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Transition to Rehab Management

A New Beginning

Published January 3, 2013 2:57 PM by Karen Schiff

Day in and day out, more than a few patients have taken a life-threatening event and turned it into a life-changing experience. Many have admitted there is some reason that they're still alive and have taken the opportunity to experience what they were meant to accomplish, whether permanently wounded physically or not.

As physical therapists, we observe our patients going through this transformation. Not only do our patients and their families learn to deal with physical changes, but we also observe the emotional, psychosocial and spiritual changes that accompany these changes. In order to support our patients and families, we've become accomplished "listeners" and providers of available resources to those we treat.

Regardless of recent changes in insurance allowances, successful physical therapists have become quite savvy in providing support for their patients and families. Observing the professionals I'm surrounded by, I notice there's a growing awareness about nutritional support. Not only have therapists gained a greater knowledge in this area, but they've adapted these changes into their own lives. Encouraging others to gain knowledge in this area has become rampant in my workplace.

For example, a "book-club" type atmosphere has become the norm in regard to this subject. Additionally, besides the nutritional education, many therapists are studying ways to adapt what they've learned to other areas of their lives. This has carried over to the way they're treating patients as well as sharing the knowledge with them to break down functional skills in a step-by-step manner. The skill, knowledge and professionalism, not to mention compassion, that surrounds me is astounding.

As a result, patients and families acknowledge that what has been put in front of them to overcome is actually an opportunity to create a new beginning. The knowledge gained and practiced by therapists further demonstrates the need to continue educating ourselves and ultimately provide each one of us with the same opportunity: a new beginning.

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