Inpatient Rehabilitation Experience | UnityPoint Health - Dubuque

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Inpatient Rehabilitation Experience Dubuque, Iowa

Inpatient Rehabilitation Experience

Starting with your admission, you and your caregiver will be expected to take an active role in your rehabilitation program. The steps you  make toward your independence will require patience, hard work, motivation, acceptance and re-learning. This includes setting goals and participating in therapy. Together, you and your family will work with your rehab teams to set realistic goals. These goals encompass many elements including your strengths, abilities, needs, preferences, lifestyle, and considerations for discharge planning from the program. Your goals will be written on the white board in you room. You will be required to do 3 hours of therapy, 5 out of 7 days per week. After discussing goals, you will sign the care plan. The first 3 days on the rehab unit you are focused on evaluation. This is our time to get to know your strengths and to better understand what we need to do to help you the most.

What to Bring

Patients on the Inpatient Rehab Unit dress in their own clothes each day. It is recommended you bring 3-4 changes of comfortable clothing which include:

  • Pants, shorts, sweatpants
  • Shirts, blouses
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Shoes-flat, supportive, non-skid (ie: tennis shoes)
  • Sweater, jacket, coat depending on weather
  • Personal items: tooth brush, comb, hairbrush, toiletries, razor (straight edge not allowed), cosmetics, pillow, blanket, pictures, hobby or games
  • Assistive devices from home (wheelchair, walker) braces, prosthesis, hearing-aides, dentures, glasses

A Day in the Life of a Rehab Patient

Your days on the rehabilitation unit will be more structured than those you may have experienced in other units of the hospital. Nursing will provide you with a paper copy of your schedule every morning (approximately 9 a.m.) after the therapists set their schedules.

A typical day (Monday to Friday) in rehab is as follows:

  • Wake-up (6-7 a.m.) - Use restroom, complete morning hygiene (wash face, brush teeth) on occasion therapies may be early
  • Meals in Dining Room - Breakfast: 8 - 8:30 a.m., Lunch: 12 - 12:30 p.m., Dinner 5 p.m.
  • Therapies (8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.) (1 - 4 p.m.) 30 - 45 minute sessions of therapy
  • Free time to rest or nap - In between therapies and after 4 p.m.
  • Lights dimmed for sleep (9 p.m.)
  • Sunday there is limited therapy - Activity throughout the day is encouraged with nursing

Rehab Bus Stop

The Rehab Bus Stop will be used for patients that are working on increasing their cognitive independence. This will be initiated on a patient to patient basis at rehab staff's discretion. The goal of the Rehab Bus Stop is to increase cognitive independence and time management skills with our patients recovering from a variety of cognitive deficits. The staff will coordinate which patients would benefit from this, and then instruct and inform the patient of the goals. The bus stop is located to the right of the nurses station and is labeled with a sign. Patients will then be asked to use their copy of the therapy schedule and initiate getting to the bus stop in time to go to therapy.


Patient meals are served at 8 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m. in the rehab dining room. Staff will assist patient to the dining room. We will encourage patients to walk assisted from their room to the dining room when they are able. Patients are encouraged to cut up food, open containers, independently, and staff will provide assistance as needed.

Every morning patients are given a blank menu to complete for the next menu day selection. Patients are encouraged to fill out their own menu, assistance is provided if needed.

  • Family members may also bring in food if approved by the dietitian or nursing staff.
  • Snacks are available mid-morning/afternoon and nighttime. Requests for these may be made to nursing or the dietitian.
  • Dietitians are available throughout the day for any questions or concerns.
  • Guest trays are available for a nominal charge and are delivered with the patient's meal for those wishing to eat with the patient.

Bathing and Dressing

Bathing and dressing are considered activities of daily living (ADL's). Occupational Therapy (OT) will work with you to complete this activity on most days and will begin these sessions after breakfast. On the others, the nursing staff will assist you, and your bath will likely be completed prior to breakfast. Bathing consists of either a sink side bath or shower.


A washer and dryer is located on the unit in the Rehab apartment. It is accessible for patient use.  This is typically done during the evening/night. Occupational Therapy may include a therapy session for you to demonstrate the ability to do laundry independently. You may also be asked to fold your laundry, this will help to gain more strength and independence.

Home Sweet Home

We encourage family members to bring or take pictures of your home setting. This will assist the therapy staff in educating safe techniques for your living arrangement.

  • Kitchen
  • Bedroom
  • Living room
  • Bathroom
  • Entrance to your home

Functional Independence Measurement (FIM)

All patients admitted to Inpatient Rehabilitation at Finley will have a functional independence measurement (FIM) assessment completed by members of your rehabilitation team within the first three days of admission.

There are 18 different functional areas we assess. These areas include eating, grooming, dressing of upper and lower extremities, bathing, toileting, bed/chair transfers, toilet transfers, tub/shower transfers, ambulation or wheelchair mobility, stairs, bowel and bladder management, memory, expression, comprehension, problem solving, and social interaction.

The day before discharge is considered your Performance Day. You will be asked to be as independent as possible on that day. A FIM assessment is completed again on this day by members of the rehabilitation team.

We use the information from this measurement tool to evaluate the effectiveness of our inpatient rehabilitation program. and to compare our program to other programs throughout the country.


Patient safety is one of the rehabilitation staff's primary concerns. We ask that you not get up alone. The nursing call light should be used to ask for assistance. Family members may be asked to attend your therapy to be taught how to transfer or ambulate you safely before you attempt to do so yourself. The therapist will teach your family members the techniques needed to assist you safely at home.

Each patient is on fall precautions on the rehab unit. This is a system that the hospital uses to help assure your safety. The nurse will explain "Fall Precautions." Rehab staff teach and ask patients to use the call light prior to getting up, we are happy to assist! If a patient is having difficulty remembering to call for assistance, the rehab staff may initiate use of a safety tab alarm. This will beep if the patient attempts to get up on their own. We use yellow grip socks for ambulation. A gait belt will be used during all patient transfers. Hourly comfort rounding will be completed to check for needs such as: pain, toileting, positioning.

Family or Caregiver Involvement

While each discipline plays a unique role in meeting your needs, all team members work together to improve social, cognitive and communication skills as well as adjustment to injury or illness. The most important members of the team are you and your family and friends. The family plays a very important part in the rehabilitation process by assisting you in learning techniques to enable the rehabilitation process to continue after discharge. IN most cases, strong family involvement and clear communication lead to your success.

Guests and Visitation

To allow for scheduled therapies and rest periods, we ask that visitors come after 4 p.m. on weekdays, and after 1 p.m. on Saturdays. There will be no therapy on Sundays, so visitors may come at any time. If you would like to call the Acute Rehab unit to ask when your family member's therapy will be complete for the day, feel free to call the rehab nurse's station at 589-2685.

Patient Education and Activities Needs

This is located in our dining room. There is an education corner with resources for individuals with amputations, brain injury, stroke, and more. A variety of recreational activities are available, please ask staff member for assistance. If you wish to reserve the activity/dining room for a special event, please notify your nurse.