Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) and Grand Bahama Health Services (GBHS) workers came together last week to host Rehab Week.
Activities were planned to educate residents about the benefits and positive impact of rehabilitation and to develop programs that aim to increase opportunities for those classified as disabled, assisting them to their greatest potential.
Hosting an open house in the foyer of the Rand Memorial Hospital on Monday, September 24, Cottrice Robinson, Senior Physical Therapist at the Rand Memorial Hospital, shared the significance of highlighting rehabilitative services here on the island.
“This week we are celebrating Rehab Services. All of the areas of speech, recreational therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology and respiratory therapy are all a part of the rehab services offered in the Public Hospital Authority.
“We are now emphasizing physical therapy, because that is our area. We have different areas at the various tables at our open house,” informed Robinson.
From apparatuses used to transfer patients such as Hoyer Lifts, sliding boards and safety belts to non-traditional therapeutic methods used in the Rehabilitative Services, all were on display for the one-day Open House and the RMH.
“We do dry needling; it is similar to acupuncture. We use Kinesio tape, which is something a lot of athletes are wearing now and we also do the cupping. All three of them can increase circulation and promote healing.
“We also see patients on the ward that have respiratory problems such as pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis. We offer nebulization with them as well and we also use the incentive spirometer that helps with their breathing.
“A new area that we are starting to develop is lymphatics; the apparatus is used for persons that have lymphedema, either from breast cancer or prostate cancer, where the leg or the arm being swollen, because of the lymph nodes being removed.
“It is a three-part treatment modality. We use gentle massage, which is called the lymphatics, where we try to move some of the fluid using a gentle touch. After that we use special bandaging that we put on the patient every day, to help decrease the swelling; we also use exercise. Once we get the swelling down, we put them into a compression garment that keeps the swelling down, which they have to wear for the rest of their lives,” explained the Senior Physical Therapist.
“We also offer the traction machine, which is used for impingement in the neck where there is a nerve impinged, which causes either numbness or tingling down the arm. We can sit you down with a traction and release some of that pressure.
“We also have an ultra sound machine that we have been using, forever, that is also used to help increase circulation as well. We also have different forms of electrical stimulation. We have electoral stimulation that we have in the office, but portable units are available that persons can buy and use at home as well.”
Robinson further explained that the Paraffin is another apparatus used in the instance of heat therapy. “A person’s hands or feet are placed in it and it contours around the joints a lot better than mist heat, such as a hot pack. The hand or foot is dipped in eight times and then wrapped for about 15 minutes. Once it is cooled, it also increases circulation.
“We also have strengthening materials that we use – different types of balls, resistance, all to help with strengthening and balance coordination. We also have on display our hand table, all of the things we use for fine motor control to help increase strength and range. The therabands are also used as another form of resistance.
“These are all of the things that we offer here at the Rand Memorial Hospital. While the Open House showed the Rehabilitative Services equipment and apparatuses in the hospital foyer for just one-day, the department observed Rehabilitative Services for the remainder of the week.
“We just really want the public to be aware of some of the things that we offer. We treat patients that have had strokes, fractures, any type of neurological conditions. We even treat children, persons with cerebral palsy, those with developmental delay; children that have broken arms or legs, we treat from the youngest baby to the very old. There is a wide variety of areas that we treat. I always tell persons that we treat the symptoms and not the conditions. It all depends on what the symptom is, whether or not we can treat it; that is what we do.
“Presently we have two locations, one in Hawksbill behind the Hawksbill Clinic and the other is located on Nansen Avenue, near the Administrative Offices,” concluded Robinson.