Barbara Hofbauer needed intensive therapy to regain function and mobility after undergoing a double-knee replacement procedure at Palmdale Regional last June. “I didn’t have a good knee to truly recover on,” she remembers, noting that the road back would be challenging. To support her recovery, she was admitted to the hospital’s Rehabilitation Institute, where the staff explained to her that the top priority was to get her strong and healthy enough to go home.
A key component of inpatient rehab is to participate in a minimum of three hours of intensive therapy each day, with oversight by a medical team. Through occupational therapy, Hofbauer learned how to tackle daily activities like taking a shower and navigating the kitchen. She also spent dedicated time in the gym working with a physical therapist on exercises like strengthening and bending her knees. Throughout her week in the inpatient unit, the staff helped her manage her pain, so she could get the most out of her therapy sessions.
She has continued to work on her recovery through outpatient therapy since returning home in July. “I’m feeling much better, I’m getting a good range of motion back in my knees,” she says. “Everything’s become easier.”
“I think the Rehabilitation Institute is what got me into the mindset of wanting to recover,” she says. “They pushed me, and for that, I’m thankful. I think they are why I’m at a good place today — because of the positivity and encouragement they provided.”
Meet the nursing director
Veronica Gadomski, CRRN, joined Palmdale Regional in May as Director of Rehabilitation Services. “We have a great team,” she says, remarking on the multidisciplinary approach to care in the unit. Patients may be recovering from serious orthopedic issues, or they may need help regaining function after stroke, spinal cord injuries, brain trauma or other debilitating injuries. “Our rehabilitation nurses are meeting the needs of the patients, while reinforcing the skills learned in therapy sessions,” she says.
“We have the benefit of getting to know patients and their families really well,” she adds. “It’s rewarding to see the progress and improvement.”