Friday, March 20, 2009

Rehabilitation Units at Sticht Center

On Thursday, March 19, 2009, Clinical Nurse Specialist Beth Hubbartt shared her knowledge with Carpenter Library staff about the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilition Unit and the Acquired Brain Injury Unit on the third floor of the J. Paul Sticht Center of Aging and Rehabilitation.

We explored the recreation therapy room where Recreational Therapist Peg Cromer explained the different classes and activities for rehabilitation patients, such as playing a board game to exercising in the pool. The group was then off to the gym where there were machines to strengthen muscles, steps to practice walking up and down and even a car for patients to learn to get in and out of with or without assistance.

The group also got a peak at an "apartment" where patients are sent for one night to see if they are ready to go home. Apartment includes a bed, bathroom and kitchen. Patients are given goals to accomplish during their stay. There is also another area that occupational therapy patients utilize to learn daily living activities, such as how to bake cookies and make a bed.

Ms. Hubbartt explained the difference between several types of therapists - recreational therapists work with patients to develop an active lifestyle and learn leisure activities; occupational therapists help with the fine motor skills like eating and reading; physical therapists handle the gross motor skills like walking. Patients, ages 13 and older, must be able to do three hours of therapy per day to be admitted to these units.

The Acquired Brain Injury Unit has six beds and the Neurorehabilitation Unit has 19 beds. A team of therapists, nurses, social workers and rehab physicians consult one another about each patient and the patient's goals.

There are other "people" that help too including Molly the dog that visits weekly and chaplains that offer Sunday services. Patients are also taken on outings, like the Festival of Lights at Tanglewood, on the units' bus. And patients and employees do try to have fun especially at the annual reunion - a 27-year tradition.

As WFUBMC employees, the collaboration of various personnel is impressive especially when the goal is to make the patient as independent as possible as well as improving the quality of life for rehabilitation patients.

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