When most people think of a hospital setting, they often think of what is known as "acute care" - brief treatment immediately after an injury, disease, or surgery. But what happens when an injury isn't quickly fixed, or a patient can't go right home after surgery? What happens when injuries are so severe that healing takes months, years, and adjustment to a "new normal"? This is when the rehabilitation hospital setting is crucial.
On Saturday, January 29th, HCOP high school and health professional participants had the opportunity to learn more about this specific field of medicine from both the practitioner and patient's perspective. Diane Ulmer, occupational therapist and spinal cord injury program manager at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, led HCOP participants on a virtual tour of the rehabilitation hospital, explaining the different rooms, methods, and equipment. She also discussed the different health professionals working in a rehabilitation setting and the importance of a team approach to helping patients throughout the rehabilitation process.
Crista Hudson, a former Madonna patient, was also on-hand to provide insight into the rehabilitation process from a patient perspective. Crista suffered a spinal cord injury after a car accident that left her unable to walk, and she shared her incredible journey through rehab with students.
To end the session, participants had the chance to ask questions of both Diane and Crista, and engage in a discussion about health careers and rehabilitation roles.