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Short-term Rehabilitation Care

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Short-term Rehabilitation Care


Short-term rehabilitation care at Emerson Hospital aims to ease the transition to home and community. Known as the Transitional Care Unit (TCU) and located at our Concord, Massachusetts, main campus, it’s the ideal setting for patients who need short-term, high-quality rehabilitation services or skilled nursing care before returning home after an acute illness or major surgery.

A short stay (typically 8-10 days) helps patients regain strength and learn or re-learn skills for daily living following hospitalization for a stroke or heart attack, orthopedic surgery or fracture, major surgery, respiratory illnesses or other severe illness.

After relocating to the sixth floor of the hospital’s Wheeler Wing, patients continue their recovery in familiar surroundings, avoiding the disruption and disorientation that can accompany a transfer to a separate facility. Emerson-based physicians can follow their patients' progress more easily, and stay in close communication with patients, families and the professional short-term rehab staff.

The program provides 24-hour skilled nursing care and a full range of rehabilitative services—respiratory therapy, intravenous therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy—all located right on the unit. In addition, the Emerson Outpatient Department is close at hand for patients who require outpatient medical services.

Comprehensive Approach

The goal of the 20-bed unit is to help patients return home as soon as possible and function as independently as possible. Our guiding philosophy is firmly based on respect for each patient's dignity and privacy, and for the patient's right to be involved in decisions about his or her care.

A typical day includes several hours of therapy as well as time to practice the techniques taught in therapy sessions. Patients are encouraged to dress in their own comfortable clothing and to do as much as possible for themselves. The activities director plans a wide array of individual and group activities, tailored to patient preferences and designed to support you in resuming normal daily activities.

Professional Team

The team is managed by a medical director who is a physiatrist, a licensed administrator and a director of nursing. The nursing staff includes registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses, many with years of experience at Emerson and others with experience at rehabilitation facilities.

In addition, the unit has physical therapists, occupational therapists, a speech therapist, a social worker, a nurse liaison and an activities director. The entire team holds daily conferences to monitor each patient's progress and can draw on the full resources of Emerson Hospital to devise the best possible plan of treatment.

Patients and family members are encouraged to contribute to the development of individualized treatment plans, and family involvement is encouraged as an essential part of rehabilitation and discharge planning. Comprehensive discharge planning by the TCU social worker ensures that appropriate services will be available after the patient returns home. The staff also helps family members learn care-giving skills in preparation for the patient's return home.

Almost like home

Soft colors, carpeting and artwork create a comfortable, homelike atmosphere. A sitting room and an activities room are equally homey, featuring views of the Sudbury River and surrounding woodlands. Appealing and nutritious meals are served in the bright, attractively furnished dining room. Patient rooms include eight double rooms and four private rooms with a bedside table, flat screen TV and closet for each patient.

In the demonstration kitchen, patients may practice safe cooking skills and learn to adapt to everyday activities to accommodate physical limitations caused by their illness. Bathrooms are equipped with the same types of fixtures found in most homes, with adaptations to ensure patient safety.

For more information

Medicare covers service for qualified patients. To qualify for admission to the TCU, patients must meet specific medical and insurance criteria. They must also have the potential for rehabilitation and the motivation to participate in a program of rehabilitative services geared toward their safe return home.