A rehabilitation hospital provides care for stabilized patients who still need inpatient hospital care. Unlike the patient in the standard hospital, the patient sent to a rehab hospital needs additional help to recover from an injury or surgical procedure. They might require physical, occupational or speech therapy as their condition improves, and they might need social work assistance to determine how to live life once they are released. Like a regular medical hospital, a rehabilitation hospital has 24 hour nursing care, 7 days per week. Many nurses are RNs and rehab nurses.
Rehab hospitals are required to use a coordinated interdisciplinary team approach led by a rehab physician, and includes a rehab nurse, a case manager, and a licensed therapist from each therapy discipline who must meet weekly to evaluate/discuss each patient’s case. All patients, regardless of diagnoses/condition, must demonstrate need and receive at least 3 hours of daily therapy or 15 hours over a 7 day period. Patient must need 2 different therapies minimally (Occupational, Physical and/or speech therapy) and need medical supervision by a doctor.
For the family of the patient, a rehabilitation hospital can be a positive intermediary step before a family member returns home. The rehab hospital not only instructs the patients and helps them regain function but also works with the family to determine what will be needed when the patient is released.
Most rehabilitation hospitals offer comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. For individuals recovering from a brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke or other neurological impairment, the outpatient treatment program can be a very important step on the pathway to recovery. Patients receive intensive rehabilitation and are able to return home at night to practice newly learned skills in a familiar environment. The outpatient program helps prepare patients for living independently and returning to work.