How Long is Short Term Rehab?

Short term rehab is a bit of a buzzword in today’s new era of hyper-sensitive healthcare. It’s a blessing, and patients are tremendously grateful to benefit from the full scope of available options.

When someone has had an illness or other medical issue, often followed by surgery or some other procedure, he may end up in short term rehab. The goal, of course, is to strengthen, and often learn how to cope in a new physical setting. For example, walking with a prosthetic leg or completely heal after surgery. Since there are many different situations that bring someone to short term rehab, the length of the stay will vary according to the situation.

Treatment plans

When someone is discharged from the hospital and sent for short term rehab, the rehabilitation facility will create a treatment plan based on various criteria. A doctor will take a full medical history, and they’ll run some tests to determine the patient’s health. Staff will use the results to customize the right treatment plan and set time estimates and goals. Since a short term rehab center is not a hospital, treatment is not curative, but rather rehabilitative. Patients are only referred to rehab centers if they’re health is not compromised and they need the rehab as a bridge back home. Therefore, the time in rehab will depend on how long it takes until the patient is at a functional capacity to live outside of an institutional setting.

Getting the patient involved

The success of treatment and ultimately the length of stay depends on many variabilities, one of the most important being the involvement of the patient himself. While in the hospital the doctors may have had the locus of control, in short term rehab, the baton is passed to the patient. When the patient is motivated to recover and works hard in therapy sessions, follows nutritional advice, and sticks to his exercise regimen, his stay is likely to go quickly. However, if a patient can’t commit to the facility’s milestones, the recovery will take much longer.

Specific procedures and short term rehab

Of course, one the main factors in how long the stay will be is the severity of the physical symptoms, i.e. what the initial bill of health was, what kind of procedure took place, and whether or not the patient still has any illness. For example, someone who is recuperating after a standard procedure might be out after just a week or two, while someone who is recovering from a stroke might need more intensive rehab that lasts for several months. If someone had an amputation, he might need to wait until the wound has healed and then be fitted for a prosthetic limb; only then can he re-learn how to use the prosthetic, and only then can he return home.

At the Alameda Rehabilitation Center, we offer excellent short term rehab services for all kids of patients from hospitals all over Essex County, including Hackensack Medical Center, Essex County Hospital Center, and St. Barnabas Medical Center.

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