you, your family and Mercy’s staff of rehabilitation specialists. The team cares for, advises, supports, teaches and encourages you as you go through your program.
Members of your rehab team may include:
- You and your family – the most important members. Together, you, your family and the staff set your goals. It is important to talk about your concerns, desires and needs with the entire team. You and your family must be involved in all parts of the rehabilitation process to reach your goals.
- Physiatrist – a doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. The physiatrist manages your medical care, directs the rehabilitation team and brings information from other doctors into the overall team plan.
- Rehabilitation Nurse (RN) – cares for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Professional nurses work closely with doctors and the rest of the team to provide holistic care to you and your family. They provide education related to your specific diagnosis and help you manage the changes in your physical, emotional and spiritual health needs. They assist you in reaching your highest possible level of independence.
- Physical Therapist (PT) – helps you gain strength, balance, coordination and endurance. The therapist also works to improve moving in bed, getting into and out of bed, and walking or wheelchair mobility.
- Occupational Therapist (OT) – helps you gain independence in activities of daily living such as dressing, personal hygiene and feeding. Treatment focuses on improving strength, coordination and problem-solving skills you need to return to household and community activities.
- Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) – helps you with problems in communication, language skills, memory, thinking and swallowing.
- Recreation Therapist – helps with leisure and social skills. Planned activities provide opportunities to test these skills.
- Social Worker – provides emotional support and helps you assess your needs, strengths, current living situations and social supports. The social worker provides referrals to community resources to ease your transition back into the community.
- Psychologist – assesses the effect your injury or illness is having on your mental functions and offers support and education to help you and your family deal with life changes.
- Chaplain – The Mercy chaplain offers spiritual and emotional support as you and your family deal with life changes. Pastoral counseling, the sacraments and contact with local clergy are available. The chaplain can help with health care choices and filling out a living will or durable power of attorney.
- Respiratory Therapist (RT) – monitors your breathing. This therapist teaches breathing exercises, gives breathing treatments, and education when needed.
- Patient Care Technician (PCT) – works closely with the professional nurses to care for your medical, nursing and therapy needs. They help give hands-on care.