Here is a snapshot of who does what.
Brain injury is a complex diagnosis and every comeback story is different. Knowing how the brain works and what to expect after a brain injury provides a solid foundation for understanding a person’s recovery. It is our goal to empower individuals and their families by providing education that can help present a clearer picture of this complicated diagnosis.
A brain injury may result in one or many areas of physical or emotional challenges requiring rehabilitation. Using a variety of tools, doctors can identify abilities, behaviors, and emotions that are affected by this diagnosis and put together a team of professionals specifically trained to address these areas of concern.
Every patient at Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation can expect to have a treatment team composed of brain injury experts tailored to fit their unique rehabilitation needs. We believe that developing relationships with each patient is essential for securing trust and promoting the best outcomes, so each member of a treatment team is part of a person’s care from admission to discharge.
A physiatrist is a doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), which means he or she has special training in the treatment of disabilities caused by severe illness or injury. A physiatrist is also the leader in establishing what therapies a person may benefit from and developing a treatment team that is best suited for carrying out a person’s treatment plan. At Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation, a person can expect his or her journey to begin with a physiatrist, who oversees their care from start to finish.
When changes in mood or behavior occur after an injury, a person will likely meet with a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of mental health concerns. A psychiatrist is able to help identify the source of behavioral or emotional challenges; some occurring due to damage to a specific area of the brain; while others may be the result of secondary factors such as ongoing pain, medication side effects, or struggling to cope with impairments. A psychiatrist is also responsible for determining the necessity for and prescribing medications as it relates to these issues.
Psychologists evaluate and treat behavioral, emotional, and cognitive challenges after injuries. They offer individual and group interventions, psychological testing, education, and consultation focused on recovery and adjustment to injury and disability. Psychologists work closely with other team members to encourage optimal participation in the rehabilitation process. Goals include establishing healthy lifestyle patterns, managing mood and emotional symptoms, developing adaptive skills, and regulating problem behaviors.
To best support the complex cognitive and behavioral challenges following an injury, Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation’s psychology team holds a variety of specializations.
A neuropsychologist evaluates cognitive skills including memory, attention, problem-solving, language, and visual processing. Neuropsychologists also evaluate mood and behavior, and their influence on adjustment to brain injury. Using this information, he or she identifies strengths and challenges that influence rehabilitation goals. Neuropsychologists offer the treatment team, patient, and family insight on recovery expectations and cognitive obstacles that may impact therapies, while also providing strategies to address these hurdles.
Rehabilitation psychologists focus on the study and application of psychological knowledge and skills as it relates to individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions. Rehabilitation psychologists seek to maximize people’s lifelong health and well-being, independence and choice, functional abilities, and social participation. Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation is proud to have a board certified rehabilitation psychologist on staff, one of only a handful in the entire state of Michigan.
Behavior analysts provide behavior assessment and intervention strategies consistent with the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), a scientific learning theory designed to modify behavior. Behavior analysts use environmental modifications and reinforcement techniques for skill acquisition, building and strengthening adaptive behaviors, and the reduction of problem behaviors. For individuals experiencing extreme behavioral distress, Hope Network’s behavior analysts carefully observe daily interactions and develop behavior interventions using a function-based approach supported by caregivers to improve the emotional and behavioral adjustment of the individual.
Counseling psychologists foster a person’s strengths and current abilities retained post-injury to optimize adaptations needed to relearn skills. Counseling psychologists are trained in psychotherapy to advance people’s self-awareness and mental health. They collaborate with patients and their families to pursue the most successful outcomes.
Our physical therapists’ primary goal is to help individuals regain physical independence following injury. By looking at a person’s balance and coordination, movement and mobility, muscle and joint flexibility, and overall strength, PTs can develop a treatment plan that addresses identified areas of impairment. He or she will use personalized strategies such as strengthening exercises, movement and/or balance training, electrical stimulation, orthotics, manual therapy, and other specialized techniques to restore function to its highest level.
Occupational therapists help people regain the ability to perform activities of daily living – getting dressed, bathing, cooking, grocery shopping, driving – functions that occupy our daily lives. They also address physical challenges such as upper extremity strength, range of motion, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills that may be needed to perform daily tasks or function in the community. Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation has a variety of real-world living environments on their campuses so clients can practice daily tasks on site as part of their therapy – from preparing and cooking lunch to doing their laundry.
Speech-language pathologists address speech, communication, and swallowing disorders. When trauma occurs in the brain, some people find it difficult to form words or articulate their thoughts. Others may find it takes a tremendous amount of effort to swallow their food. Our speech-language pathologists address these and other orally-based issues, as well as other communication-related skills like writing, reading, memory, and organization.
Anyone who receives two or more services from Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation will have the assistance of a care manager. This team member serves as the communication link between all care providers to ensure that a person’s treatment goals are being met. He or she may also coordinate funding for services, facilitate team conferences, communicate with external care providers, and identify helpful community resources.
Certified therapeutic recreation specialists help individuals resume social or leisure interests they may have had prior to their injury. This can range from participating in a sport to playing board games to scrapbooking. While some people may experience physical, behavioral, or social challenges that make participation in these activities difficult, certified therapeutic recreation specialists are experts in developing plans and implementing adaptations that address these concerns.
People participating in one of Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation’s inpatient programs will have access to professional nursing staff on site. Our nurses are responsible for overseeing a physician’s treatment recommendations, providing medication management, and addressing overall health and wellness concerns.
Having a job is an essential component for financial livelihood and a way to be a meaningful contributor to one’s family and community. At Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation, we believe employment is part of the rehabilitation process due to its role in improving self-confidence and identity, while reducing isolation, depression, and poor health. By assessing an individual’s interests, prior experiences, and career goals, our return to work specialists provide assistance to clients during their quest to return to competitive employment. This includes identifying employment opportunities that match an individual’s skill level and interest, providing guidance during the application process, and communicating with employers in the community to facilitate a successful return to work.