Your Rehabilitation Team

The medical world has made huge advances in the treatment of strokes.  These days a stroke survivor stands a good chance of being treated by health professionals whose jobs were in their early stages of development a relatively few decades ago.  Your team may consist of any of the following:

A physiatrist. It looks like a misspelling, but it’s not. It’s a medical doctor whose specialty is rehabilitation.

An occupational therapist (OT). This is a skill builder, or rebuilder, someone who helps you relearn common daily activities like dressing, bathing and eating.

A physical therapist (PT). Your stroke may have impaired your walking, balance and coordination abilities.  The PT will help you restore these as much as possible.

A rehabilitation nurse. A nurse who coordinates your medical needs for the duration of your rehab.

A speech therapist.  If the stroke has affected your speech or language skills, this professional will help you recover them.

A recreational therapist. You enjoyed recreational activities before your stroke, and it’s important that you enjoy them just as much afterwards. A recreational therapist will help you adjust your previous activities to your new condition and help acquire new activities if that’s needed.

A psychiatrist or psychologist.  A stroke can punch holes in your normal way of living. A psychiatrist or psychologist can help you overcome the emotional distress this causes and adjust to what has become your new normal.

Vocational rehabilitation counselor.  If your return to work is made problematical because of a stroke-related disability, a vocational rehabilitation counselor can evaluate your skills and help you determine if you should return to your former position or seek a new one more compatible with your current skills.