Spinal Cord Injury

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    Hi - I start nursing school in the fall, and am particularly interested in spinal cord injury. Are spinal cord injury patients stabilized in neuro ICU, and then sent to nursing homes? I know our local V.A. hospital has a unit for SCI, and it is basically their home. I don't see SCI listed separately under specialties, and want to know where these patients are treated at various stages of recovery/rehabilitation.

    Thanks!
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    In the UK I work in a regional hospital with a Neuro ICU, we take those spinal injuries that may need additional support with either ventialtion or CVS support with pharmacology. Otherwise they are cared for on our orthopaedic wards during the acute phase of thier care. We have a rehab hospital linked with our acute one so once thier condition is stabalised the patient will be sent to the spinal rehab unit.

    Not sure what happens in the US
    RedRobin8 likes this.
  4. 2
    for spinal cord injury, (sci) if you really want to work with those folks, then you would head for a neuro floor. neuro-rehab sometimes as it may be referred to. neuro icu is more for tbi patients and fresh sci but once they are stable they move to a neuro-ortho floor. at jackson the neuro icu is west wing 8 and the ortho-neuro floor is ww 7. the tbi patients and poly trauma patients move to west wing 9 or trauma 4, the fourth floor at ryder trauma center. there is a long term care facility here but that is mostly for tbi patients who cannot, for whatever reason, be cared for at home. jackson also has a very strong rehab facility. the best neurosurgeons for trauma/ cranium and spine, are here at um. they even made the list of the 100 best in the country! the va across the street does have a long term care unit that is home to many soldiers. that is true. but there their aim is at the care of the whole person and many times they are dealing with more psychological or emotional trauma that an acute care facility like ryder or jmh is equipped to handle. it is a wonderful specialty and there are amazing advances being made in prosthetics every day, with an eye toward bionic limbs, hands and feet-not to far off. it is draining for many but if you can hold on, you will gain reward beyond measure. good luck and god bless you.
    firstyearRN and RedRobin8 like this.
  5. 2
    i'm a student nurse on a spinal ward in the uk
    our spinal injuries patients are nursed initaly in nicu or nhdu and then stepdown to the spinal ward ideally or neuro wards or ortho
    firstyearRN and RedRobin8 like this.
  6. 0
    Thank you all so much for your responses. I am really looking forward to nursing, particularly in this area. I am 39, and going for the second career.
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    For those in the UK who are interested in spinal cord injuries, there is a list of spinal injury

    These are NHS spinal injury units, and care for patients in both the acute phase of their recovery, as well as their rehabilitation.
    Last edit by XB9S on Dec 8, '09 : Reason: removing unauthorised link
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    There are many rehab hospitals here in the U.S. too. I recently had a family member break his neck at the C4/C5 level and stayed in the SCU (Special Care Unit) at the hospital and then transfered to the Shepherd's Center in Atlanta, GA. It is a great place for SCI injuries as well as brain injuries. You should check it out.
  9. 0
    I worked trauma step-down and we would get SCI patients as a transfer from the trauma ICU. Once they were well enough and we had started rehab with them, they often went to RIO (Rehab Institute of Oregon) or other rehab facilities. SCI patients were typically on trauma step-down for a while, up to months before being ready to transfer to rehab.
    I will be starting in neuro ICU in a couple weeks (doing general orientation now) and I was told the pt population there will be straight neuro - no trauma-related neuro patients, but more stroke pts, seizure disorders, MS, back surgeries. Looking forward to it!!
    Hope some of this helped answer your question.


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