Why Inpatient Rehabilitation

Sheltering Arms Institute Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation

What is Inpatient Rehabilitation?

Inpatient rehabilitation refers to the highest level of physical rehabilitation that a patient can receive when compared to skilled nursing, home health or outpatient therapy services. This is a more intensive, multi-disciplinary approach with direct physician oversight to properly manage medical issues so patients can maximize their participation in rehab with decreased pain and improved endurance.

The majority of our patients come to us after being stabilized at an acute care hospital while others are admitted directly from the community. At the acute inpatient rehab level, patients are required to participate in 15 hours of therapy per week. Ideally, patients can participate in therapy for three hours per day, five days a week. For patients who are still building up their endurance, we can provide an alternate schedule, which includes just over two hours of therapy per day, seven days per week.

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While the amount of treatment time may seem intimidating to some, our team members work with each patient individually in a safe, cutting-edge environment to set a realistic schedule that enables everyone to achieve their goals before returning home.

Our team members utilize a collaborative approach, each bringing forth their expertise to meet each person’s individual needs. Our multi-disciplinary team includes, but is not limited to physicians, medical psychologists, rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, recreation therapists, wound care specialists and case managers/social workers.

What are Typical Inpatient Diagnoses?

According to the classification requirements set forth by our governing bodies, the most common diagnoses are as follows:

  • Stroke
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Congenital Deformity
  • Amputation
  • Major Multiple Trauma
  • Hip Fracture
  • Brain Injury
  • Neurological Disorders including, but not limited to multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron diseases, polyneuropathy and muscular dystrophy

Patients often have multiple medical complications that must be effectively managed by a physician to enable them to successfully participate in therapy and set the tone for ongoing recovery.

For those seeking rehabilitation services, there are typically two options: Inpatient Rehab Facility (IRF) or Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). Below is a chart outlining the differences between these options to help determine which rehabilitation option best meets you or your loved one’s current medical needs.

Service Inpatient Rehab Facility Typical Skilled Nursing Facility
Physician Visits Daily 1-3 Times per Week
Type of Physicians Physiatrist, a doctor who specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (24-hour availability) Geriatrician, Internist, or Nurse Practitioner (Limited availability)
Consultants All specialties readily available Limited specialist availability
Nursing Hours of Care 24-hour availability, 5.5 or more hours of 1:1 hands-on care per day, primarily registered nurses 2-3 hours daily, primarily certified nursing assistants
Nursing Skill Mix Professional registered nurses specializing and certified in rehabilitative nursing Nursing assistants certified in long-term care with LPN/RN supervision
Integration of Care Coordinated interdisciplinary team directed by assigned physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation Several individual disciplines
Average Length of Stay 10-35 days, depending on diagnosis 12-45 days with possible transition to long-term care based on progress
Therapy Intensity 15 hours per week 30-70 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week with schedule subject to vary
Team Meetings Interdisciplinary physician-led team meetings including patient, family, and supports Several individual disciplines and social worker
Rehab Psychology Full-time Limited
Physical and Occupational Therapy Licensed physical and occupational therapists Physical therapist assistants and certified occupational therapy assistants deliver much of the care
Speech Language Therapy, Therapeutic Recreation, Social Worker Full-time Limited
Admission Evaluated by licensed clinician and reviewed by medical doctor Accepted by admissions department