Let’s hear it for our rehabilitation specialists!

September 22, 2020 | by Mary Lou Mastro

Rehabilitation specialists play a crucial role in our patients’ quality of life. Edward-Elmhurst Health has more than 200 physical therapists (PT), physical therapy assistants (PTA), occupational therapists (OT), occupational therapy assistants (OTA) and speech therapists (ST) working throughout the system, doing critical work every day.

Therapists are some of the most caring and sensitive individuals who genuinely enjoy helping people.

During the month of September, especially during National Rehabilitation Awareness Week (Sept. 20-26), we celebrate the rehabilitation professionals who work together to make a difference in the lives of others.

I’m so thankful for the compassion, patience and understanding our therapists exhibit. They bring quality back to life!

When I injured my shoulder, Magnus Borgehammar, a PT in the Seven Bridges Fitness Center, came to my rescue.  He was informative, skilled, kind and an overall miracle worker. I was back together in no time! Every day there are wonderful stories just like mine happening in Rehab Services.

Take the story of a 35-year-old patient who had suffered a significant stroke. Because of the severity of her deficits, she required a video swallow exam to assess her ability to swallow (the safest means possible for nutrition).

Unfortunately, the patient’s physical deficits made it impossible for her to tolerate the physical positioning necessary for the exam.

Our radiology and rehabilitation staff tried to solve this issue and were willing to do whatever they could to help get this test done for this patient. They worked together toward positioning this patient in hopes of completing the exam.

They were very creative and got the patient into an appropriate position for testing. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the patient still couldn't tolerate the test for the duration needed.

But the process provided critical information. Even though they didn’t achieve the desired outcome, they were still able to establish a clear direction for the patient moving forward.

Positioning a patient to be able to safely swallow may sound simple. But the collaboration, creativity and dedication to safety needed to take care of this complex patient, while having the patient’s best interest at heart, makes me so proud of this team.

Happy National Rehabilitation Awareness Week to all our healthy-driven rehab professionals, and thank you for providing safe, seamless and personal care to our patients.

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