Forrest General's 24-bed comprehensive Inpatient Medical Rehabilitation Unit, located on the third floor of the main hospital, is one of five Level I units certified by the State Department of Health and the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA).
The Rehabilitation Team - consisting of an occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech pathologist, a neuro-psychologist, rehabilitation nurses and medical social workers - is directed by a neurologist. The team helps physically-disabled patients return to as much independence and self-sufficiency as possible.
Patients who benefit from the services are those who have limited function as a result of an orthopedic injury or surgery, arthritis or a neurologic condition. The inpatient rehabilitation unit treats the adult population, ages 18 and older.
When choosing comprehensive inpatient medical rehabilitation, it is important to know the questions to ask:
Q: Is the center officially designated as a comprehensive inpatient medical rehabilitation unit by the federal government's HCFA?
A: Yes, this facility is officially designated as a comprehensive inpatient medical rehabilitation unit by the federal government's Health Care Finance Administration. Forrest General's Rehabilitation Unit has completed a rigorous certification process and is licensed by the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
Q: How much therapy is provided for patients each day?
A: Intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy is provided for a minimum of three hours per day. There are breaks between therapy sessions, and for patients who are just starting, there are breaks during the therapy sessions. Some patients receive more than the minimum amount of therapy, due to diagnosis or need.
Q: How comprehensive are the program, staff and treatment plan?
A: A comprehensive team made up of a physician, rehabilitation nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist and social worker are assigned to each patient. As needed, the team also will include a dietitian, psychologist, orthotist, prosthetist and chaplain. The therapy program is outlined in terms of goals set by the team, the patient and the patient's family; this program states what the patient should be able to do for himself or herself at discharge.
Q: Are weekly conferences held? Is the family included?
A: Team members share information on the patient's progress at weekly conferences and readjust the therapy schedule as required. The family and patient are constantly made aware of progress and goals of treatment. Participation of the family members, especially in early team meetings, is extremely important. At that time, the family learns the role they can play in helping the patient reach personal goals that relate to self-care and everyday living skills.
Q: How well is the patient prepared for return to the home environment?
A: Forrest General's Rehabilitation Unit provides patients a "transitional living apartment," designed to represent the typical home environment. Prior to discharge, the patient and possibly a family member may be asked to spend a night or two in the transitional apartment. Also, one or more team members may visit the patient's home to recommend simple adjustments that can better accommodate the patient's special needs.
Q: May I view statistics of results achieved by the program?
A: Yes, results are available in a brochure provided to all prospective patients and their families, called the Disclosure Statement. You may also request a Disclosure Statement by calling the Rehabilitation Coordinator at 601-288-3811.
For more information about Forrest General's Rehabilitation Services, call FGH OnCall at 1-800-844-4445, then press 1, from 2-10 p.m., seven days a week, or send an e-mail.