Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Care Team

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Your Care Team

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Your rehabilitation team is chosen just for you and includes the specific doctors, therapists and other professionals  you need to make the best recovery.

Doctors (MDs, DOs, APPs)

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The type of doctor leading your care team is called a physiatrist. Physiatrists have advanced training and expertise in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (i.e., how the body moves). They will:

  • Guide your medical care
  • Oversee your progress
  • Work with the rest of your care team to ensure well-rounded care

Additionally, a Resident Physician, completing his or her advanced training (or “residency”) in physiatry, will work with you and your doctor

Registered Nurses (RNs)

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An RN will provide direct patient care, including:

  • Administering medications to meet your health, educational and functional goals
  • Working with you and your  family to develop skills needed  to keep you healthy
  • Coordinating patient family- centered care
  • Addressing patient and family education required for discharge

Patient Care Technicians (PCTs)

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A PCT will:

  • Assist you with daily activities, including showering, grooming, dressing and eating
  • Work closely with your care team to perform basic care during your stay

Physical Therapist (PTs)

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Your PT will develop an individualized treatment plan to:

  • Focus on activities to help  with balance, mobility, strength, endurance and range of motion  (i.e., getting out of bed and moving around in your environment)
  • Identify what changes, including equipment, you need to make to  your home or next living environment  as you prepare to leave

Occupational Therapists (OTs)

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An OT will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan, which:

  • Helps you gain more independence with your daily activities and routine
  • Focuses on showering, grooming, dressing, eating
  • Works on arm strength and coordination, thinking skills  and safety awareness

Identifies assistive bathroom equipment for your next living environment and ensures that  you and your family members  have the proper training

Speech-Language Pathologist (SLPs)

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An SLP will develop an individualized treatment plan that focuses on:

  • Listening and understanding, speaking, reading and writing
  • Attention, memory, organization  for communication
  • Chewing and swallowing safely

Respiratory Therapist/Care Practitioners (RCPs)

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You may work with an RCP to:

  • Identify and assist with special medical equipment to help you breathe if you cannot on your own
  • Help determine what kind of therapy is best based on any  lung or breathing disorders
  • Provide condition-specific education for families

Care Managers

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A Care Manager is a licensed social worker or a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse who will: 

  • Assess your goals, review your  support systems and identify  needs at home or in your next  living environment
  • Work with you and your family to prepare an action plan for when  you are ready to leave
  • Talk to your insurance company  and assist with financial/ community resources

Research Scientist

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Our research scientists:

  • Work closely with our clinical teams  to help solve clinical problems and apply evidence-based research  to clinical care
  • Help our clinicians understand breakthroughs on how the body recovers from injury and disease

You may have the opportunity to participate in a research study or trial if you choose to, depending on what active trials are ongoing. Your care team can share more information about how these opportunities may relate to you.

Pharmacists

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Our clinical pharmacists:

  • Review and ensure every medicine you are prescribed is safe and effective for your recovery
  • Work with your nurses and physicians to optimize your medication regimen
Graphic of care team structure

 

Other Members of Your Care Team

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Our goal is to help you restore your function and independence. Each patient's care team is customized to fit his or her needs.

Dietician

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Clinical dietitians will assess your nutritional needs. They will teach you how to make nutritionally sound food choices to speed your recovery process and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Prosthetist & Orthotist

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Our team works with you to provide the right prosthetic or orthotic device to help you meet your goals. We provide everything from prefabricated orthoses (braces) to customized microprocessor lower-limb prostheses (“smart” artificial limbs).

Psychologist

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Most patients will have a psychological evaluation within the first few days. Depending on patient needs, a psychologist will work with other staff members to offer individual and group therapy.

Recreational Therapist

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Our Therapeutic Recreation team is composed of therapists who specialize in ways to make recreational activities fun, engaging and healing. The team schedules events during the week and on the weekends that are available to all patients.

Technologist

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Specially trained therapists will assess, identify and recommend appropriate assistive devices to help you communicate. Together, we will make sure you are comfortable with the equipment and are able to use it to its full potential.

Unit Assistant

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The unit assistant (UA) is an integral part of your care team and can be located at the center nursing station (i.e., the one closest to the visitor elevators), seven days a week, generally from 7 am to 8:30 pm. They have information on therapy schedules, your care team, parking, restaurants and other services nearby. Your UA will assist you in any way they can.

Wheelchair Seating Specialist

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Specially trained OTs and PTs will conduct an evaluation of your unique abilities, needs, lifestyle and environment. They will recommend a wheelchair seating system, which may include specialized supportive cushions; backrests; headrests; or trunk, arm and leg supports.

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