Your Rehabilitation Team
Cairns Private Hospital’s rehabilitation programs are managed by a team of health care professionals to help you achieve your rehabilitation goals and assist in your recovery. For some, this may be getting back to work, back to driving or back to your favourite leisure activity. For others, it may simply be to help you live as independently as possible in the community. Which specialists are involved in your rehabilitation will depend upon your individual needs but may include:
Rehabilitation Specialist / Geriatrician
The rehabilitation specialist or geriatrician has responsibility for monitoring and evaluating medical and rehabilitation care. They liaise with a patient’s surgeon or physician, GP and other specialists to ensure effective continuity of medical care.
Physiotherapists assist patients in improving balance, strength, movement, flexibility, endurance, mobility and reviewing any mobility equipment if required. They also design home exercise programs.
Occupational therapists help patients to increase functional ability with activities of daily living. They can also assist with the prescription of equipment to help maintain independence and increase safety within the home.
Occupational therapy can assist with:
- balance and endurance therapy
- falls prevention and everyday activities
- leisure activities and past hobbies, and
- "getting organised" activities.
The exercise physiologist makes individualised exercise programs that help develop strength, endurance, range of motion and balance to achieve a patient’s specific rehabilitation goals. The program is reviewed regularly to help patients reach their goals and further their rehabilitation.
Allied Health Assistant
The allied health assistant coordinates, supervises and assists with individual and group therapy sessions.
If a patient’s medical condition has contributed to swallowing and / or communication difficulties, they may be referred to a speech pathologist for assessment and management.
If patients experience unintentional weight loss or if their medical condition requires diet therapy, they may be referred to a dietitian who can assist with:
- assessing their nutritional requirements
- advising about healthy food options, and
- provide cooking demonstrations.
For patients who require information about home help and community services or longer term assistance, they may be referred to a social worker for assessment, planning and referral. Social workers can assist with:
- patient planning for every day activity needs on discharge
- helping patients and families adjust to issues around disability, loss and lifestyle changes, and
- coordinating appropriate community services.
Psychologists work with patients to develop strategies to cope with a broad range of issues.
Psychologists working in a health setting specialise in helping patients to understand the interaction between physical, psychological and behavioural factors which can impact on their health, illness and recovery.
They teach skills and strategies to aid in mood management and can also assist with pain management. This includes goal setting, building self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as helping individuals to learn effective stress management techniques to promote wellbeing.
Through supportive counselling and empathic reflection, psychologists are often able to assist in dealing with grief and loss issues that can arise following illness or injury.
Nurses encourage and assist patients to achieve their optimal level of independence by providing suitable activities. They help coordinate a patient’s program and attend to any nursing requirements. They will encourage and assist patients to achieve their optimal level of independence while maintaining safety. They also monitor patients’ general health and liaise with their therapists to ensure continuity of rehabilitation care. Nurses provide 24-hour care and supervision and help with daily ward activities.
If patients become ill or require prescriptions, they need to discuss this with their GP. Our Rehabilitation Team must be informed about any changes in a patient’s medical condition and / or medications as this may impact their rehabilitation program.
You the patient, are at the centre of the rehabilitation program, as it is designed to meet your needs. Our philosophy is to maximise independence through goal setting and active participation. Your Rehabilitation Team meets regularly to monitor your progress and review your goals. You are a vital member of the team and will be encouraged to participate in all aspects of your program, whether as an inpatient or day patient.