LIFE CHANGES AFTER A MAJOR INJURY OR ILLNESS. BY HELPING PEOPLE REBUILD FUNCTION, INPATIENT REHABILITATION THERAPISTS AND
NURSES RENEW PATIENTS’ FAITH IN THE FUTURE.
AFTER INITIAL TREATMENT for a stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), heart attack, or other major medical event, hospitalized individuals take a crucial step on the road to recovery when they begin rehabilitation. At HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital’s L.E. Phillips Physical Rehabilitation Center, the only one of its kind in western Wisconsin, the team that includes rehabilitation therapists, nurses, a physiatrist, and a social worker creates an individually tailored therapy regimen to prepare each patient to return to life at home.
“By offering our patients an intense rehabilitation program of three hours of therapy, five days per week, we increase their chances of making meaningful recoveries and enjoying good quality of life,” says Andrea Westphal, RN, CRRN, inpatient rehabilitation nurse at HSHS Sacred Heart. “They receive physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as other services, such as wound care, respiratory therapy, and spiritual care, as needed.”
THERAPY IN MOTION
At the L.E. Phillips Physical Rehabilitation Center, located on the ninth floor of the hospital, rehabilitation therapy takes place in several morning and afternoon sessions in patients’ rooms or the center’s gym, which houses a variety of physical therapy equipment to help individuals rebuild their strength. One of the gym’s newest additions is the Bioness Vector System, a harness hung from the ceiling that supports patients as they practice walking. The gym also features a dedicated occupational therapy space, complete with a kitchen for practicing ways to navigate indoor environments.
Two of the most challenging conditions to overcome, stroke and TBI, can leave patients with significant functional deficits. For rehabilitation therapists and nurses, those cases often become the most rewarding.
“People come to us at their lowest levels, and we teach them how to live again by helping them relearn the basic skills we take for granted,” Westphal says. “Life might not be the same
as it was before, but we can help them enjoy it. That’s why we do what we do.”
To learn more about the L.E. Phillips Physical Rehabilitation Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, call 715.717.4361 or visit sacredhearteauclaire.org and select “Rehabilitation Services” from the “Medical Services” menu.