Trauma care involves many departments and services — the trauma resuscitation and assessment room, the operating room, intensive care unit, non-critical care unit and rehabilitation services.
Specialists who may care for a patient at any point after a critical injury include:
Intensive care unit: If you're severely injured, you may be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. Highly trained ICU nurses care for no more than two patients at a time. The surgical trauma intensivist (a critical care physician), is a general/trauma surgeon board certified in surgical critical care. This intensivist is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is in charge of patient care in the ICU. The ICU is also staffed with other intensivists 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Rehabilitation: Depending on the type and severity of the injury, you often require rehabilitation either in the hospital or as an outpatient. Therapists perform evaluations early in the healing process. Early intervention helps you regain the maximum level of function as quickly as possible.
Follow-up clinic/outpatient care: After hospital discharge, you often receive an appointment at trauma follow-up clinics. This provides continuity of care, allowing the same surgeons to evaluate the healing process after you return home. Follow-up appointments let you ask questions and get more information on issues such as wound care, medications and returning to school or work.
Family and social support: Support services are available from a variety of sources, including social work, case management, pastoral care, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists. Coping with a sudden injury, disability and critical illness is one of life's greatest stressors. The trauma care team is available to provide support and coordination of services during the transition from hospital to home.