Team-Based Approach

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A twenty-three year old male, victim of a head on collision, was brought by ambulance to the emergency room in a dazed state and complaining of a severe headache. While in the ER he underwent a CT scan and neurologic testing revealing moderate brain edema, muscle weakness, and dilated pupils consist with a traumatic brain injury. Upon diagnosis he was admitted and transferred to the Neurological Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for further testing and monitoring. Cognitive and physical status from initial assessment greatly declined over the course of forty-eight hours with the patient presenting memory and language difficulties, partial loss of motor control resulting in a lack of muscle coordination and difficulty with speech, and blurred vision in both eyes. To ensure integrated, comprehensive, patient-centered care a multidisciplinary team was formed to include the patient and his family, a neurologist, a neurophysiologist, a registered nurse, a physical therapist, a speech pathologist, and a program lesion. Within this team each member clearly defines their roles as the following: The neurologist is a medical doctor specialized in treating and diagnosing conditions of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. The neuropsychologist evaluates the extent of the impairment following a traumatic brain injuring through various testing procedures in order to plan strategies for compensation of the injury. The registered nurse functions as care manager of the team providing bedside medical care and caring out medical regimens. The physical therapist develops an individualized treatment plan to restore functional mobility, balance, and strength that has been impaired due to the traumatic brain injury. The speech pathologist provides an assessment of the patient’s communication and language skills and develops an individualized treatment plan to meet his goals. The program lesion provides education for both the patient and his family in order for them to gain a better...
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