Who’s Who on Your Rehabilitation Care Team

A multidisciplinary rehabilitation care team includes a broad range of experts, including:

  • Physiatrist: Physicians dedicated to treat a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
  • Rehabilitation nurse: Professional on the rehabilitation team that helps patients with long-term physical disabilities, or chronic illnesses, deal with their limitations and reach their full potential.
  • Occupational Therapist: Professional on the rehabilitation team in charge of the assessment and treatment to develop, recovers, or maintains the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disorder.
  • Physical Therapist: Professional member of the rehabilitation team that remediates impairments and promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention (therapy using mechanical force and movements).
  • Rehabilitation Psychology: Specialty area within psychology that focuses on the study and application of psychological knowledge and skills on behalf of individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions in order to maximize health and welfare, independence and choice, functional abilities, and social role
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: Therapy that enables persons with functional, psychological, developmental, cognitive and emotional impairments or health disabilities to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining or returning to employment or other useful occupation.
  • Social Work: Social workers provide emotional support and help families to adjust to being in the hospital. They coordinate discharge planning, referral to community resources, and questions related to insurance or disability.
  • Speech-Language Pathology: Expertise practiced by a clinician known as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), also called speech and language therapist, or speech therapist, who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of communication disorders and swallowing disorders.
  • Peer Mentor: The peer mentor provides support, encouragement, and information to spinal cord injury patients.
  • Dietician: Professional who helps with the regulation of diet. A dietitian alters their patient's nutrition based upon their medical condition and individual needs. Dietitians are the only health care professionals licensed to assess, diagnose, and treat nutritional problems. 
  • Clergy: Professional who provides spiritual guidance.
  • Therapeutic Recreation: Professional who provides treatment services designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness, as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.