Spinal Injuries Unit — Information for patients

Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre
is a specialist rehabilitation facility located 10 km north east of Adelaide CBD. Hampstead’s Spinal Injury Unit, also called ward 2C and D, is the inpatient rehabilitation ward for the South Australian Spinal Cord Injury Service; It is the only inpatient spinal rehab unit in South Australia. If you are coming to Hampstead for
rehab following a spinal cord injury, you will work with a team of health
professionals to continue your recovery, and to maximise your independence and abilities,
to get the very best out of life after injury. The members of the rehab team that
may work with you includes; Doctors, nurses, Occupational
therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, a clinical psychologist,
and physical educators. Rehabilitation is different from being ‘treated’
in an acute hospital. It is combination of effort from the rehab professionals, you, and your family, or other significant people. You will be expected to actively
participate in daily ward routines, which includes showering, dressing, and going
to education, therapy and gym sessions. Staff will support you to be as independent as possible in all these activities. Rehabilitation programs are tailored to each individual, and your length of stay on the unit will
reflect the rehab goals that are set with you. Your day at Hampstead will typically
start with your personal care routine. The Spinal Injury Unit Rehabilitation Nurses will assist
you with tasks such as showering and getting dressed. Managing continence, and preventing skin related problems will be a big focus of the nursing interactions with you. As you progress through your rehab program,
nursing staff will help you to manage these aspects of your life as independently as you can, by providing you with information and practical
teaching for you and your family or carers. While you are on the unit, you will be
under the care of a Doctor who has specialised in Spinal Cord Injury
Medicine and Rehabilitation. You may have already met your Doctor
at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. The Medical team are available each day on the ward
to deal with any medical problems you may have, and you can expect to see all of the
doctors on their weekly medical round. Your doctor will also attend a family or
discharge planning meeting with you. These meetings are a good chance to ask questions
about your medical care and what to expect for the future. You will have a personalised schedule of
therapy sessions during the day. Your physiotherapy program will be designed to help you become as independent as you can be with moving about and getting the most out of your arms and legs.
This may include: Learning new ways to do things, Training weak muscles, and practicing new techniques, so you
can do as much as possible for yourself. Depending on the level and severity of your injury, the kinds of goals you might work on with a physiotherapist include: maintaining the range of movement in your arms and legs, strengthening those muscles that are active, controlling your balance and posture, learning ways of moving about, for example,
getting in and out of bed, the shower, or a car. Most of this will happen in the physiotherapy gym,
but you may also do some work in the hydrotherapy pool Your occupational therapy program will be
designed to maximise your independence with a range of everyday tasks, such as; showering, dressing, grooming, cooking,
eating, shopping, using computers and accessing places in the community. Depending on your specific needs and goals, your Occupational Therapist may work with you to: Set you up in a wheelchair so you
can get around independently, Help you learn new techniques, or use aids and equipment, to increase your independence in activities such as; dressing, preparing meals or other household tasks. If your arms are affected, the Occupational therapist may work with you to improve your ability to reach and grasp objects. They may also provide you with aids or splints
to help you with tasks like eating or writing. Your occupational therapist may provide
assessment and advice regarding modifications and equipment you may need at home. The occupational therapy department also houses a functional training unit, with a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, set up to allow life-like training of skills and also to
allow overnight stays to prior to practice your skills, prior to being discharged home. The Physical Education department will design a program with you that compliments your other therapies. The physical educators can set you up with a training program to increase the strength and endurance of your active muscles This will help you perform other daily
activities and prevent future injuries. The physical educators can also teach you
to use a wheelchair safely and efficiently, teaching you the correct pushing techniques and how
to control and handle a wheelchair over various terrain. The department also arranges various sport and recreation activities, such as wheelchair tennis and volleyball, and has close links with the Wheelchair Sports Association of SA. Driver assessment and training is also available. Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre
has a vehicle fitted with adapted controls to allow assessment and training
of people with a variety of disabilities. There are regular patient education sessions held
on the ward, which you will be encouraged to attend. These cover a variety of topics, from understanding your body, to taking care of yourself when you leave the unit. A community outing for patients is also
arranged to practice your newly acquired skills. A clinical psychologist is available on the unit
to provide support to patients and their families, and assist you with issues that are
common to spinal cord injury, such stress management, pain management
and coping with treatment routines. The Unit’s social workers can assist you and your
family with practical issues you may encounter, such as financial, legal, work, study, accommodation,
personal care support and access to community resources. Social workers can also provide a
counselling service while you are an inpatient. The PARAQUAD Association of SA also has two
Peer Advocates working on site in the Spinal Unit. The peer support advocates have personally
experienced the trauma of spinal cord injury, and the long term process of healing and re-adjustment. They are available to talk with you on the ward
and can provide some support after discharge. The spinal injury unit has 25 beds
in single and double rooms. Each bed has it’s own phone, which can receive calls and you can make calls by purchasing a phone card. Mobile phones are permitted during non-therapy time. Each room has a TV, and there is a DVD player
on the ward for your use. You may bring in electrical equipment, such as an
electric shaver, laptop computer or Playstation, but it must be checked by the
Hampstead Electrician before you can use it. This can be arranged once you are on the ward. Wireless internet connection is available free of charge. The ward has kitchenettes, including a microwave
and fridge, which are shared between patients. There is a common meal area where you will
be encouraged to eat your lunch and dinner. The ward also has laundry facilities for
patients to wash their personal clothing. On the ward, you will be expected to
wear day clothes rather than patient gowns. Loose fitting clothes of stretch fabric, such as track
pants and zip front windcheaters or shirts are ideal to allow easy movement during your therapy sessions. Also bring Supportive shoes, you may
need them to be one size larger than normal, to allow for swelling and to prevent pressure problems. Visiting hours are between 2.30pm and 8.30pm. Exceptions may be negotiated in advance with senior nursing staff. We also ask that visitors do not interrupt therapy sessions unless organised with the therapist beforehand. Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre has a range of other facilities available to its patients across the campus. QWERTY is an internet café is open to all inpatients, outpatients and visitors of Hamsptead Rehabilitation Centre. It is staffed by PARAQUAD SA staff and
volunteers and provides free internet access, and practical support for those who are new to computers. QWERTY also has assistive equipment to
enable people with disabilities to use computers, including an infared head mouse,
joystick mouse, and a range of keyboards. The Mule Shed is an informal space where you
can drop in to work on a project of your choice, or just have a cuppa and a chat with others. The activities available in the Mule Shed include carpentry, art, wii games and other hobbies. Open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, staff and
volunteers are available to facilitate activities. You can watch what’s happening or
have a go at something you like. There is also a range of garden spaces and a
mobility trail, which you can utilise during your stay, and a variety of other arts and recreation
activities that happen on site. Prior to your arrival at Hampstead, a member of
the Spinal Injury Unit rehab team will be allocated as your Rehabilitation Coordinator. Your rehab co-ordinator will be a key contact person between you and the rehab team, and can act as your advocate. If you are in the Royal Adelaide Hospital, your rehab coordinator will visit you prior to your transfer, and will be a familiar face on arrival at Hampstead. Your rehab co-ordinator will provide you with a
hand book and other information sources during your stay, as well as giving you further
orientation to the unit when you arrive. If you would like further information about coming
to Hampstead, contact your rehabilitation coordinator, or talk to your medical team.

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