Spinal Cord Injury Specialty Comprehensive Assessments

Spinal Cord Injury Specialty Comprehensive Assessments



If you have experienced a spinal cord injury, you may be confronted with a wide range of challenges over your lifetime. These challenges may interfere with your independence or limit your full participation in the things that are important to you, such as school, work, family and leisure. These limitations may be evident today, or may occur in the future with the normal aging process, so a focus on maintaining health long term, including prevention of any secondary complications, is important to lifelong care planning. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital wants to help you overcome current challenges and prevent others in the future by addressing issues and serving as a resource for questions or concerns as you return to your life. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital offers a comprehensive assessment, which takes into consideration your unique, individual needs. These needs are often associated with medical, physical, cognitive (thinking), social-emotional or communication functions and may impact a variety of life areas, such as school, work, personal care, home management, social/leisure, and personal relationships. Madonna’s team of spinal cord injury experts, are available to provide assistance where needed:

• Physiatrist (rehabilitation physician)

• Rehabilitation Nurse

• Physical Therapist

• Occupational Therapist

• Speech Language Pathologist

• Neuropsychologist

• Assistive Technology Specialist

• Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

• School Re-Entry Coordinator

• Respiratory Therapist

• Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist

• Nutrition Therapist

• Social Worker

How it Works

At six months and one year following your injury, the Patient Outcomes Assistant will contact you by telephone and will ask you or your caregiver questions about how you are doing in a wide variety of areas. If you need additional information including resources, she may be able to provide that over the telephone. She will also provide you information about how to be seen by the Spinal Cord Injury Assessment team, which can be beneficial particularly in addressing any areas of concern or in providing specialized recommendations for those who are ready to progress on to new challenges, such as return to work.

Assessment Areas

Some of the areas that might be addressed during the comprehensive assessment include:

• Medical status

• Rehabilitation technology, including specialized equipment for computer access, environmental control, and/or electronic aides to daily living

• Balance and vestibular function

• Swallowing and feeding

• Communication, including understanding, expressing, reading and writing

• Adjustment to disability

• Cognition (thinking skills such as attention, memory, learning, problem solving) and techniques to compensate for weaknesses in these areas

• Strength and mobility

• Braces

• Wheelchair seating and mobility

• Self care and home management

• Spasticity (abnormal muscle tone) management

• Bowel and/or bladder control

• Breathing function, including ventilator or tracheostomy tube

• Diet and nutrition

• Vision

• Return to work or school

• Driver rehabilitation

• Adaptive sports and recreation

Your assessment is tailored to your specific needs, so although you may be asked about your function in those areas, it is likely that not everything on the list above will be scheduled. Based on the types of things which need to be assessed, the appointment may last a few hours or up to a day and a half. On-campus housing may be available if needed for a nominal fee. During the assessment, the team will provide you with assessment results and recommendations, and a formal report will be sent to your primary care physician.

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