The Rehabilitation Team

The Rehabilitation Team is the team of people, including yourself and your family, who will help you during your stay on the Acute Rehabilitation Unit (ARU). The following information explains the roles of each team member.

Person Served: You, the patient, are the main member of the interdisciplinary team. You will take part in deciding on the goals for your treatment plan. The team will help you make safe and sound decisions about your care. You are always encouraged to say what you think about your care and treatment plan.

Case Coordinator: This is a nurse who has training in insurance, Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits. She works with the Rehab Medical director in evaluating the needs of the residents who are referred to the Rehab Center directly from Mission Hospital, and sets up appropriate admissions. When an ARU referral request is made for a patient not currently at Mission Hospital, she performs an in depth assessment, in coordination with the ARU Medical Director, to determine the appropriateness of an ARU admission directly from the external facility and coordinates all parameters of the admission. She works with the insurance carriers prior to your admission to ensure that the care that you need is a benefit offered by your insurance carrier and authorized (agreement to pay). Your Insurance Company may also assign a Case Manager to follow the care provided to you while you are in the Rehabilitation Center.

Chaplain: Works with the patient and family to meets their spiritual and emotional needs that they face as a result of this illness and/or injury. The Chaplain may also help to communicate the emotional/spiritual needs of the patient and family to the rest of the Rehabilitation Team. There are also pastoral volunteers available to provide visits and support. At the time of discharge, the Chaplain can provide resources for ongoing support.

Dietitian: Evaluates all patients to ensure the patient is eating a well balanced diet. She also provides education as needed to patients and families on diet modifications. She can monitor closely patients who are not eating well, on tube feeding, or TPN (nutrition provided by an IV).

Family member / Significant Other: As a member of the team, you may be involved by acting as the representative of the Person Served when they are unable to do so. You may be helping your loved-one by guiding their decisions, encouraging them to participate, and in some cases, helping them with some skills. The change in your loved-one’s health status affects the family as well. One of the team’s goals is to look at the educational, emotional, financial, and adjustment issues that impact the entire family. Meeting these needs will help to ensure a better rehabilitation program.

Neuropsychologist: Is a psychologist who has special training in how the brain works after it is injured. The Neuropsychologist will help the patient and/or their family to understand the changes that have taken placed due to illness and/or injury as needed. The Neuropsychologist will also help the rehabilitation staff to understand the emotional and psychological needs of the patient and families.

Nursing Assistant (Patient Care Tech, PCT): Works under the direct supervision of an RN and has training in the specialized needs of the rehabilitation patient including transferring to the wheelchair, toilet & bed; and daily hygiene needs.

Occupational Therapist: Works on skills needed in self-care activities such as bathing, grooming, and dressing. They may also work with feeding, memory and thinking skills based on need.

Physiatrist: Dr. Cushing is trained in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and is the Medical Director of the Rehabilitation Center. His office is located on the ARU. He acts as the attending physician for the patients on the ARU and will be in charge of the patient’s rehabilitation program, talking with other physicians involved in the case as needed.

Physical Therapist: Works on activities that utilize large muscle groups. These activities may include bed mobility, transfers to various surfaces and ambulation with/without devices. The PT may also work on certain treatments for pain such as hot packs, cold packs or electrical stimulation, and safety training.

Recreational Therapist: Works to find what leisure or recreational activities are of interest to the resident and help them participate as endurance allows. The patient’s illness or injury may change the type of activities they are able to do.

Rehab Aide: Has training to help a Physical or Occupational Therapist in the therapy treatment plan for a patient. They may assist the therapist with routine tasks such as walking or exercising a patient.

Rehabilitation Nurse: Is either a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) who has specialized training in meeting the special needs of the rehabilitation patient. Nursing care may include bladder retraining, bowel retraining, pain management and prevention and treatment of skin problems.

Social Worker/Care Coordinator: Works with the patient and family to make sure they get the information on the treatment plan and talk about lifestyle changes that are a result of the illness and/or injury. The Social Workers, along with other Rehabilitation Team members makes sure that your needs are met at discharge. This may include ordering the right equipment or giving information on resources outside the hospital. She may also be in contact with your insurance company as necessary to ensure that authorization (agreement to pay) is received prior to any services being rendered and/or equipment ordered once recommended by the ARU staff.

Speech Therapist (also referred to as Speech Pathologist): Works with speech (speech production and understanding what is said), thinking (cognition, memory, problem solving) skills and swallowing problems.

To find out more about our outstanding program or to schedule a tour, please call (949) 365-2186.