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Your recovery team - delete

  • Members of your health care team may include any of the following:

    • Advance practice provider
      An advance practice provider can treat illnesses and diseases such as cancer. An advance practice provider and doctor work together as a team. Advance practice providers include:
      • clinical nurse specialists
      • nurse practitioners
      • physician assistants
    • Dietitian
      A dietitian will look at your food needs. He or she will work with the health care team to create a meal plan for you. He or she will also provide education about your meal plan.
    • Hospitalist
      A hospitalist is doctor who specializes in adult medicine.
    • Intensivist
      An intensivist is a doctor who specializes in intensive care.
    • Internist
      An internist is a doctor who specializes in adult medicine.
    • Neurologist
      A neurologist treats brain, spinal cord and nervous system problems and conditions.
    • Nurses
      Nurses will closely watch your ability to eat, swallow and move (helping you change positions in bed and helping you get in and out of a chair or bed). They check your skin and check to make sure you have no problems going to the bathroom. Nurses will give you medicine and help with therapy.

      They will educate you and your care circle about stroke and medicines. Nurses will also work with the rest of the health care team to make sure you and the members of your care circle have your emotional needs met.

      Nurses will provide and coordinate your care. They will watch for neurological changes (speech, vision) that show your symptoms are getting better or worse.
    • Occupational therapist (OT)
      The occupational therapist will look at your ability to do everyday activities. These include eating, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, bathing, doing housework and going to the bathroom.

      He or she will also look at and treat problems related to your stroke. This includes problems with vision and thinking, such as memory, judgment or safety. The OT helps you gain arm strength and coordination. He or she will let you know if you need special equipment after you leave the hospital.
    • Pharmacist
      The pharmacist will supply the medicines ordered by your doctor. He or she will watch to make sure your medicines work together and help manage your side effects.
    • Physiatrist
      A physiatrist is a doctor who works in rehab.
    • Physical therapist (PT)
      The physical therapist treats problems with your balance, coordination, strength, walking and transfers (getting yourself in and out of a chair, bed or car). If needed, he or she will help you learn to use aids such as canes, walkers or wheelchairs. He or she will let you know if you need special equipment after you leave the hospital.

      The PT will teach you balance and strength exercises and help you practice walking and transfers. He or she will also teach members of your care circle how to help you walk, transfer and do exercises.
    • Social worker
      The social worker looks at your social and emotional needs and helps plan for your needs when you are ready to leave the hospital (at discharge). He or she will provide supportive counseling and information about community resources.

      He or she will help you and members of your care circle with decisions about a new living place if needed. The social worker can also help get financial and insurance information for you.
    • Speech-language pathologist (SLP)
      A speech-language pathologist treats your problems with swallowing, speaking, understanding, reading and writing.

      He or she will help you regain language skills or teach you other ways to communicate. He or she may also help you with your attention span, problem-solving and memory skills.
    • Stroke outreach volunteer
      A volunteer who is a stroke survivor may meet with you on a one-to-one basis. Ask your social worker for more information.
    • Therapeutic recreation specialist (recreational therapist)
      A therapeutic recreation specialist helps improve your independence and everyday activities. He or she will provide recreation resources and opportunities to improve your health and well-being.

      He or she will help you return to the leisure activities you enjoy and to learn how to get around in your community.
  • Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Understanding Stroke, fifth edition, neuro-ahc-90662
    Reviewed by: Allina Health Patient Education experts
    First published: 02/01/2006
    Last reviewed: 05/01/2018