Where do families come from?
Hospitals throughout the Midwest refer adolescents and children to Madonna. Last year, 91% of those admitted traveled from outside Lincoln because of the unique setting and expertise in rehabilitation we provide.
How much therapy will my child have?
Last year, the adolescents and children we served had an average of 3.1 hours of physical, occupational, speech, psychology, and/or recreational therapy per day delivered by a licensed therapist. As appropriate, your child may also receive respiratory, nutrition therapy and educational services.
How often will my child see a physician?
Your child will be seen regularly by Dr. Kafka, a physiatrist who specializes in rehabilitation, by pediatric hospitalists Dr. Holst or Dr. Biven, and as needed by physicians with other medical specialties.
My child has other medical problems. What happens if he/she gets sick or has a medical emergency?
How will Madonna help my child with school?
Last year, 114 adolescents and children spent time in the Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC), an on-site, two-room school. A certified teacher works with your child on school assignments and with their teachers at school in their home town to ensure a smooth transition home. In a survey of adolescents and children 6-12 months after discharge, 100% reported being able to return to school in their home communities.
How long will my child be at the Alexis Verzal Children’s Rehabilitation Unit?
The average stay for adolescents and children is 40 days. This varies a great deal depending upon a child’s condition, progress and other family related factors.
What do other people say about their experience at Madonna?
We are proud to report that 94% rated their experience as “Excellent” or “Good.” 100% agreed they would definitely recommend Madonna to their family or friends.
Is Madonna accredited?
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital is accredited by CARF, an international non-profit organization specializing in the review and accreditation of rehabilitation hospitals, as a specialized Pediatric Specialty Program. We also are accredited for Stroke, Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Programs.
How will we be involved?
Research shows that family involvement in rehabilitation yields better outcomes for individuals who have sustained catastrophic injuries and illnesses. The family/support system is the constant in a child's life, while the service systems and staff within those systems change. Therefore, the most important thing we need from you is to be present and involved in your child’s program. More specifically, the team will want you to:
What is a typical day like?
The care a patient receives at Madonna is very individualized, following an interdisciplinary care plan. However, as a CARF accredited Pediatric Family Centered Program, care is taken to recognize the developmental needs of each child or adolescent as well as the strengths and needs of each family unit and incorporate those into each person's rehabilitation program.
Children 0-5 years old
It is important to maintain as normal a routine as possible while the child is at Madonna, particularly feeding and napping schedules as well as play time. In addition to the skilled medical care and rehabilitation provided intermittently throughout the day, a small child's schedule will also include the following activities, as appropriate:
Children & Adolescents 6-18 years old:
There are other developmental milestones and age-appropriate activities that should be integrated into an older child or adolescent's rehabilitation program. School is a huge part of a child/adolescent's day. Therefore, at Madonna, our patients are scheduled for time in the Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC) as soon as possible. This might begin with a brief 30 minute session in the TLC with individualized attention by an occupational or speech therapist, and eventually become 2-3 hours instruction in a group setting, taught by a certified teacher. Time in the TLC provides opportunities not just to work on academics, but also for peer interaction, social skills, communication, adjustment, and classroom mobility.
Socialization is also a huge part of growing up. Madonna provides opportunities for peer interaction outside the classroom by encouraging involvement with the Adaptive Sports & Recreation Program, by sharing meals in the small dining area, or by integrating some therapy time in the gym together. As adolescents develop physically, they also form their own self-image. Unfortunately, some of this is may be based upon what we look like. At Madonna, our patients are encouraged to get up, dress in their normal "street clothes" and get out of their room to participate in therapies. This is particularly important for adolescents, who already have a great deal of peer pressure without the added stress of walking with a limp, using a wheelchair, or talking funny. Patients are taught how to interact and respond to these questions while in the protective environment at Madonna and are then gradually introduced to the community, school, and their peers. One particular young man even practiced dancing with his therapist in preparation for going to the school prom.
Chores are a normal part of many child/adolescent's daily routine. Whether this includes pet care, laundry or washing dishes, Madonna therapists integrate these activities into each patient’s daily schedule as appropriate, using special areas such as Independence Square, a simulated community, and the teaching kitchen.
Why should I travel all the way to Lincoln, Nebraska, for rehabilitation for my child?
We know the decision to leave your hometown and travel to Lincoln, Neb., for pediatric rehabilitation services is difficult. It is vital to provide your child with an acute inpatient rehabilitation stay to provide the intensity needed to maximize recovery. It is important to choose a program that is accredited as a Pediatric Specialty Program as well as accreditations in specific diagnoses. The rehabilitation program should provide a wide-range of services to meet the needs of the child/adolescent and family, as well as helping ease the adjustment to school and other community organizations. Families who have chosen to make the trip to Madonna for our Adolescent and Children's Rehabilitation Program say the trip to Madonna was worth it.