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Rush Rehabilitation Team

Each year, nearly 1,000 patients receive care from our Rush Rehabilitation team, which features the following specialists:

  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, also known as physiatrists, lead the interdisciplinary treatment team and oversee your care from a medical perspective. Your physiatrist will be responsible for treating all medical issues during your admission, including any complications you may experience. These physicians work very closely with the medical teams in the acute medical and surgical units at Rush, and will call for specialized medical consultations as needed. After discharge, you will follow up with your physiatrist for continued outpatient care.
  • Rehabilitation-credentialed nurses fill many important roles, including teacher, caregiver, collaborator and patient advocate. These dedicated nurses provide care 24/7, helping patients adapt to an altered lifestyle while providing a therapeutic environment for clients and their families. They design and implement treatment strategies based on scientific nursing theory related to self-care and that promote physical, psychosocial and spiritual health.
  • Occupational therapists (OT) address the physical, cognitive and emotional challenges brought on by your disease or injury. Whether you're recovering or have a permanent disability, your OT makes sure you can do all of the things that are important to you. Sometimes, they help you do something in a different way; other times they suggest supports to help you be as independent as possible. Your OT may give you strengthening exercises, or find ways to improve your ability to perform daily tasks such as dressing, bathing or cooking.
  • Physical therapists (PT) focus on helping you achieve your gross motor goals, which might include being able to independently get in and out of bed, stand, walk or climb stairs. Your plan of care will be customized to address your strength, balance, flexibility, range of motion and coordination, which may have been affected by your illness or injury. Your PT will work with you and your family to develop an exercise program that meets your needs and supports your long-term goals. Your family/caregiver will be an important part of your team, and they will be educated about your exercise program and/or ambulation (sitting, standing, walking) needs for home following discharge.
  • Speech-language pathologists evaluate and address speech, language and cognitive disorders, including helping those who have trouble talking, understanding and remembering. They also help with voice, problem-solving and swallowing issues. Speech-language pathologists work most often with people who have suffered a stroke or brain injury, but they also help those who experience changes resulting from surgery or other diseases that affect the brain.
  • Rehabilitation psychologists specialize in the emotional and cognitive challenges that accompany recovery from major illness. They also have expertise in the special needs of older adults and people with disabilities. At Rush Rehabilitation, rehab psychologists assesses the emotional well-being and cognitive (thinking and memory) status of every patient and, as needed, provide targeted treatments to help with problems such as pain, insomnia, depression and anxiety. They can also help you change unhealthy behaviors, and are available to simply listen and offer support to you and your family.
  • Dietitians assess each patient's nutritional status and provide individualized medical nutrition therapy to promote optimal healing throughout rehabilitation. Your dietitian will educate you and your family on the safest and most appropriate nutrition interventions. Whether you're following a specific diet, taking nutrition supplements or receiving nutrition support, our goal is to ensure that your nutritional needs are met during rehabilitation.
  • Patient care technicians (PCT or nursing assistants) work with nurses to provide care to our patients, including checking vital signs, answering call lights, helping patients to the bathroom, and assisting with bathing, dressing and eating.
  • Care managers are social workers who help coordinate your transition home after inpatient rehabilitation. They help to identify your goals, needs and resources and arrange for additional resources and services, such as in-home care, and transportation to and from appointments.
  • Chaplains offer spiritual support for our patients and their families.