Whether you are at Kernan for rehabilitation or for surgery, you will be cared for by a treatment team. These caregivers will work closely with you and your family to get to know you and your individual needs. Your treatment team may include some or all of these professionals:
All patients are assigned a physician/surgeon. Your primary physician (also called the "attending physician" or "surgeon") is a specialist in your area of need. Your physician will examine you, diagnose your medical condition, plan your treatment, and consult with you and your family about your progress. You may also meet with other medical specialists on our staff, if necessary. In some instances, the Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner may assist in managing your care.
Nurses provide much of your direct, day-to-day care while keeping track of all the care you receive. They administer medications, dress and treat wounds, monitor your nutrition, and regularly check your blood pressure and other vital signs. Many of our nurses are certified in specialty areas. Our nursing staff delivers a "partnership model of care," in which registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nursing technicians, and certified specialized nursing assistants work together to manage the care of our patients. Clinical nurse specialists and nurses also provide the patient education you and your family need to help you learn to take care of yourself before you enter the hospital and after you leave.
Pharmacists distribute medicines throughout the hospital and review every medication order that you are prescribed while you are a patient at Kernan. They monitor for drug allergies, drug interactions and lab values to ensure that you are receiving the proper medication at the correct dose for your medical condition. There is a pharmacist available 24 hours a day and he/she can be consulted regarding any medication issue. Upon discharge, there is an outpatient pharmacist on duty Monday – Friday to fill your prescriptions.
Your PT shows you ways to build strength, balance, coordination, and endurance to help you improve your mobility. The PT evaluates your mobility (walking) and identifies the best methods to maximize your independence at home and in the community. PTs may identify assistance devices (wheelchair, walker, and/or cane) to meet your specific need.
Your OT assists you with maximizing your independence in activities such as dressing, bathing, toileting and meal preparation. This may be accomplished through training in the use of adaptive equipment, upper body strengthening and coordination activities, splinting, and cognitive or visual perception exercises.
Speech therapists evaluate patients and help them improve their ability to speak, write, hear and swallow. For example, if you have a physical problem that makes it hard for you to form words and sounds, or you have a problem remembering words or understanding speech, speech therapists can help. They may also teach you how to use an electronic or computerized communication system.
Therapeutic recreation specialists help you regain the physical, mental, emotional and social skills you need to take part in hobbies, sports, reintegration into the community and other activities. They may lead outings to restaurants, sports events or other community settings so that you can practice using skills you will need when you leave the hospital. Your specialist may also work with you one-on-one to help you resume your former activities or develop new interests.
Your case manager meets regularly with you and your treatment team. He or she keeps your family and insurance company informed about your progress toward goals and asissts with your questions or problems. Your case manager helps with the necessary preparations for discharge, and, before you are discharged, he or she may provide educational information and referrals to other sources that will address your post-discharge needs.
All patients are evaluated for nutritional risk upon admission by nursing staff. Patients who are identified to be at nutritional risk are monitored by the registered dietitian throughout their stay. The dietitian may counsel you and your family about your special diet needs and concerns, and may also be contacted for diet order questions during your stay at Kernan.
A neuro-psychologist may meet with patients who have specific disabilities at various points during their treatment to test their awareness, ability to think and make judgments, and their emotional state. Neuropsychologists may also provide psychological and supportive counseling to patients and their families.
Pain is the "fifth vital sign." Kernan is fortunate to have experts in this field, including anesthesiologists and specialty nursing and complementary medicine staff. The Kernan staff is committed to managing your pain during your hospital stay. Since the experience of pain is individualized, you will be asked to describe and rate your pain. We have a team of pain management physicians and nurses who can be consulted in order to make your stay more comfortable. Their services include complementary medicine and acute and chronic pain management services.
If you are anxious, depressed, cannot sleep or have extreme pain, your physician may request a consult by a member of the psychiatry staff. The psychiatrist and his or her staff will give treatment advice to you and your caregivers.
Respiratory Care is the healthcare discipline that specializes in the promotion of optimum cardiopulmonary function and health. Kernan's respiratory care practitioners apply scientific principals to prevent, identify, and treat acute to chronic dysfunctions of the cardiopulmonary systems.
Our team of professionals is instrumental in helping diagnose, treat, manage, control, rehabilitate and provide preventive care for patients with breathing problems.