MASON CITY - In 2002, Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa opened its Acute Rehabilitation Unit on its West Campus to provide advanced rehabilitation services to patients in north Iowa, following a hospitalization. Ten years later, the unit is a blessing to people recovering from serious injuries or illness.
The Acute Rehab Unit, also known as ARU, provides intense rehabilitation services in an inpatient setting. Patients there receive a total of three hours of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy over the course of each day, five days a week. This therapy is specifically tailored to meeting the needs of patients suffering from stroke, brain injuries, amputations, multiple traumas, spinal cord injuries and burns.
While the patients stay at the unit, efforts are made to make them feel at home. Each patient has a large, private room and access to a patio and garden area, laundry facilities and a common area for meals, activities and socialization.
According to Jeannette Adamski, Director of Rehab Services, patients in acute rehab receive have high nurse to patient ratios and more frequent visits from physicians than other forms of rehab.
“In our acute rebab unit, patients are visited by Dr. Erin Peterson, Physiatrist and Medical Director of the ARU at least three times per week.”
A Physiatrist is a physician specializing in rehabilitation medicine. Dr. Peterson has special expertise in rehabilitation from spinal cord injuries. As Medical Director of Mercy’s Acute Rehab Unit, she has daily oversight of the program.
“Not everyone qualifies for acute rehab,” said Peterson. “Patients must be able to actively participate in three hours of various therapies spread throughout the day. But many patients needing more than one type of therapy can benefit from Acute Rehab.”
Over the past ten years, Mercy’s ARU has achieved success by exceeding the regional and national standards for patient improvement, according to the Functional Independence Measure. Mercy North Iowa’s ARU is the only acute rehabilitation unit in the north Iowa area. For more information about Mercy’s Acute Rehabilitation Unit, contact Wendy at 641-428-7145.