Healthwatch: Specialty Care

Hospital care for patients can range from a few days to several months. When long-range care and rehabilitation are called for, places like The Specialty Hospital of Meridian step in to make the difference. It offers acute care over a 25-day period and longer.

"We take patients who may not even be breathing (on their own). And over a period of time, nurse those patients back to some quality of life. A lot of times we have to teach these patients how to walk, how to talk. We have speech therapists and physical therapists," said David Bonner, director of nurses.

The Specialty Hospital seeks to have patients back at home or work, as close to their previous condition as possible.

"A lot of our patients that we take at Specialty Hospital are wound care. They need to go to hyperbarics, IV medications. We do take stroke patients that need intensive rehabilitation," said Rhonda Griffith, nurse liaison. "We also take patients that need weaning from the ventilator. Also patients that are newly diagnosed with diabetes and it's unstable and uncontrolled. You know, we teach them how to check their blood sugars and then regulate their medications."

And "Specialty Square" tests the motor skills and maneuverability function of patients doing real-life tasks. Patients can "shop" in a mock grocery store, get in and out of a restaurant booth, and even test how comfortable they will be in church pew. Their progress is evaluated. Then it's determined if a patient is ready to go home or more rehab might be necessary.

The Specialty Hospital serves both young and old, whether limited by a mishap, injury or illness.


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