The Center for Rehabilitation at Wilmington Hospital received Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) certification for its amputation specialty program.
“This certification recognizes that our therapists, nurses and other interdisciplinary team members put the patient at the center of the recovery experience,” said Sharon Kurfuerst, Ed.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, administrative director of Rehabilitation Services.
Careful care planning and coordination by specially trained staff enables patients who have undergone amputation surgery to recover and adapt.
“CARF only awards specialty certification to centers that can demonstrate and document proficiency in meeting or exceeding over 400 standards of care,” Kurfuerst said. “Our care team focused on amputee care includes specially trained physical and occupational therapists, nurses, psychologists, physiatrists, nutritionists, social workers and case managers who are committed to helping patients achieve optimum health and return to their lives in their community. Without these talented, skilled and dedicated professionals, we would not have this certification.”
Patient care plans include rehabilitation, training, support and after-care necessary for the prevention of future medical complications. The Center’s patient-training program helps patients develop coping strategies that put them in charge of their own recovery. The training includes pain management (discerning wound pain from phantom pain—the pain that seems to come from the missing limb), skin and scar care, mobility challenges and changes in body image.
All patients in the program go through education that helps them deal with the physical, social and psychological issues of having an amputation.
Wilmington Hospital has extensive relationships with a variety of community-based services that provide counseling as well as prosthetic supplies, regardless of ability to pay. Patients can be referred from the hospital and home/community setting.
The Center’s future includes participation in formal research and increased patient education, with a goal to provide program information to patients before they schedule surgery so that they can prepare for follow-up and be better able to make informed decisions about their treatment.