University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Inpatient Care Team

Every individual, regardless of ability, has the potential to achieve a dignified, satisfying and productive life. At our Inpatient Rehabilitation Units, a multidisciplinary team partners with each patient to maximize their potential and help them achieve as much independence as possible.

An important part of our patient and family centered care model is the weekly team meeting. During these meetings, patients and their family members discuss the patient's progress, and set realistic and meaningful goals.

The members of our rehabilitation teams include:

This team works together to ensure that the patient receives the most advanced and effective treatment available.

Rehabilitation Physicians (Physiatrists)

Our rehabilitation physicians (called ‘physiatrists’ because of their specialized training in physical medicine and rehabilitation) are nationally recognized for their expertise in rehabilitation. As the team leader for the patient’s rehabilitation process, the attending physiatrist directs the patient’s care, and supervises the care plans and training of medical residents who also participate on the team.

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Rehabilitation Psychologists

Rehabilitation psychologists provides the knowledge and compassion needed to help guide the patient through the psychological adjustment concurrent with any rehabilitative process. This support begins during a patient’s stay in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit and is available after the patient leaves the hospital.

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A neuropsychologist might be recommended by a psychologist or the attending physiatrist. The neuropsychologist meets with the patient to assess any issues with thinking skills, such as memory, attention, and problem solving. The neuropsychologist might also prescribe a more extensive battery of tests once the patient leaves the hospital.

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Nursing Staff

Many of the nurses on staff at our facilities are certified in rehabilitation nursing. Within the Inpatient Rehabilitation program, the rehabilitation primary nurse oversees the daily care, education, and coordination of treatment and training. Additionally, patients may consult with a nurse practitioner (ARNP), who has received specialized training to diagnose and treat common medical problems, or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS), who specializes in a specific aspect of nursing, such as pain management or wound care.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

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Physical Therapists

Physical therapists work with the patient to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination, and balance in a variety of daily activities, including moving in bed, using a wheelchair, and walking.

Physical Therapy

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Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists provides training in independent living skills, endurance, self-care, and upper body/hand function. Occupational therapists also provide training for the patient in any assistive technology that might be needed for returning to school or work.

Occupational Therapy

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Recreational Therapists

Recreation therapists assess and/or design activities to improve the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning of individuals disabled as a result of trauma or disease.

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Speech Pathologists

Speech pathologists help patients improve memory, reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

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Rehabilitation Counselors

Rehabilitation counselors work with patients and family members on preliminary planning for when and how to return to work or school. Counselors educate patients regarding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They also assist patients with accommodations for short term and long term disability, assistive computer technology, and job modifications.

A vocational counselor works with a patient on computer use.

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Social Workers

Social workers coordinate services during the patient’s stay, and after they are discharged from the hospital. They help patients and their family members gather needed information during the rehabilitation process. Social workers also answer questions regarding the patient's living situation, available post-discharge services, housing and economic concerns, and relationship issues.

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For more information on inpatient care, please explore the links below:

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