Children’s Habilitation Center provides passionate, innovative on-site care to help our fragile young patients achieve their highest level of functioning. We have an extensive list of services to meet the unique needs of every child from neonatal critical care to ventilator weaning. Learn more about each of our services by reading below.
Skilled, compassionate nursing care is key to the safety and survival of the fragile, special needs patients living at Children’s Habilitation Center. That is why CHC employs registered professional nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants to provide around-the-clock expert nursing care to this unique patient population. CHC nurses have a variety of nursing experiences, including but not limited to neonatal critical care, pediatric critical care, neurological, orthopedic, cardiac, trach wound care and rehabilitation nursing.
All members of the nursing staff are trained to care for the ventilator-dependent, artificial airway patient. The tracheostomy/wound care nurse provides specialized care to our tracheostomy residents, as well as other residents with wound care needs. One certified nursing assistant is assigned in each of the patient rooms to provide affectionate bedside care and stimulating active treatment to their assigned residents. All nursing employees are certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Many of the professional nursing staff also hold certifications in advance cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support, pediatric emergency assessment and resuscitation, as well as intravenous therapy.
The scope of practice for CHC nursing is holistic in nature, involving family in the care of the patient whenever possible. We are devoted to nursing care that is safe, compassionate, loving, and stimulating in an atmosphere that is like home.
The Physical Therapy Department consists of licensed, full-time therapists and is part of the multidisciplinary team at Children’s Habilitation Center. The department is comprised of caring and dedicated professionals that work hard to make a difference in the quality of life of their residents. Each individual is assessed for the appropriate program(s) from a vast array to fit their needs. Because of the variety of medical conditions our residents deal with, physical therapy sessions are held at the bedside, classroom, or in our colorful therapy room. Our therapists work closely with renowned specialists and are involved in in-house clinics such as orthotic, spasticity and wheelchair.
The Occupational Therapy Department of Children’s Habilitation Center consists of licensed OTs and COTAs. Each resident is assessed on an individual basis and given the appropriate program(s) to fit their needs. Our services include upper extremities orthotics, sensory stimulation, and fine motor skills.
Our nutritional goal for the pediatric residents is the provision of nutrients appropriate to the child’s metabolic and physiologic requirement and to promote growth and development.
The Director of Nutrition will assess, plan, counsel and direct nutrition care based on principles and practices of nutrition and dietetics. CHC provides well-balanced and high-quality meals to oral feeders, and several residents receive therapeutic taste for oral stimulation. Some of the pediatric residents are unable to eat orally; therefore, enteral tube feeding for nutritional management is administered. A variety of enteral tube feeding routes such as nasogastric, gastrostomy and jejunostomy may be implemented.
Excellent monitoring and quality standards of nutrition are used for CHC’s medically complex children.
In August 2009, Children’s Habilitation Center improved upon an innovative weaning program aimed at successfully reducing the number of ventilator-dependent residents within the facility. Since its inception, the program has identified 12 potential residents for this process. The results have been extraordinary. As children are admitted and assessed at CHC, they are identified as potential candidates for ventilator weaning. The Respiratory Therapy staff then works with a comprehensive team comprised of pediatricians, a pediatric pulmonologist, an advanced practice nurse, nurses and physical therapists to determine a schedule for the process. An individualized weaning calendar is developed for each child. The program is dynamic and adjusts as necessary throughout the weaning process.
Of the 12 residents identified as potential candidates, 8 have been totally weaned from mechanical ventilation, and 3 have been able to be discharged to a home setting. The success of this program has been life-changing for several of the children and their families due to their improved quality of life. Given the success of this program, we are receiving children earlier and earlier from hospital NICUs and PICUs.
The Pediatric Ventilator Weaning Program is now available to any child that comes to CHC mechanically ventilated.
The Speech Therapy Department at Children’s Habilitation works with residents to improve their speech and cognitive functioning, as well as social communication such as sign language. Our speech therapists manage patient feeding issues such as swallowing, particularly with trach-dependent residents, as well as infant sucking challenges.
The Education Department has been in existence for over 10 years, is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and is accredited by the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). The Education Department is an unparalleled component of Children’s Habilitation Center. Our education program is unique in that staff members are required to address the student’s/resident’s educational needs with each sensory stimulation provided within our environment.
Our curriculum is delivered using a holistic approach and carried out through different sensory stimulations while complying with local and state academic standards. Our students/residents must be instructed with the same academic curriculum and standardized assessments, using modifications and accommodations, as students/residents without physical and/or cognitive challenges.
Highlights of our educational program include:
- An Education Department that is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of students
- Teaching staff that are certified/licensed in their respective professions
- A very small student-to-teacher ratio
- Various services designed to meet the educational needs of our students/residents
- Stimulation field trips related to curriculum
- Curriculum that includes multiculturalism
- Academic growth while maintaining medical stability
- Consultation with other service providers to ensure our students/residents succeed in learning and have positive outcomes