Whether you're recovering from an injury, surgery, cardiac event or any other traumatic medical issue, the thought of spending time in an inpatient rehabilitation program can be stressful. After all, you've probably already spent more time than you'd like in the hospital, and the thought of your own bed at home, with its comfort, familiarity and privacy, is bound to be much more inviting than a semi-private room in a rehab facility. While those feelings are certainly understandable, inpatient rehabilitation is the best road to a fast recovery, and as important as hospital room privacy is, a great rehab roommate can actually help your recovery too.
So why is inpatient rehab so important? Because these programs offer a lot of benefits that outpatient rehabilitation services cannot, including 24 hour medical care, seamless coordination of care, therapies and services, comprehensive treatment planning by a team of highly trained rehabilitation specialists, greater access to therapies and equipment, and a more intense, focused approach to rehabilitation. These differences, among others, have been shown to promote faster, more complete rehabilitation in patients as compared to other options, such as outpatient or home-based rehabilitation programs.
How Can A Great Roommate Benefit Your Recovery?
There's no doubt that patients who need intensive rehabilitation services are going through a very challenging period in their lives, and that having lots of support as they navigate the challenges of healing, recovery and rehabilitation will be essential to achieving optimal results from that process. Of course, the staff of inpatient rehabilitation facilities are very well aware of that need, and work hard to provide as much support as possible in all interactions with patients. Most also make counselors and social workers available to patients and encourage the involvement of family members in rehabilitation plans and in terms of liberal visitation policies.
However, the most effective support often comes from someone who has been in your shoes, who is living the same experience as you are as you work hard to get back on your feet. That's why, despite concerns about hospital room privacy, most patients find that sharing a semi-private room with someone who truly understands what they are going through is a valuable experience, a source of much needed moral support, encouragement and motivation to continue pushing forward, despite the challenges, pain and frustration encountered during the rehabilitation process.
A Few Words About Hospital Room Privacy Etiquette
Even if you have a terrific rehab roommate, mutual respect of each other's privacy is important to making the most of that relationship – and your rehabilitation. For instance, if you have visitors when staff comes in to work with your roommate or discuss sensitive medical details, it is polite to at least ask if your roommate would prefer that your company step out of the room– and when the shoe is on the other foot, don't be afraid to ask for the same courtesy. Make sure you're keeping your personal belongings – and your visitors – on your side of the room, rather than encroaching on your roommates space. If there are issues that you find distracting or annoying, speak up – in polite terms, of course – and encourage your roommate to do the same. Working out reasonable guidelines and limits between yourselves will help both of you keep stress levels to a minimum and make your rehab experience more comfortable, supportive and rewarding.