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Rehab Team consists of health professionals who are specially trained in physical medicine

Rehab Team consists of health professionals who are specially trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR). These team members work with patients and families to develop an individual treatment plan that helps the patient reach attainable short and long term goals. The goal of the PMR specialty is to maximize functional recovery, and thus return a person back to their normal life activities.

The medical team that treats a patient in a rehab facility includes physiatrists (physicians with specialized training in PMR), rehabilitation nurses, physical and occupational therapists, recreation therapists and speech-language pathologists, as well as rehabilitation psychologists. Other health professionals, such as nutritionists and social workers or case managers, may be involved as needed.

A strong relationship with the medical team is critical for successful outcomes in rehabilitation. In general, a physiatrist is the team leader and directs patient care through assessment, evaluation and individualized treatment planning. The physiatrist is also responsible for educating medical residents and supervising rehabilitation nurses.

Interdisciplinary teams have been shown to be more effective than single-physician care in terms of achieving better functional outcomes.3 This is probably because interdisciplinary teams are more able to provide the patient with a comprehensive, integrated approach to care.

In general, the best approach to rehab is a holistic one that takes into account both the physical and emotional needs of the patient. Rehabilitation interventions can include adjusting medications, providing education on pain management and preventing falls and disuse of the joints and muscles, assisting with home and community modifications to improve safety, introducing assistive devices for mobility and other tasks, promoting exercise and teaching coping strategies.

Throughout the rehabilitation process, it is important for patients and their families to be active participants in goal setting and discharge planning. This will help them to understand the rehabilitation process and its benefits, and it will enable them to ask questions when they have concerns or do not understand their progress.

A team approach to rehabilitation can be especially helpful for patients who have a complex health condition, such as a traumatic brain injury, stroke or multiple sclerosis. This is because these conditions require a multidisciplinary team to treat them effectively. For example, it is important that rehabilitation nurses and therapists coordinate with the neuro-oncology or rheumatology team to manage any medications that can interfere with the effectiveness of rehabilitation treatment.

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