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Patient services

Patient services

Care management

Care managers serve as the main contacts for patients at Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida, providing care to patients and their families prior to and throughout their medical care plan period. The care management department includes registered nurse care managers and social work services. The care managers meet with a child and family along with the medical team to ensure the provision of comprehensive, supportive care. This care starts at a child’s first appointment and continues as long as the child is a patient at Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida.

Specifically, we work with the child and family to identify a plan for necessary medical care. This may include guidance in preparing for surgery, communicating with insurance entities and addressing post-surgical and discharge needs. Additionally, the care management team will help with transitions of care to outside providers and assist families with access to appropriate community resources.

Nursing

It is the mission of the nurses at Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida to demonstrate excellence by applying knowledge and skills to provide compassionate care. The nursing team embraces the responsibility to preserve integrity and strives to provide a safe and respectful environment through maintaining the utmost competency and promoting professional growth.

Nurses are committed to excellence in every interaction with the patient and family. Safe, compassionate family-centered care is our top priority.

Advancing and maintaining knowledge in each nurse’s area of specialization is highly valued. Ongoing quality improvement initiatives and continuing education opportunities for nursing staff aim to ensure practice that is evidence based and current.

There are numerous clinics housed within our outpatient facility. Patients receive pre-operative testing for scheduled surgical procedures. To provide high-quality care, staff from many disciplines work together to care for our patients. Surgeons, nurse practitioners, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, as well as care management and child life, all collaborate with our patients and families to ensure positive outcomes.

Physical and occupational therapy

Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida offers occupational and physical therapy to children who have orthopaedic diagnoses that may be related to sports injury or developmental conditions. Based on developmental and baseline functional testing and comprehensive evaluations, the occupational and physical therapists will develop extensive therapy programs tailored to your child’s specific condition, symptoms and other factors that the medical team feels are important to your child’s treatment plan. Therapy is provided one on one. These specially trained therapists have many innovative resources, new technology and tools available to help children reach their maximum potential, improve their function and enhance their quality of life, as well as teach you and your child the techniques and therapeutic activities to:

  •  Improve range of motion
  •  Strengthen muscles, joints and tendons
  •  Enhance mobility and flexibility
  •  Learn to walk
  •  Perform daily activities such as dressing, hygiene and self-feeding
  •  Achieve functional independence

Types of therapy activities may include:

Age appropriate: Our therapists ensure that therapy treatment and goals are geared toward the medical need, age and interests of your child. Whether your child is trying out skills on the outdoor playground equipment, climbing the traverse rock wall, flying like an astronaut or practicing running and cutting sports drills on the covered basketball court, they are always working toward a functional and attainable therapy goal. From the rehab gym to the “fish bowl,” every therapy session can be an adventure in the facility's non-clinical, welcoming environment.

Prosthetic training: Our therapists provide children who have amputations a unique, comprehensive approach to therapy. They work as a team with the prosthetist from the start of the making of the prosthetic device (artificial limb) to help develop the therapy goals for when the device is delivered. In physical therapy, the use of technology, such as the partial weight bearing apparatus including the Alter G®, is a useful tool for perfecting gait for children with a lower limb loss, as well as for children recovering from lower extremity orthopaedic surgery. Also, the adaptive kitchen can help a school aged or adolescent child with upper extremity prosthesis practice home management skills.

Assistive technology: Part of our physical and occupational therapy treatment includes recommending positioning and mobility equipment. Many types of equipment are available and a detailed evaluation by one of our therapists will make sure the appropriate equipment is selected to meet the orthopaedic and developmental needs of your child. Unique technologies include the Armeo®Spring, Pediatric Lokomat Pro and the Galileo – whole body vibration. Adaptive equipment may be recommended to help children perform dressing and self-care skills more independently. An occupational therapist may fabricate upper extremity splints to improve hand and wrist position after surgery or to help with fine motor skills such as writing. The therapists also work with the seating department to evaluate children who need specialized seated mobility systems, including powered wheelchairs.

Seating

Our seating department designs and fabricates custom seating and mobility equipment in-house to meet the special needs of each child. Seating department staff evaluate, measure, fabricate and order the appropriate equipment for children’s positioning and mobility needs.

After a medical evaluation by the orthopaedic team in our clinic, patients head downstairs to the designated seating department, which works to bring the doctor’s orders to life.

Fitting pediatric wheelchairs and equipment can be tricky. Accounting for growth, ensuring proper balance and determining a good fit for the body all need a specialist's knowledge – as does answering questions about using motor controls instead of pushing or self-propelling, and making recommendations on which equipment will offer the most independent mobility. The seating team at Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida has extensive experience with all seating and mobility wheelchairs and seating systems. They are certified as assistive technology professionals (ATP), and seating and mobility specialists (SMS) from Rehabilitation Engineers Society of North America (RESNA), which provides standards of practice guidelines and a code of ethics that protects consumers.

Radiology

Radiology provides a window into the body for the physician to assess pathology, extent of deformity or injury and physical changes over time. It is a key component for diagnosis, treatment planning and surgical correction as part of the patient care team. The radiology department has a child-friendly environment and the technologists are skilled in making pediatric patients comfortable. We strive to keep radiation doses as low as possible during X-rays by tailoring technical factors to the appropriate age and size of our patients.

EOS Imaging System 

Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida employs the use of the EOS imaging system. This X-ray system gives orthopaedic surgeons an unprecedented two- and three-dimensional view of their patients’ bone structure while significantly reducing the child’s exposure to radiation.

EOS imaging system features and benefits:

  • Provides life-size picture of a patient’s full skeleton
  • The only system capable of scanning patients in a weight-bearing standing or sitting position, revealing natural posture and joint orientation. The high quality images provide doctors with a better understanding of what the problem is and its complexity, thus allowing for a more personalized treatment plan and accurate diagnosis. Also, the 3D images can greatly assist with pre-operative surgical planning and research.
  • Benefical to scoliosis patients who typically require three to four radiography sessions per year
  • Research studies have shown that the use of a low dose EOS exam reduced the radiation dose by 50–85% as compared to digital and computed radiography (standard X-ray technologies), without compromising image quality1,2.

1. Diagnostic imaging of spinal deformities: reducing patients’ radiation dose with a new slot-scanning X-ray imager. S. Deschenes & al. Spine. 2010
2. Comparison of radiation dose, workflow, patient comfort and financial break-even of standard digital radiography and a novel biplanar low dose X-ray system for upright full-length lower limb and whole spine radiography. TJ Dietrich & al. Skeletal Radiol. 2013

Child life

Child life therapy is available to reduce the stresses associated with health care and to teach patients coping skills through offering opportunities to play, learn and interact with others in an emotionally and socially safe environment. Play experiences help children express fears about medical procedures. Services include procedural support, pain management techniques, pre-op teaching prior to surgery, group activities and education about upcoming procedures.

Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services – Southeast, LLC

Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) – Southeast, LLC, boasts one of the most experienced pediatric practitioner staffs in the southeastern United States. The Tampa POPS staff creates custom orthoses and prostheses at this child-friendly, state-of-the-art, 10,000-square-foot facility. Patients are able to choose their favorite colors and patterns during the fabrication process of their device.

Read more about POPS