An Integrated Patient Care Team
At the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, we take a holistic approach to assembling a patient’s core rehabilitation team. These individuals then work together to form an integrated patient care team focused on delivering excellent rehabilitative care.
Physiatrists — or physicians certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation — can be described as the team leaders. They look at the whole patient, and diagnose and treat conditions using:
- Rehabilitation techniques
- Medical management
Their main objective is to help you restore function and overcome physical limitations following an injury.
The Rehabilitation Nurse
Rehabilitation nurses make sure that your day-to-day needs are met, making them the team members you’ll see most.
They also will:
- Help you apply what you are learning to your daily activities
- Assist you in putting all of the pieces of your care together
- Interact with family and friends to further involvement and cooperation
The Physical Therapist
Physical therapists — also called PTs — work with you to improve function and mobility.
To help you be as independent as possible, PTs use:
- Therapeutic exercise
- Mobility devices
- Techniques for pain relief
- Advanced equipment
The Speech-language Pathologist
Your speech-language pathologist — who may be referred to as an SLP — focuses on communication abilities. SLPs work on retraining cognitive functions like memory, attention, and language and may help treat swallowing disorders.
Specific treatment tools can involve:
- Other communication and cognitive devices
The Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists — also called OTs — work closely with you to regain skills and abilities for daily living, such as:
- Getting dressed
- Preparing a meal
OTs also provide you with assistive devices and may offer creative, adaptive solutions, such as:
- Tools that help grab or reach for items
- New methods to help you do familiar tasks
Family and Friends
Family members and friends also play an important role in the patient care team.
They receive education about helping the recovery process and making it easier for you to come home. Including family and friends in this process completes the continuum of care to help you live as safely and independently as possible.