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Inpatient Rehabilitation

Rehab is different than any other unit in the hospital. At Gundersen, there's a sense of community that is unique. You'll take an active role in making decisions about your own care. You'll get to know the staff, and they'll get to know you. Your hard work will be matched by your therapists to help you achieve your goals and gain your maximum level of independence.

You'll be involved in exercise programs and therapy for several hours each day, following a treatment plan designed especially for you. You may need specially designed equipment, and there are professionals on staff who can find it or adapt it for you.

Conditions we care for

  • Active rheumatoid arthritis in five or more joints
  • Amputations
  • Brain injuries
  • Burns
  • Congenital conditions
  • Hip fractures
  • Knee or hip joint replacement
  • Major multiple trauma
  • Neurological conditions
  • Severe or advanced osteoarthritis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Stroke
  • Systematic blood vessel inflammation with joint inflammation
  • Other conditions that meet medical necessity requirements for inpatient rehabilitation

Skills you may re-learn

While staying at the rehabilitation unit, you will focus on regaining maximum function so you can be as independent as possible. Our program focuses on helping people regain strength, balance and coordination as you re-learn to:

  • Walk
  • Get in and out of a bed, chair or car
  • Climb stairs
  • Eat and prepare food
  • Bathe, groom and get dressed
  • Use the toilet
  • Bladder and bowel function
  • Communicate
  • Do other activities based on your individual needs

Who is involved in my care?

Your rehab team will include a variety of physicians, therapists and other staff—including 24-hour specialized rehab nursing care. Our nurses have skills and knowledge specific to your rehab that can help you learn about your abilities and make a successful return home. If you choose Gundersen for rehab, you can expect a shorter average length of stay. We provide in-house emergency care if needed.

How do I get a referral?

A referral to our Inpatient Rehabilitation is usually made by a member of your care team after discussion with you and your family. Final admission approval may depend on approval by your insurance provider. You can be admitted from any setting and admission does not require a three-night hospital stay. Talk to your doctor for a referral to Gundersen's Inpatient Rehabilitation unit.

Inpatient Physical Therapy

Our inpatient physical therapists work closely with you and your family to set and achieve rehabilitative goals that yield increased strength and mobility. This is done through evaluation, treatment, education, provision of specialized exercise programs and follow-up care. Your therapist will monitor your pain level as you go along and will make adjustments as needed to make you as comfortable as possible.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Gundersen’s vestibular rehabilitation and balance therapy may provide relief from dizziness caused by a vestibular disorder. Our therapists provide testing to help determine the cause of dizziness and develop a treatment plan that will help you feel more like yourself.

Inpatient Occupational Therapy

Our inpatient occupational therapists are experienced in providing you with specialized, comprehensive care to help compensate for injury or disability. You will learn to adapt to any limitations by developing skills and using assistive equipment—such as splints, wheelchairs and prosthetic devices—which makes activity possible.

Inpatient occupational therapy works to increase your independence in day-to-day living activities such as:

  • dressing
  • grooming
  • home safety
  • home management like cleaning and cooking
  • memory and problem solving skills related to daily routines

Self-care strategies

Occupational therapists instruct you and your family on skills for daily living. An occupational therapy evaluation can help maintain safety and independence in your home. The following services are available:

  • Self-care training — Our therapists teach alternative techniques and correct use of adaptive equipment for feeding, bathing, dressing and toileting.
  • Caregiver training — We provide training to caregivers so they can safely assist in the completion of necessary self-maintenance tasks.
  • Environmental modification — Our therapists provide recommendations for medical equipment and bathroom modifications to promote a safe environment.
  • Personal energy conservation — We offer a review of work simplification techniques to help you save energy to complete the tasks that are important to you.

Lymphedema care

Lymphedema is the swelling of a body part which is caused by an accumulation of lymphatic fluid. It occurs most often in an arm or leg, though it also seen in the abdomen, face and neck. Lymphedema cannot be cured, however it can be reduced and controlled with therapy and self-management. A physician's referral is needed to be seen by an occupational therapist for lymphedema management.

Pre-driver’s screening program

Serious risk exists when someone you know no longer has the skills to safely drive a vehicle. An appointment with one of our occupational therapists can give you some peace of mind. During our pre-driver's screening program, our therapists perform specialized and standardized tests to determine whether someone possesses the mental and physical abilities to drive. We strive to ensure everyone behind the wheel has the necessary skills to keep themselves—and everyone around them—safe.

Inpatient Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and language therapy focuses on improving communication abnormalities caused by disease, illness, developmental delay or structural defect. Our speech-language pathologists are trained to help patients improve their communication skills and cognitive and swallowing abilities.

What is disordered communication?

Communication is disordered if speech or language:

  • Interferes with the dynamic nature of the speaking
  • Causes the speaker to act or become maladjusted
  • Causes the listener to react to the speaker rather than to what has been said

Speech therapy can help establish functional and purposeful communicative skills.

Speech and Language Evaluation

A speech and language evaluation involves careful assessment of the patient's jaw, lips, tongue, throat and voice box. A speech language pathologist also asses the following components of speech and language:

  • Articulation (the way sounds are formed)
  • Phonation (sounds produced at the level of the larynx or voice box)
  • Resonation (modification of sound)
  • Respiration (breath support for speech)
  • Prosody (speaking rhythm and rate)

The evaluation can include assessment of verbal expression, word recall, and auditory and visual comprehension and retention. Our experts also look at higher-order language skills, such as abstract thought, calculation and writing. For nonverbal patients, special instruments—including the computer—are available or can be adapted for the examination.

Swallowing Evaluation

In certain instances, a swallowing evaluation in conjunction with speech and language may be indicated. This evaluation includes assessment of the oral facial structures, observation of the voice box and a videofluoroscopy—a swallowing study done by X-ray.

Computer-Assisted Communication

Individuals who are unable to speak may be trained to use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. These specialized computers are designed to help nonverbal patients of all ages and abilities express themselves. Thanks to technological advances, the tone and character of computer-generated speech has become more pleasing and natural.

Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic recreation uses recreational activities to assist people with potentially limiting conditions make the most of their lives, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. Appropriate leisure activities are suggested that tie in with your treatment. Attempts are made to involve you in leisure activities you participated in previous to stroke, spinal cord injury or other physically challenged conditions. Your individual abilities are emphasized rather than disabilities. Many times, individuals require the use of individualized activity modifications and equipment adaptations to maximize independent participation in leisure activities.

An additional area of therapeutic recreation is the community reintegration program—which is designed to help you transition from the hospital to the community. Areas of concern include planning, adjustment issues, accessibility concerns and mobility in the community following your limiting condition. Examples of community outings include going out to eat, shopping, going to a movie, concerts or car rides.

Our Patient Outcomes

When selecting an inpatient rehabilitation program, it’s useful to look at outcome measures to understand the effectiveness of the program. Inpatient Rehabilitation at Gundersen helps patients regain as much function and independence as possible after a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, surgery or other disabling condition. Our outcomes consistently meet or exceed the national and regional averages for inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Take a look for yourself and feel free to call us if you have any questions.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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