Design, Organization, and Staffing of a Spinal Paralysis Unit
It is essential that each patient receive a total program of medical and nursing care, with rehabilitation, while being managed within a spinal service. The service should consist of hospital and extrahospital activities. Sites must be chosen with consideration of the need to admit all patients to such a service. The director and his assistants (whatever their chosen specialities, i.e., whether orthopedists, urologists, neurosurgeons, general surgeons, or physicians) should be appropriately trained in the total management of spinal paralysis, to be able to direct a complete program of care for each patient. It is impossible for any one medical practitioner to undertake adequately the treatment of all the problems that arise during the management of paraplegics and tetraplegics. Therefore, a team of specialists is necessary to implement this care. However, a team must be coordinated: overall control of activities by a director and his assistants is mandatory.
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