HCHD Rehab Patients Use Rodeo Outing for Therapy

HOUSTON (March 19, 2009) – Nine rehabilitation and geriatric patients from Quentin Mease Community Hospital, part of the Harris County Hospital District, used a March 13 outing to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to help in their recovery.

Whether it was maneuvering a wheelchair through the crowds to watch the pig races, passing through a narrow opening to get to the petting zoo or standing at the concession stands to buy items, patients used the real-life setting to further their rehabilitation.

“We want our patients to practice what we’ve taught them at the hospital,” said William Gaw, physical therapist and outing coordinator. “Once they are discharged, we want them to feel confident about doing things out in the community because they’ve performed them under our watchful eyes.”

A team of hospital physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and nurses accompanied the group as part of the hospital’s community re-integration program to help each patient’s recovery. Each patient teamed with a staff member to complete a therapy goal during the outing. Goals include maneuvering through crowds, wheelchair propulsion, transferring from a wheelchair to a standing position or simply sitting in place for several hours.

“I know I need to work on my ability to stand in place for long periods of time, and I worked on it,” said patient Luis Sosa. “But the best part of the outing was getting out of the hospital for a while. It’s a great distraction, and who doesn’t like the rodeo.”

Quentin Mease Hospital, a nationally certified facility by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), treats patients for a variety conditions, most commonly stroke, as well as orthopedic, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.

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