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Rehab & Physical Therapy

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Rehabilitation Hospital Care vs. Nursing Home Care

What Is the Difference?
There are differences in the care and therapy you receive when you are an inpatient in the WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital (also known as an acute inpatient rehabilitation facility or IRF) and when you are a patient or resident in a nursing home (often referred to as a skilled nursing facility or SNF). We hope the following information helps you and your family understand these differences and know what to expect.

WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital Nursing Home
Feels like a typical hospital unit but it is actually an acute inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) that is licensed as a hospital Also called skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), nursing homes are licensed as long-term care facilities
Patients are admitted to an IRF from a variety of locations including hospital units, observation units, emergency departments or even home. Patients can qualify for admission to a nursing home after they have spent at least three days in a hospital such as WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital
A physiatrist (physician who specializes in rehabilitation) sees patients daily and directs patient care An internal medicine physician typically sees patients weekly or every other week
Nurses specialize in treating patients with multiple physical and medical issues Nurses specialize in care related to elderly patients
The dayshift, nurse-to-patient ratio is 1:6 to ensure nurses can provide complex care Nurses provide care to more patients per day than acute inpatient rehabilitation nurses do – patient care not as complex
Patients in an IRF receive intensive therapy – 2 or more therapies for a minimum of 3 hours, five out of every seven days Patients may need 1 or more therapies not considered intensive
Physicians, nurses, therapists, case managers, patients and their family members work together in a coordinated manner Coordination of care is not a feature that defines this level of care