Different healthcare professionals will be caring for you in a variety ways while you are at Gaylord. Some of these same professionals will continue to treat you if require outpatient services after discharge. This page gives you an overview of the staff that may be part of your care.
The Care Team
The Care Team is made up of a group of healthcare professionals that meets regularly to oversee and plan your treatment and check on your progress. This team may also meet with you and your family members for a family conference to talk about what your needs may be when you are ready to return home. The care team is lead by a physician and will include many of the professionals listed below.
- Family involvement is an essential part of your recovery, and family members are encouraged to participate in learning how to help care for you. Patient care techniques are taught in the therapy departments and on the nursing unit, and once learned, your family members will be encouraged to help whenever they are present. Proper family training makes the transition from hospital to home or to another facility much easier.
The physicians who are responsible for your care lead the care team. Gaylord physicians include:
- Internists - focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases in adults.
- Pulmonologists - diagnose and treat pulmonary (lung) conditions and diseases.
- Physiatrists - specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation, which includes the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disability caused by acute or chronic diseases.
- Consultants - Gaylord has a number of consulting physician specialists who practice in the community. They are on call to provide services when needed.
Other physician specialties that may be involved include sleep medicine, neurology, rheumatology, geriatrics, and psychiatry. Physician assistants (PA) work closely with our physicians and provide medical monitoring and management, answer medical questions and address patient and family concerns.
Our professional, skilled nurses work closely with members of the treating team. The nursing staff includes:
- Registered nurses
- Licensed practical nurses
- Certified nursing assistants
Nurses are involved in the medical management and assessment of patients, and bring expertise to complex medical issues such as ventilator dependency, post-surgical complications and wound care. They also help you and your family practice skills learned in therapy and provide health and medication education.
Care Managers coordinate patient health care services and make sure that the plan of care promotes a safe and timely discharge. Discharge planning begins early during an inpatient stay and the Care Manager develops your discharge plan, including psychosocial, physical, educational and cultural considerations. The plan is continually revised based on your response to treatment and the care team’s assessment.
- Care managers also provide education and support for patients and families as well as hospital staff regarding community resources, managed care issues, or payment/payer issues. The Care Manager is the link between patients and the provider and payer organizations.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Occupational therapy (OT) helps improve your ability to perform daily activities safely and efficiently, and helps to identify 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 treatment and may include group and independent exercises. Occupational therapists will teach you how to adapt to limitations, and you will be fitted with splints and braces if needed. OT also coordinates:
- Planning Modifications at Home - occupational therapists may help in planning for at-home use of special equipment, such as electric beds and bathroom fixtures. They may also assess the need for adaptations or modifications to your home.
- Easy Street™is a simulated community built inside the hospital that has 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 (PT)
Physical therapists use exercise and stretching to help relieve pain, increase strength and endurance and improve coordination and balance. Your physical therapist will give you a thorough evaluation and individualized treatment program to increase strength and mobility. Group exercises and independent exercise may also be part of your treatment. Physical therapists also often use aquatic therapy as part of a rehabilitation program. Recommendations for necessary assistive equipment and continued therapy services will be made by the physical therapist prior to discharge.
Speech-language pathologists specialize in treating the speech, language and cognitive deficits associated with neurological disorders. Speech therapists may help with recovery of speech, verbal expression and comprehension, and reading and writing as well as other cognitive and communication skills. The department also offers programs for swallowing impairment (dysphagia) and stuttering.
Examples of speech therapy goals include: returning a patient to eating the least restrictive diet, using a speaking valve if a tracheostomy is in place, or remembering newly learned information. Treatment is provided in individual speech therapy sessions and group therapy if appropriate. Families are encouraged to participate in treatment sessions.
Our audiologists are specially trained to evaluate hearing loss in people of all ages and may prescribe and dispense hearing aids.
A serious illness or injury may require some life adjustments for you and your family. Our department of psychology will provide you with psycho-diagnostic evaluation, individual and group psychotherapy, and couples, family and sex counseling, as needed. Our psychologists are trained to counsel people with depression, anxiety and grief. Special procedures—such as neuropsychological assessment, relaxation, assertiveness training and behavioral methods of pain control—are used when indicated.
Respiratory Therapy (RT)
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. The RT will initially assess the patient’s respiratory needs, including oxygen, medication therapies, airway clearance modalities and airway interventions. The RT staff will also provide education on breathing interventions to maintain optimal respiratory function.
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CRTS) use social, leisure and sporting activities to improve your quality of life and enhance independence. Therapeutic recreation can help you discover new and exciting activities through interest exploration, and helps you continue to participate in activities through the use of adaptive equipment. Your therapy program may include enjoyable pursuits such as games and sports, creative hobbies, arts and crafts, and music and you may go on scheduled outings for bowling, movies, shopping or dining out. Therapeutic recreation services promote independence in leisure lifestyle activities by improving your physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills.
- The Sports Association of Gaylord Hospital supports disabled sports teams and clubs by encouraging people with physical disabilities to experience and participate in new sporting activities.
Our Social Workers will help to prepare you psychologically and emotionally for returning to your home and community. Social Workers provide supportive counseling to assist you and your family in coping with your injuries and disabilities. They also facilitate plans for discharge, coordinating your needs with those of your family, rehabilitation team and insurance representative. Social Workers also assist with referral to community resources.
Food and Medical Nutrition Therapy Services
A clinical dietitian is available to determine your nutritional status and requirements. If a modified diet is prescribed, a dietitian will discuss dietary options and assist you with meal choices. Expertise is available to ensure proper oral and parenteral (intravenous) feeding, and to provide continuity of nutrition care from referral through discharge. Our dietitians work members of the care team to assure appropriate food consistency and adequate nutrition if you have swallowing problems.
The chaplain is a person with specialized training who has been authorized by a formal religious body to minister to patients, families and staff in a healthcare setting. The goal of the chaplain is to help facilitate a person’s use of his/her own faith, belief system, religious experience, or heritage during a crisis. The chaplain can help provide religious resources, act as a helpful liaison with various religious bodies or communities, or assist you and your family to use faith and spiritual values to gain emotional support or spiritual strength.
Discharge Planning Staff
Our Discharge Planning Staff will arrange for the services of visiting nurses, if skilled nursing care is necessary, or home health aides. They also set up in-home therapies including physical and occupational therapy.