Dr. Nicole Schechter | Rehabilitation Psychology

>>Hello, my name is Nicole Schechter, and I’m a rehabilitation psychologist in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins. I didn’t find rehabilitation psychology until later in my training. Initially, I was working with individuals with post-traumatic
stress disorder at the VA and I realized that there
was this very strong pattern of folks that had
psychological trauma, PTSD, and also a physical trauma,
whether it was an amputation or a brain injury or a spinal cord injury. And I found it so interesting
and oftentimes painful how closely connected
the psychological trauma and the physical trauma were, and how they both, together,
impacted that individual. Rehab psychology connects
those two things. We work with people to enhance their emotional self and
their cognitive self, so that their body,
their physical disability or injury or illness, can recover quicker. In terms of my research,
I focus primarily on better understanding the impact of the relationship between a healthcare
provider and a patient. So I specifically teach
people communication skills, to providers throughout
Hopkins, nurses, physicians, psychologists, the entire care continuum, that should better help their patients engage in their own healthcare
and help the patients also feel more understood and more heard in their interactions
with healthcare providers. In terms of my philosophy of patient care, I believe that patient care
should be patient-centered. That means that the patient should be the driver of their own care. In order to provide
the best care possible, we need to focus on
what the patient wants, what the patient needs,
which involves understanding their family context, their
history, their values, what they want out of life, both in the short-term
and in the long-term, and when we understand a patient in full, then we can provide them the
best treatment available. (light electronic music)

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