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Health Care Team

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You

You are at the centre of your health care team and as much as you can:

  • Take an active role and really participate in your care
  • Ask questions, report on how things are going for you, share your concerns and follow through on recommendations
  • Learn about your injury or condition, the care you are receiving and what you can do to help in your recovery

Your Team

Your team provides the support you need to reach your goals, prepares you for the move back to your community and supports you once you get there. The team that works with you may include many or few of the following members, depending on your needs and goals: 

Alcohol and drug counselors
Offer support, education and counseling to help patients, family members and friends dealing with alcohol and/or recreational drug difficulties. They can explain not only how substance use will fit in with the many changes as a result of your brain injury, but also help those seeking a fresh start and a road map to become free of the habit.

 
Care management leaders (CML)
Work with you, your team, and community services to help with the move to your community. The CML will help to determine your goals and care needs, and coordinate a discharge plan that will meet your individual needs. While receiving treatment in hospital or rehabilitation, the CML will monitor your progress and identify resources to support you both in the facility and for your move back to the community.


Care management social workers (CMSW)
Work with the CML to help you and your team with specific needs related to your discharge. The CMSW works closely with ICBC, Worksafe BC, Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) and other similar agencies. Their role is to provide education and support for you and your team as you move from rehabilitation back to your community.


Case Manager (CM)
Will work with you to find out what you need once you've moved back to the community. If needed, the CM will connect you to services like home support, community rehab, residential care, or home care nursing. Specialized brain injury services may be available in some communities. Your Case Manager will know about the services that are available and will refer you if they meet your needs.
                                             

Dietitians
Are available to talk about nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle. If you have specific needs arising from a medical condition or cultural/ religious preferences, the dietitian can help you with making healthy choices.
 

Doctors
You may receive consultations, tests and treatment from a variety of medical doctors who have different specializations:

  • Cardiologist: Heart
  • Endocrinologist: Hormones
  • Haematologist: Blood
  • Internist: Internal organs
  • Neurosurgeon: Brain surgeon
  • Neurologist: Brain and central nervous system
  • Oncologist: Cancer
  • Ophthalmologist: Eyes
  • Orthopaedic surgeon: Bone surgeon
  • Psychiatrist: Mood
  • Physiatrist: Physical medicine and rehabilitation (rehab doctor). Collaborates with you and your team to maximize your functional abilities through medical treatments and an appropriate rehab program
  • Urologist: Bladder


Home Support Workers (Care Aide / Community Health Workers)
Provide non-professional services involving personal assistance with daily activities such as housekeeping, meal preparation, bathing and personal hygiene. They may work with you at home, in hospital or in a supported living facility and follow a care plan that has been developed for you.

 
Music therapists
You do not have to be a musician to benefit from music therapy. Music can be used to help you achieve your rehab goals. You can choose to listen and relax to music, sing, play instruments and/or write songs.


Nurses
Provide physical and emotional care and administer treatments prescribed by your doctor. Nurses help you to reach your health care goals by teaching you new skills such as skin care, bowel and bladder management, managing diabetes and high blood pressure. In a facility, rehab nurses are responsible for your daily plan of care in order to maintain your health, support your independence, and prepare you for returning to the community.
 

Occupational therapists (OT)
Will help you to develop the skills needed for everyday living activities, such as dressing, eating, bathing, shopping, homemaking, school, work and leisure. If you have difficulties with such things as moving, thinking, pain or fatigue, you will learn different ways of doing your everyday tasks and how to make the best of your abilities. The OT will help you choose the right equipment to increase your independence, such as bathroom aids and wheelchairs. If your home needs changes for better safety and access, an OT will assess your home and give recommendations on what changes need to be made and what type of help you require.
 

Pharmacists
Provide medications and education about the medications you are taking. In hospital, the pharmacist meets with your doctor and nurse as needed to review the medications you are taking.  In the community, they can help you to understand how/when to take your medicine, and bubble pack them to help you to remember.
 

Physiotherapists/Physical therapists (PT)
Will help you reach your highest level of physical function by developing a treatment plan for your specific needs and goals. This plan will help you regain as much of your movement and physical fitness as possible. You will learn about techniques to manage pain such as ice, heat, acupuncture or relaxation. Exercises, which may include pool therapy, are to improve strength, flexibility, range of movement, stamina and to decrease pain. If needed, you will learn ways to help you breathe more easily. Your physical therapist will help you make plans to stay active and independent. This might include education about choosing and using the proper equipment (e.g., walking aids, braces or wheelchair).
 

Psychologists
Help you to understand the changes in your thinking, memory or behaviour, which may result from your illness or injury. You may be given tests to assess a range of thinking and memory skills. The results of these tests can help to create the right treatment for you. The psychologist can also provide treatment for you and your family to understand how changes in thinking and behaviour may affect living in the community.
 

Recreational therapists (RT)
Explore recreation choices and resources that enhance your health - and overall rehab process. Recreation is a positive and important part of everyone’s life whether you’re interested in fitness, sports, gardening or flying a kite, recreation activity helps you to develop skills, increase confidence and have fun! Through leisure education and recreation participation, a recreation therapist will help you to explore and adapt meaningful leisure choices in your community that will be a part of a healthy and active lifestyle when you leave. Recreation helps people to get well, live well and stay well!
 

Rehab assistant (RA)
May work with you to carry out some of the activities or exercises recommended by your OT, PT and SLP. The RA is supervised by the therapists.
 

Sexual health clinicians
Provide an opportunity for you (and your partner/family) to voice your concerns and to learn information about sexuality following an injury or illness. These concerns may be about sexual functioning, sexual relations or feelings you may have about yourself as a sexual person.
 

Social workers (SW)
Are available to talk about your concerns or whatever you might be worried about. You may wonder about your future, your relationships, and how you will cope; or you may have some needs such as housing or finances. Social workers can help with these needs by providing information, resource materials and links to services that will support you. Social workers are available during this stressful time to assist in identifying issues, working through difficult decisions and finding solutions.


Speech-language pathologists (SLP)
Provide education, treatment and strategies to help you cope if you have experienced changes in the way you swallow or communicate (talking, understanding, reading, writing). Your SLP will work with you and your family to identify the goals that are most important to you during your admission. You may work on your goals in one to one and/or group sessions.


Teachers
For students up to the age of 19 who have not yet graduated from high school. The teacher will help with your school course work, test your academic skills and provide learning help. Your counselor and subject teachers at your home school will help plan your return to school. With your consent, the teachers and other members of your team may go to your school to meet with your teachers and friends, and teach them about your disability and how it might affect you at school.

 
Vocational rehab counselors (VRC)
Will help you with issues related to work and training. Changes may be required in the type of work that you can do or the supports you will need. The vocational rehab counselor will help you explore your options and make important decisions about employment. You might want to learn about your rights, obtain job accommodations, start a graduated return to work, access funding for training, find a new job, start a business, or better understand insurance benefits. The VRC can help with all of this and provide you with useful links to employment resources in your community.

A project of:

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Project launch made possible by:

  BC Neurotrauma Fund via

Rick Hansen Foundation, BC Neurotrauma Fund

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We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia. 

Brainstreams.ca is an online education and networking site for the Brain Injury Community in B.C. and beyond.

The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.