What is the Certified Traumatic Brain Injury Unit?
Queens Nassau’s Brain Injury program is “Certified” by the New York State Department of Health, providing intensive rehabilitation in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Cognitive Therapy to brain injury patients as well as daily brain-injury-related programming such as memory/orientation groups, various cognitive and recreational activities, yoga, and art therapy. The program is meant to be a subacute intermediate rehabilitation phase between the acute hospital phase and community re-entry. Residents continue the program as long as they continue to achieve rehabilitation goals for up to one year from date of admission.
Who qualifies for the Certified TBI Program?
Patients qualify when they have structural non-degenerative brain damage and they are medically and psychiatrically stable. All patients must be 16 years or older. Generally, patients are referred to Queens Nassau’s subacute Certified TBI Unit from acute rehabs in a hospital setting.
Does subacute mean less therapy?
No. In fact, residents in the certified TBI program generally get the same amount of rehabilitation they receive in acute rehabilitation settings. The term “subacute” only refers to the longer duration of time and a lesser severity of medical symptoms compared to the “acute” stage, or onset, of injury.
What should I bring for my family member?
Unlike a hospital setting, residents of the Certified TBI program are expected to be out-of-bed and dressed each morning. Getting dressed in clothes that fit and are in the style of the resident improves comfort and self-esteem. Casual, loose fitting shirts and pants as well as undergarments, socks, belts, slippers, etc. are all needed. Clothes with easy pull zippers, snaps, and elastic waist bands are preferred. The Resident’s name will labeled by the facility on all clothing items and clothing can be laundered through a facility-provided laundry service. Families are encouraged to provide tasteful personalized items for the Resident’s rooms to help ease comfort. Family photos are often helpful for orientation and provide assurance.
How long is the Program?
Residents participate in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Cognitive Therapy five times per week. Other optional programs are also available. Residents participate in the program as long as they continue achieving rehabilitation goals for up to one year.
What happens after my loved one finishes the program?
Discharge offers many options. Of course, the goal is always independence in the community. Some Residents are discharged with homecare and many are also discharged into outpatient rehabilitation programs. For those patients with more chronically disabling deficits, or those with fewer supportive resources in the community, the long-term, or “Extended” TBI program is an option.
Are there medical staff available?
Yes. A medical director is on staff while on-site consultations involving Physiatry (a doctor in rehabilitation medicine), Psychiatry, Pulmonology, Wound Care, Podiatry, Ophthalmology, and Dentistry are available.
How are services paid for?
Most services are paid for, either by Medicare, Medicaid, HMO’s or thru private pay. We have a full time Medicaid Coordinator who will work with you sorting out all the paper work to determine if the resident is eligible for Medicaid & to do a Medicaid Application
Please feel free to contact Theresa Burton our Medicaid coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org.
What can I expect?
First and foremost: adjustment. Both the Resident and family will need to be provided time, patience, and open-mindedness as they adjust from hospital-based care to subacute rehabilitation. You will be afforded the opportunity to meet the nursing and rehabilitation staff. Residents are expected to meet rehabilitation goals throughout their tenure in rehabilitation. It is a process that is different for everyone as every brain injury is different and every Resident responds differently to rehabilitation.
Can I visit my loved one?
YES! In fact, research indicates that brain injury patients have better outcomes with family involvement than without. Although families are best left to allow therapy sessions be more private, they are encouraged to provide support during non-therapy time.