Frequently Asked Questions
What is acute rehabilitation?
Acute rehabilitation is a medically-based, multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, neuromuscular disorders and orthopedic conditions. At Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital, we provide comprehensive, highly focused programs of care designed to restore strength, improve physical and cognitive function, and promote independence in daily activities, including self-care skills such as dressing, grooming and eating.
Why should I choose acute rehabilitation?
Studies have shown that where an individual chooses to go for rehabilitation can make all the difference is his or her recovery. An acute rehabilitation hospital, like Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital, offers patients a more specialized and intensive program than those available at nursing homes, which are called "sub-acute" programs. As a result, patients generally achieve better outcomes and enjoy great independence upon discharge from an acute rehabilitation hospital.
Who provides the care and treatment at a rehabilitation hospital?
Research indicates that strong interdisciplinary teams are associated with greater functional outcomes. In other words, by drawing on the expertise and experience of a wide range of specialists, patients will typically achieve greater gains.
At Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital, a physiatrist, a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation leads a team that includes rehabilitation nurses; physical, occupational and speech therapists; psychologists, case managers and other clinical professionals and support personnel.
When can a patient begin rehabilitation?
Evidence shows that the sooner individuals begin rehabilitation, the stronger their outcomes are likely to be. For that reason, Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital’s nurse liaisons and admissions representatives work closely together with the referring hospital and/or physician to facilitate the earliest possible start to rehabilitation. Admission to Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital is based on patient's medical history, the ability to participate in three hours of therapy daily and individual rehabilitation goals.
What kinds of therapy does a patient receive?
Based on individual needs and goals, patients in a rehabilitation hospital receive physical, occupational and/or speech therapies for a minimum of three hours a day, plus weekend sessions. Studies demonstrate that a patient's improvement in function or outcome depends not only on how much therapy is received, but on the types of treatment provided. Therapy is tailored to the individual needs and rehabilitation goals of each patient and incorporates the latest advances in technology, equipment and research.
How would you describe a typical day at Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital?
From breakfast until the lights are turned off, patients are busy working towards their rehabilitation goals. Rehabilitation is an active process, one that is physically and mentally demanding... and often exhausting. Patients at Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital participate in a full day of therapy sessions, optional leisure activities and visits with family and friends, as well as time to pursue personal interests. Therapy sessions are generally scheduled in one-and-a-half hour blocks between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The skills and strategies learned in therapy are also reinforced on the nursing units when patients are in their rooms and during a wide range of recreational activities that are available.
How long does a patient stay in a rehabilitation hospital?
A patient's length of stay is determined by his or her individual needs and progress. At Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital, a case manager works closely with the treatment team, the patient and his/her family or caregiver to coordinate a safe, timely and successful discharge. Our goal, like that of every patient, is to have him/her return home if possible.
Do you have any additional questions about Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital programs and services, policies or practices? Submit any question(s) you may have and we'll respond as soon as we can.