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Brain injury basics

Your brain injury team

Your healthcare team is an important source of information and support. They’re there to help both you, your family, caregivers, and friends. Your healthcare team recommends a treatment plan, helps you learn new skills, and do other thing to meet your needs.

Your healthcare team meets regularly to go over how well you’re healing, your progress, and to make plans for other treatments you may need. They also schedule family meetings to update you and your family, answer questions, and plan your leave from the hospital.

Members of your healthcare team include:

Doctors

Doctors give medical care and treatment. They may include a:

  • family doctor
  • specialist in trauma or neurosurgery
  • specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation (called a physiatrist)

You may also get care from doctors in training (called residents) and other medical professionals.

Nurse practicioners

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are nurses with extra training. They can assess, treat, order tests, and prescribe medicines. NPs work closely with doctors, nurses, and therapists.

Registered nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) on your healthcare team have training and experience in brain injury care, rehabilitation, and planning a leave from the hospital. They care for your everyday needs while you’re in the hospital.

Psychologist

A psychologist is a mental health professional. They assess and treat issues with mood, coping, learning to live with a brain injury, and being in hospital.

Neuropsychologist

A neuropsychologist assesses changes or concerns with thinking skills and behaviour. They teach you and your family to manage these concerns. They also work with your treatment team.

Physical therapists

Physical therapists assess and treat changes in movement and other physical abilities (like walking and balance).

Occupational therapists

Occupational therapists help you learn or relearn how to do things on your own after an injury (like dressing, cooking, or managing money).

Speech-language pathologist and speech therapists

Speech-language pathologists and speech therapists assess and treat problems with speech and swallowing.

Recreation therapists

Recreational therapists help you explore and take part in leisure activities. They also help you learn new activities or new ways to do the activities you did before your injury.

Brain injury coordinator or case manager

The coordinator or case manager helps arrange your care. They also support families and other healthcare providers by offering information on resources and services.

Social worker

A social worker works with you to see how well you’re coping and adjusting after a brain injury. They also help with planning your leave from the hospital, help you find ways to pay for the things you need, and give you information about other helpful resources where you live.

Dietitian

A dietitian makes sure your nutritional needs are met and teaches you about healthy eating.

Transition or home care coordinator

This may be a nurse or therapist who gives information about home care services, equipment, and other things you need where you live.

You and your family

You and your family will make the final decisions about your care and rehabilitation, including your goals and plans. Family members are a source of emotional support and help you learn and practice new skills and techniques.​

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