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“The Many Hats of Rehab”

Stephanie was involved in a tragic motor vehicle accident which resulted in the inability to stand or walk at 18 years old. She was admitted to RWW almost four months after her injury. On her first day at RWW she attempted to demonstrate her ability to stand in a rolling walker and immediately fell over, requiring maximum assistance to keep from injuring herself. She also demonstrated impulsivity, reduced attention span, decreased cognitive functioning, and low self-esteem.

Physical therapy focused on standing balance and gait training with immediate, but slow progress. Within the first two weeks, she had progressed enough to begin walking to and from all meals, activities, and therapy sessions, increasing her opportunities for gait training. Stephanie hit a new milestone of independence every month.

Speech and occupational therapy assisted Stephanie to establish a daily routine which included hygiene, home cleaning tasks, menu planning, and meal preparation. One of her goals was to obtain her GED. Our speech therapists used this opportunity for Stephanie to enroll and attend GED classes within the community. This allowed for targeting of higher-level cognitive skills, establishing a study schedule, setting appropriate boundaries with peers, the use of technology, and supporting academic performance to qualify for test vouchers to schedule formal GED tests for multiple subjects. Stephanie also received positive reviews and support from her GED instructors and peer group.

Therapeutic recreation and counseling services worked in coordination to improve mood, self-esteem, and overall outlook on life and her future. Stephanie volunteered to read to local elementary school children and practiced pre-vocational exercises in the local RWW office with the certified therapeutic recreation specialist.

Through her rehabilitation process, Stephanie and the interdisciplinary team wore many hats. As she progressed with her physical abilities, her protective gear changed as well. Not only did she wear many hats during her stay, but it is also evident the interdisciplinary team wore numerous hats as well. Thirteen months after she was admitted, Stephanie proudly walked out of the facility independently.

Hats off to Stephanie on her huge success!


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