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From Hospital Stay to Short Term In-Patient Rehabilitation: Preparing for the Transition

Transitional Rehab: What to Expect
November 20, 2014

From Hospital Stay to Short Term In-Patient Rehabilitation: Preparing for the Transition

In-hospital or acute medical care is needed after a serious accident, injury, or illness occurs. After the patient has been released from the hospital, short-term in-patient rehabilitation is often required before the person can return to their home. The purpose of short term rehab is to support healing and recovery and to help the patient rebuild strength and regain function to safely return home to as normal a life as possible.

Understanding what transitional rehab is and what is to be expected while there is important. Knowing these things can go a long way in relieving any stress and anxiety you or your loved one may be feeling about transitioning from the hospital to the rehabilitation facility.

One of the major differences between in-hospital care and transitional rehab involves the responsibility a patient has with their recovery. While in the hospital the only responsibility the patient has is to rest and recover. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are in charge of the patient’s care. Once in the transitional rehab facility, the focus shifts more towards the patient having more responsibility in their recovery. Medical supervision and care are still a major aspect of short term rehab, but recovery now requires a lot more participation from the patient. The main focus now is to get the patient back in shape and healthy in order to return to a daily routine that is as normal as possible.

Here are some of the most important things you should know to help you or your loved one prepare for the transition from the hospital to the transitional rehabilitation facility.


  1. Before the day of the move from the hospital to the transitional rehab facility, a discharge plan should already be in place. It’s important to establish where you or your loved one will live once discharged from the facility. Will the patient return home and be solely responsible for their own care? Will a family member be a caregiver or will you use at-home assistance? What treatments and therapies will be needed after discharge? Knowing the answers to these questions will relieve a lot of stress when the time comes to return home.

    If the patient is to return home after discharge, preparations should begin immediately to make the home as safe and accessible as possible to allow the person to live as independently as they can. If after discharge the patient will be moved into an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, these arrangements should be made as soon as possible. The waitlists for these facilities can often be long, so doing your homework prior to discharge is important. The hospital discharge planner or social worker is a great resource to help decide what the next steps to take are.


  1. A lot of important details and information will be coming to you all at once, so a transition checklist is vital. It’s not only important to create the checklist, but to also ensure that all information is accurate and up to date. You will need to track all medications, doctor and other specialist information, items needed once in the transitional rehab facility, and a host of other important details like phone numbers, addresses, and follow-up appointments. There are a lot of readily available resources online to help you create the best list for your situation.


  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! As you are organizing and tracking vital information, questions will arise. What types of treatments will the patient receive at the facility? Does the facility allow a tour before the move? Will the patient have a private room or will they have to share a room with others? These are just a few of the questions that you might want to consider asking. The more information you have, the easier the transition will be from the hospital to the short term rehab facility.


  1. Bring a few comfort items from home. These can include small family photos, a favorite pillow or blanket, or a personal music player with headphones. While this may not seem important, having these items can make the space feel more comforting, and help relieve the anxiety a patient may be feeling.

    It is advised to leave valuable items, perfumes, cologne, or scented lotions at home.


The transition from the hospital to the rehabilitation facility can cause a person to feel anxious and overwhelmed. The more informed and prepared the patient is, the less stressed they will feel about the move knowing what lies ahead.

You can expect to work with a team of rehab specialists including doctors, nurses, various therapists, and other medical professionals while in short term rehab. Your assigned caseworker will help you formulate a specific treatment plan based on your needs.

Prodigy Transitional Rehab specializes in skilled nursing and transitional rehabilitation. Prodigy is a leader in patient care and clinical excellence in five areas of service: Short-Term Rehabilitation, Out-Patient Rehabilitation, Long-Term Care, Memory Care, and Respite Care. Our focus is on providing each patient with a positive rehab experience. Contact us today to learn more.