For the past two weeks, I have had the opportunity to complete my clinical nutrition hours at a small, 80-bed hospital in Morgantown, WV. HealthSouth Mountain View Regional Rehabilitation Hospital specializes in rehabilitating patients who may have had a variety of different conditions.
HealthSouth treats patients with disease states such as:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Hip Fractures
- Neurological Disorder
- Various Injuries/Multiple Trauma
The responsibilities of a dietitian at a rehabilitation hospital is similar to that of a dietitian in an acute care hospital. The overall goal is to evaluate the patient’s nutritional status and determine an intervention to improve their condition in terms of their food. I have really enjoyed working at a rehab hospital because the average length of stay for a patient is 10-14 days, which is much longer than the acute care setting. For this reason, you get to know the patients much better and also have the chance to watch their condition improve.
The other interesting aspect of working at a rehab hospital is participating in a collaboration with many different medical disciplines. The medical team works together to improve the patient’s condition to a point where they can function with minimal assistance in their own home. The dietitian works closely with the speech therapist, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.