Finding the Right Rehabilitation Hospital: The Hands of the Clock
Word that I had stood had travelled from therapists, nurses, doctors, and then to the social worker who I was assigned to. “This is a trauma hospital,” she explained to my mother, “and there is very little that we can do for him surrounding therapy.” My mom was preparing for bad news to follow. “I think it is time for him to be transferred to a hospital that is setup to provide better rehabilitation.” Relief washed over her. “I’m going to put in the paperwork for him to be transferred to Bellevue.” While it is a good hospital, my mom knew of Bellevue as a psych ward.
“Bellevue?” My mom said with respectful concern, “Why not Mount Sinai?”
“Are you specifically requesting that he be transferred to Mount Sinai?” Gina lead my mom with her questioning.
“Yes. I am SPECIFICALLY asking that my son be transferred to Mount Sinai.”
“Then I will submit the proper paperwork to them.”
With gratitude, my mother thanked Gina and collected her things, and within a few days, I was accepted!
My mom did her research and knew that Mount Sinai was the best choice of hospital for me. The thing is that because of location, supplies, and other considerations, hospital policy is only to provide adequate care for everyone… not to bring about the best care to your loved one.
By asking her if she was SPECIFICALLY requesting Mount Sinai, The social worker threw my mom a bone, which I am so appreciative of.
When working with clients, knowing what our options are and researching for the best scenario is the first step that I assist in. Once we have a clear idea of what we want, we can work within the bureaucracy of the medical system to execute that plan.
There are many subtleties in language which affect the legalities within the medical system. An understanding of these subtleties in language make a huge difference in the level and type of hospital and rehabilitation care that my clients are able to receive. Knowing what to say and who to say it to gives hospital administrators more of an opportunity to help.
I also coach my clients to understand the possibilities of a successful outcome and how to use these subtleties of language to help them.
My mom entered my room announcing that she brought good news! My skewed and wandering eyes bounced in her direction. “What’s the… good news?” I slowly asked. “You have been accepted into Mount Sinai in Manhattan. We will be going there on Monday!” This was good news indeed. “Can you… hand me.. my phone? Pudge has… the van.”
“No no no…” she said with a chuckle. I would have to get used to this type of half concealed chuckle at my unintentional comedic behavior. “You can’t even stand on your own. You are going to be taken in an ambulance.”Although I had absolutely no knowledge or understanding of this, Mount Sinai is an excellent venue for brain injury rehabilitation.
Mount Sinai is a TBI Model System Center. TBI Model Systems Centers are regarded to provide “the highest level of comprehensive and multidisciplinary rehabilitation care.” Unfortunately, there are currently less than 20 of these centers in the country. Getting me to one of these centers for my rehabilitation is one of the many things that my mother did right… Very right!
She did her homework and had researched what hospital or rehabilitation center was the best option given our location and circumstances. I am often on the hunt for excellent rehabilitation centers in order to help survivors get to the best rehabilitation hospital, and I will readily admit that I am biased towards TBI Model System Centers for many reasons.
For several years, I have been working with model systems centers as a patient advisor and consultant for a study that we ended up calling The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Improving Transition Experience (BRITE) Study. I was originally honored to be working with Model System because of the high standards in care and rehabilitation that I received from Mount Sinai, and I now get to play a part in creating a means to improve outcomes at the policy level.