What is a Rehabilitation Hospital?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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A rehabilitation hospital is a facility providing care for stabilized patients who still need inpatient hospital care. Unlike the patient in the standard hospital, the patient sent to a rehab hospital needs additional help to recover from an injury. They might require physical, occupational or speech therapy as their injuries improve, and they might need social work assistance to determine how to live life once they’re released. Like a regular hospital, a rehabilitation hospital has 24 hour nursing care, but patients are typically more physically stable.

Another definition of rehabilitation hospital or facility exists and is applied to those recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. These may have medical workers on staff especially if they offer detox services, but many of the people at these hospitals don’t require much medical care after detox. They certainly can more fully participate in life and don’t tend to need bedside care for the majority of their stay. These hospitals may also be called “rehab” or rehab facilities, since they work to rehabilitate the individual who wants to give up drugs or alcohol.


There are many reasons why people might need the services of a true medical rehabilitation hospital. Some injuries or illnesses create a great deal of physical damage that takes time to address or heal. People who have lost limbs or had significant traumatic injury to the skeletal structure may need time to regain function, or learn how to use prosthetic limbs. While staying in the rehabilitation hospital, they would have physical therapy and training to learn how to function to the fullest capacity, and they might possibly have counseling too to deal with the loss of function they’ve encountered.

Another group of patients that might need to stay at a rehabilitation hospital are those with brain injury that might occur from stroke, seizure, illness or accident. Regaining mental function, speech ability, and function of any affected parts of the body can take time. Once a person has been stabilized, if they have significant function loss, rehab is generally suggested.

For the family of someone injured, a rehabilitation hospital can be a positive intermediary step before a family member returns home. The facility not only instructs the patients and helps them regain function but also works with the family to determine what will be needed when the patient is released. Usually people who are in these hospitals still do need a great deal of care, and although standard hospitals do not deem these patients sick enough to remain onsite, families may be overwhelmed if they must suddenly provide round the clock care. While everyone naturally wants to see a patient well and returned home as soon as possible, offering that patient rehabilitation first may be a very good solution so that he or she returns home with the greatest physical and mental capacity possible after an injury.


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Post 2

There need to be more inpatient rehab centers for substance abuse that insurance will pay for. Many people don't have the money to go to a facility that provides the medical care they need while they're drying out, as well as the counseling they need to stay clean.

A rehabilitation hospital for substance abuse patients has an acute care wing where the addicts can dry out and detox safely. Many people who are on particular drugs do need medical attention as they detox, since it can be a painful, dangerous process.

After the detox and recovery phase, they are then moved to the residential area of the hospital, where they attend support groups and receive individual counseling to help them deal with their problems in the real world.

Post 1

Some rehabilitation hospitals provide primarily physical rehabilitation. A friend was in a terrible car accident several years ago and she was in a rehab hospital for about six weeks. She broke her hip and had several other injuries that required physical therapy.

That hospital did only physical, speech and occupational therapy, though. It wasn't so much a hospital as a residential rehab facility. It was very nice and state of the art. They had a strict regimen and very strict visiting hours. But they do a great job. My friend has recovered completely and was able to go back to her job.

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