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Treatment Philosophy and Patient Expectations

Craig Hospital offers an individualized and comprehensive approach to spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. With a highly specialized and experienced staff, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, proven treatment methods, a large group of patients with similar injuries, and a positive and caring attitude throughout the hospital, Craig offers a powerful community of hope and possibilities.

The goal of rehabilitation is to maximize neurological recovery, functional abilities, and psychological adjustment, so that patients can return home as independent and productive as possible, prepared to resume their lives. Our rehabilitative philosophy is that our patients can return home and have a quality life. Thousands of our graduate patients over four decades have told us that this is true, and many of our graduates have done remarkable things with their lives following injury.

In order for patients to get the most of their rehabilitation program, it is necessary for patients to work very hard. Therefore, we set high expectations for patient participation. Patients need to understand that the rehabilitation is different from the ICU medical model where patients are passive recipients of care. In contrast, rehabilitation is a process to teach patients and families to care for themselves. Patients are encouraged to have input into their programs and schedules, but it is expected that patients will follow physician and treatment orders, adhere to treatment schedules, comply with educational goals, participate in outings, and take the fullest advantage of all the resources Craig has to offer. Expectations also include that most patients will be up each morning M-F by 8:15 am, have breakfast in the cafeteria, and be ready to begin daily activities by 9:00 am. Unless patients are sick, they are expected to take meals outside of their rooms. If medically reasonable, patients are encouraged to stay up throughout the day, to interact with and learn from other patients and families.

Craig is committed to the physical safety and emotional well being of our patients, families, staff, contractors, vendors, customers, visitors and others. Craig takes a zero-tolerance position to violence at Craig. Violence is defined as any threatening or aggressive behavior or verbal abuse, including being sworn at or yelling. Any patient, family member or visitor found in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge from the hospital premises. Violations will be addressed by the physician, the treatment team, human resources, management, administration and/or security.

Craig will honor patient rights and will attempt to accommodate individual requests and belief systems. We are passionate in our mission to improve the quality of lives for our patients. If patients engage in behavior that we believe is contradictory to their health or to successful rehabilitation (persistent non-compliance with nursing routines, refusal of therapy, medication refusal, staff abuse, etc.), we would make reasonable attempts to provide counseling and education to help patients understand the value of the treatment we are recommending. If unsuccessful, patients will be informed of the potential consequences of their noncompliance, including early discharge. We believe that enabling patients to make healthy choices is in their best interest, in the best interest of other patients and the hospital.

During the rehabilitation process we also inform our patients as to what clinical research trials are available at Craig, and also about what experimental studies and therapies are occurring around the world. New treatments will be introduced into Craig's programs as research outcomes dictate. At the same time, we want newly-injured patients and families to understand that experimental research and therapies should not replace comprehensive initial rehabilitation by a specialized center. Many patients have limited rehabilitation insurance benefits, and it is important that patients use these benefits wisely to maximize their initial recovery and functional independence, and have a solid foundation with which to face the future.