Rehab Center Glossary

Welcome to our comprehensive resource glossary, designed to elucidate the often complex world of rehabilitation care

Within this guide, we’ve compiled a list of key terms and concepts, covering a broad range of topics from nursing rehabilitation and therapeutic exercises, to discharge planning and patient education. Whether you’re a healthcare professional, a patient, or a caregiver, this list serves as an essential list of the key vocabulary of the rehabilitation journey.

Each term is explained in simple, straightforward language, to offer a valuable insight into the specialized field of rehabilitation care.


Activities Coordinator: A staff member responsible for planning and organizing recreational activities for patients.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): Basic tasks individuals perform daily, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and using the restroom.

Adaptive Equipment: Specialized tools and devices used to aid patients in performing daily tasks.

Amputee Rehabilitation: Specialized rehab programs for individuals who have undergone amputation.

Aquatic Therapy: Physical therapy exercises performed in a pool for therapeutic benefits.

Assistive Devices: Devices that aid individuals with disabilities or injuries in performing tasks.


Balance Training: Activities to enhance balance and reduce the risk of falls.

Care Conference: A meeting involving the patient, family, and healthcare team to discuss the care plan.

Care Plan: A personalized plan developed for each patient outlining specific treatments and therapies based on their needs.

Care Transition: The process of moving a patient from one healthcare setting to another.

Caregiver Training: Educating family members or caregivers on how to support the patient’s recovery at home.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): A trained individual who provides basic care and assistance to patients under the supervision of a registered nurse.


Discharge Planner: A healthcare professional responsible for coordinating patient discharge.

Discharge Planning: The process of preparing patients for leaving the rehab center and continuing their recovery at home or in another setting.

Discharge Summary: A report detailing the patient’s progress and care during their stay in the rehab center.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME): Reusable medical equipment prescribed for home use.

Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing, often requiring speech therapy intervention.


Fall Prevention Program: A program aimed at reducing the risk of falls in the rehab center.

Fall Risk Assessment: Evaluating a patient’s likelihood of falling to implement preventive measures.

Gait Training: Training individuals to walk or move safely and efficiently.

Home Exercise Program (HEP): Customized exercises prescribed for patients to continue at home.

Hydrotherapy: Therapeutic exercises performed in a pool to reduce impact and improve mobility.


Inpatient Rehabilitation: Rehab services provided in a hospital or rehab center setting.

Interdisciplinary Team: A team of healthcare professionals from various disciplines collaborating to provide comprehensive care.

Mobility Aid: Devices such as walkers, canes, or wheelchairs that assist patients in moving and maintaining balance.

Neuromuscular Reeducation: Techniques used to restore proper muscle function and movement patterns.

Neuropsychologist: A psychologist specializing in assessing and treating cognitive and emotional issues.

Nursing Rehabilitation: The process of providing specialized care and therapy to individuals recovering from injuries, illnesses, or surgeries to restore physical and functional abilities.


Occupational Therapy: Therapy that assists patients in regaining independence in daily activities after an injury or illness.

Orthotics: Devices designed to support and align body structures, such as braces or splints.

Outpatient Rehabilitation: Rehab services provided to individuals who do not require an overnight stay.


Patient Education: Providing patients and their families with information about their condition and recovery process.

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA): A healthcare professional who assists physical therapists in providing treatments.

Physical Therapy: A branch of rehabilitation that focuses on restoring movement and function through exercises and manual therapies.

Pressure Ulcer: A wound caused by prolonged pressure on the skin, commonly known as bedsores.

Prosthetics: Artificial limbs designed to replace missing body parts.


Range of Motion (ROM) Exercises: Exercises designed to improve joint flexibility and prevent stiffness.

Rehabilitation Aide: A support staff member who assists therapists and nurses in various tasks within the rehab center.

Rehabilitation Nurse: A nurse specializing in providing care to patients undergoing rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation Physician: A medical doctor specialized in overseeing and managing patient care in a rehab setting.

Respite Care: Temporary care provided to give family caregivers a break.

Restorative Aide: A nursing assistant specialized in restorative nursing care.

Restorative Nursing: Nursing care focused on maintaining and improving a patient’s abilities.


Speech Therapy: Treatment aimed at improving speech and communication abilities, often used for patients with speech and language disorders.

Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP): A professional trained to assess and treat speech and language disorders.


Therapeutic Exercises: Exercises tailored to a patient’s condition to help improve strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Therapeutic Recreation: Using leisure activities as a means of promoting recovery and well-being.

Therapeutic Ultrasound: A treatment modality using sound waves to promote healing.

Transfer Techniques: Methods for safely moving patients from one surface to another (e.g., bed to chair).

Wheelchair Seating Evaluation: Assessment to ensure proper fit and support for wheelchair users.

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