The Many Facets of Shepherd's Brain Injury Program
The Shepherd Center may have been founded because of one family's personal experience with spinal cord injury, but it has grown to treat all types of neurological conditions, including brain injuries. Shepherd's Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program is one of the top brain injury facilities in the US thanks to its extensive services and the passion of the people who work there.
The U.S. News and World Report rank Shepherd as one of the top 10 rehab hospitals in the country. From their large team of experienced brain injury medical professionals to their five unique brain injury programs, it’s easy to see why. Learn more about Shepherd’s Brain Injury Program and how it changes lives in the face of one of the most difficult injuries.
Why Choose Shepherd's Brain Injury Program?
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Shepherd dedicates a large portion of their hospital to patients with brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI). With an estimated 282,000 people in the US each year hospitalized because of brain injuries, Shepherd sees a lot of patients at their facility with brain injuries. Many are injured in a fall, a fight or in a motor vehicle accident.
They also see many patients with anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries, which occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen. This can happen from heart attacks, drownings, and other near-death events. In regard to their staff, eight physicians work in their Brain Injury Rehabilitation program, two of which work in their Disorders of Consciousness Program. They also have several other specialists depending on what is wrong with the body. See video interviews with the Brain Injury Program staff: https://www.shepherd.org/about/medical-staff/physician-profiles
Their 5 Programs
To ensure they take care of the needs of all their patients with brain injuries, from people with minor brain injuries from concussions to people with severe injuries from car accidents, they have created five specialized programs to treat their patients. These programs are as follows:
Disorders of Consciousness Program
This program is for people who have suffered a brain injury and are either in a semi-comatose state or are minimally conscience. Traditionally, these patients were left in beds until they were fully awake. Now, however, these patients are treated in a conscious disorder program, which Shepherd offers. Shepherd’s Disorder of Consciousness Program is a 4 to a 6-week program that gives patients 1 and 1/2 hours of therapy daily. They also make sure to educate families on their loved ones' care, as well as helping patients by maximizing their mobility and advising on nutrition and drugs.
For teenagers and children who experience brain injuries, Shepherd has a separate Adolescent Brain Injuries Rehabilitation Program. This program is different by focusing on maximizing the patient’s independence and socialization. This program puts a high priority on involving family and friends in activities and creating an environment where patients feel like they belong. The program also educates adolescents with brain injuries on self-care, problem-solving, self-advocacy as well as drug and alcohol awareness and sexuality. Also, peer support, teen outings and making sure they return to school are other important components of their adolescent program.
For people with brain injuries who no longer need 24-hour nursing but need to continue their recovery and rehabilitation, Shepherd’s Day Program, also known as Shepherd Pathways, is a great option. It is a separate facility located in Decatur, Georgia that offers extensive recreational opportunities, such as therapy gyms, outdoor sports equipment and recreational and leisure activities. Access to outdoor sports equipment is also possible. Shepherd's Day Program also offers housing for some of their patients. However, to be eligible, you must live 60 miles from Decatur, Georgia.
For patients with brain injuries who have completed their inpatient program and are ready to move out and return home, they offer a residential program in the local community for people who still need 24-hour support. Their residential program allows up to 11 patients. Called Shepherd Pathways, they ensure their patients are cared for by offering 24-hour supervision by an LPN and residential assistants. They also have specially trained life coaches on staff who work with residential patients on implementing behavior goals and personal management plans.
Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs
For people with new brain injuries not ready to return home, the Inpatient Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program at Shepherd offers 58 beds. People with all kinds of great injuries are treated here, from stroke, brain tumors to encephalitis.
To be inspired by Shepherd’s Brain Injury Program success rate, which with over 97% of patients recommending the program, view Patient Stories of Hope, which are firsthand accounts from former Shepherd patients, can be found on their site. View these stories here: https://www.shepherd.org/stories-of-hope.
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