Rehabilitation is a complex process that requires a multi-disciplinary approach for success. This means the involvement of a child’s family as well as that of medical professionals. There are many aspects of rehabilitation involving several different moving parts to deliver the best care.
Communication is key to pediatric acute inpatient rehabilitation. The care team meets regularly with the patient and family to set goals, develop treatment plans, review progress, and coordinate services needed for discharge.
Care conferences are held twice a week. We encourage parents/caregivers to share any concerns, such as questions about medications, treatment goals or insurance coverage. Please feel free to talk to any of our nurses or doctors to guide you to the right person to help with specific questions or concerns.
Parents and Caregivers
Families play an important role in all steps of a child’s recovery. You are the primary advocates for your child, providing insightful information pertinent to you child’s care. We place parents and caregivers at the center of the care plan with the goal of returning the child to home, school and the community as soon as possible.
A pediatric physiatrist is a specialized physician board-certified not only in pediatrics, but also in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). The physiatrist evaluates each child and aims to enhance and restore functional ability and improve quality of life to those with physical impairments or disabilities. The physiatrist manages the comprehensive rehabilitation plan and directs the overall care of the patient on the inpatient rehab unit, coordinating with other professionals on the team.
Nurses provide around-the-clock bedside care on the inpatient rehabilitation unit. The nursing staff coordinates nursing care activities in collaboration with other members of the rehabilitation team to facilitate care for your child during their stay. Through hands-on education, our nurses reinforce the necessary tools for child and family to safely transition from the hospital back home.
Occupational therapists provide services to develop or improve skills that are meaningful to the child and optimize independence with everyday life skills. Occupational therapists evaluate and create individualized treatment plans to enhance all aspects of daily living, including basic activities of daily living, adaptive equipment training, feeding and swallowing, visual perception, fine and visual motor coordination, upper extremity use, splinting, sensory processing, cognition and progression of developmental skills.
Physical therapists address gross motor skills to optimize muscle control, balance and flexibility to build strength and endurance. Using evidence-based techniques, advanced technologies and a hands-on approach, our therapists develop a plan of care designed to meet each child’s individualized treatment goals. Some of the issues that a physical therapist can address include: limitations in bed or wheelchair mobility, transfers, gait, coordination/balance and/or lower extremity losses of function.
Speech therapists function as key team members specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of speech, language, cognitive and/or swallowing disorders. With these goals in mind, our skilled therapists work with the kids and the rehabilitation team to facilitate return growth of cognitive and behavioral skills, learning strategies, communication abilities and swallow functions to set children up for successful transitions back to their home and community environments.
Respiratory therapists monitor and assess the respiratory status and equipment needs of each child. They educate children and their families on respiratory equipment such as ventilators and tracheostomy tubes, respiratory medication administration and therapeutic exercises to improve respiratory mechanics and optimize pulmonary function.
Emotions ranging from anger, depression, stress and frustration are normal reactions after a disability or injury. Our psychologists work as a team to evaluate, diagnose and intervene on emotional, behavioral and developmental problems. They provide tools and strategies for kids and families to adjust to these life changes.
A neuropsychologist evaluates the cognitive, psychological and developmental status and impairment of your child. They guide the team in developing treatment strategies. Neuropsychologists focus on the needs of our neurological population, including brain injury. Their special skills assist the rehab team in dealing with issues that involve complex neurological processing. Neuropsychologists also assist in areas of behavior management and may also recommend plans for behavioral management and school re-entry when necessary.
Social workers specialize in helping our families though the psychological and social effects of managing their healthcare needs. They promote collaboration among the child, family and healthcare team, including providing supportive counseling for future planning and dealing with lifestyle changes. They are a resource for information about the full range of community resources available when planning the hospital discharge, financial assistance programs, therapy services and coordinating school transitions and re-entry.
Our case manager works closely with our care team, children and families during their stay. They evaluate options and formulate a plan to meet the child’s discharge goals. The case manager helps children and families find resources and facilitates connection with services, coordinating with insurance companies and medical supply companies to help to ease the stress during their stay and after discharge.
Child Life Specialists
Child life specialists are professionally trained individuals who help to reduce the stress and anxiety that children and their families may encounter as a result of illness, injury and hospitalization. Aiming to create a more positive learning experience, the child life staff works closely with the entire healthcare team on every inpatient unit and in outpatient areas to provide the highest quality care for children of all ages.
Music therapists are board-certified professionals who use evidence-based ways to address rehabilitative goals for your child. Sessions are individualized to meet specific needs and may include instrument playing, singing or moving to music in a way that supports physical, cognitive and speech rehabilitation.
Chaplains are available 24 hours a day to provide emotional and spiritual support to all children and their families of any denomination during their hospitalization. Spirituality gives meaning and value to our lives and is one of our means of coping with illness, trauma and loss. Chaplains work with the healthcare team to minimize this stress and provide for the spiritual and emotional needs of children in our care and their families.
Here at Dell Children’s, our healthcare interpreters facilitate communication between families with limited English proficiency, the inpatient rehab team and other medical professionals. We have Spanish interpreters who are available 24 hours a day as well as the World Wide Interpreter Line, the Language Line Solutions and Video Relay Interpretation at any time for the kids in our care and their families.
Clinical dietitians identify children who are at nutrition risk and help manage nutrition support. They work with the team to provide recommendations for nutrition support and child-specific education. Our clinical dietitians monitor and follow up with your child throughout their stay.