The Care Team
The group of professionals that oversees your treatment plan is called the care team. These health care professionals represent many different areas. They meet regularly to plan your program and check on your progress throughout your stay at Gaylord.
The care team may meet with the family members of our patients who are in Gaylord’s rehabilitation division. These meetings, called family conferences, give everyone the chance to talk about what your needs may be when you are ready to return home. Some people may require special equipment; others may need to have ramps installed or structural modifications made to their home.
Gaylord’s treating teams are led by physicians who are responsible for patient care. Gaylord physicians include:
Internists, also called internal medicine physicians. Focusing on adult medicine, they are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Internists are referred to as the “doctor’s doctor,” because they often serve as consultants to other physicians in diagnosing health problems from the simple to the complex.
Pulmonologists, physicians who possess knowledge and skill in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary (lung) conditions and diseases.
Physiatrists, physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation. They deal with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disability caused by acute or chronic disease.
Other specialties represented by the medical staff include sleep medicine, neurology, rheumatology, geriatrics, and psychiatry. As part of the medical team, Gaylord’s physician assistants work closely with hospital physicians. They provide medical monitoring and management, answer medical questions and address patient and family concerns.
Nursing at Gaylord is delivered by professional, skilled nurses who work closely with members of the treating team. They possess the clinical skills needed to provide a hospital level of care in Gaylord’s long-term acute care environment. The nursing staff includes:
- Registered nurses
- Licensed practical nurses
- Certified nursing assistants
Nurses are involved in the medical management assessment of patients, and bring expertise in the care and treatment of patients with complex medical issues such as ventilator dependency, post-surgical complications and wound care. They also help the patient and family practice any skills learned in therapy and provide education on health needs and medications. Nurses are with the patients day and night.
Occupational therapy (OT) helps improve your ability to perform daily functions safely and efficiently, as well as assist you in identifying the impact of cognitive, visual or physical changes affecting everyday living tasks. Your program may include:
- Strengthening of specific muscles
- Training to improve your coordination
- Training in dressing, eating, bathing and toileting techniques or in home management activities, such as cooking
Endurance training and work simplification programs may be part of your treatment plan. Group and self-exercises are also included. Occupational therapists teach techniques of adaptation, and you will be fitted with splints and braces if needed. Occupational therapy also may use aquatic therapy in your treatment plan. OT also coordinates:
- Planning Modifications at Home
Occupational therapists may assist you in planning for at-home use of special equipment, such as electric beds and bathroom fixtures. The occupational therapist also may assess the need for adaptations or modifications to your home.
- Easy Street™
Another innovation at Gaylord is its Easy Street™ facility — a simulated community built inside the hospital that features realistic models of a theater, grocery store, restaurant, bank and an automobile to practice transfers from wheelchairs. Easy Street™ builds confidence by encouraging patients to try daily activities in the privacy of the hospital before they are faced with similar situations in the community.
Physical Therapy (P.T.)
Physical therapy, often prescribed for patients in the rehabilitation program, uses exercise and stretching to help relieve pain, increase strength and endurance and improve coordination and balance. You and your family members may be instructed on how to transfer from wheelchair to chair, bed or car. You may also need to relearn techniques of walking, perhaps with the aid of a brace, crutch or cane. Group exercises and self-exercise may also be part of your treatment plan. Physical therapists, under the direction of the physician in charge of your care, may recommend an appropriate wheelchair and will provide instructions on how to use it. Physical therapy also provides aquatic therapy in the hospital's 25-by-75-foot pool.
Speech-language pathologists specialize in treating the speech, language and cognitive deficits associated with neurological disorders. These therapists facilitate the recovery of speech, verbal expression and comprehension, and reading and writing as well as other cognitive and communication skills. Also available through the department are programs for swallowing disorders and stuttering.
Audiologists at Gaylord are specially trained professionals who evaluate hearing loss in people of all ages and may prescribe and dispense hearing aids. They understand that coming to terms with hearing loss can be a sensitive issue and treat each client with respect while trying to find the best hearing solution.
A serious illness or injury often requires some life adjustments by the individual and family members. Our department of psychology assists this critical effort by providing: psychodiagnostic evaluation, individual and group psychotherapy and couples, family and sex counseling. Members of the department are trained to counsel you with depression, anxiety and grief. Special procedures—such as neuropsychological assessment, relaxation, assertiveness training and behavioral methods of pain control—are used where indicated.
If you have a chronic respiratory condition, you will take part in the medical division’s comprehensive pulmonary program. Respiratory therapists work with patients who are ventilator dependent as well as those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other conditions including asthma, cystic fibrosis, and interstitial, neuromuscular, occupational, and environmental lung disease.
As a pulmonary patient, you will undergo general reconditioning and mobilization programs and may participate in therapy to help you take part in activities of daily living with less strain. Respiratory therapists and technicians join with physicians, nurses and other staff to provide 24-hour service for this program. Gaylord's pulmonary program also is enhanced by an accredited sleep laboratory to study sleep-related disorders that sometimes underlie medical problems.
Gaylord’s care coordinators ensure that your program is fully coordinated among all parties involved in your case: payers, the care team and other professionals and agencies involved in your care. While most of our patients (75%) return home upon discharge, some may need additional health care services. Our care coordinators work with the patient and family to find the necessary resources.
The therapeutic recreation staff can provide you with social, leisure and sporting activities during your stay. For those in the rehabilitation program, your therapy program may include activities designed to promote your rehabilitation goals through enjoyable pursuits such as games and sports, creative hobbies, arts and crafts, and music. The therapeutic recreation department staff may take you on regularly scheduled outings for bowling, movies, shopping and dining out.
Food and Medical Nutrition Therapy Services
A clinical dietitian is available to determine your nutritional status and requirements. Patients order their meals from menu which provides daily options for three well-balanced meals. If a modified diet is prescribed, a dietitian will discuss options of the diet and assist you with your meal choices. Expertise is available to ensure proper oral and parenteral feeding, and to provide continuity of nutrition care from referral through discharge.
Our dietitians work with nursing, speech therapy and other members of the treating team to assure appropriate food consistency and adequate nutrition for the patients with swallowing problems. With the occupational therapist, the dietitian offers advice in meal planning, shopping and food preparation.
Gaylord has a number of consulting physician specialists who practice in the community. They are on call to provide services when needed.