Ask Director of Therapy Daniel Serna, OTR, about his job at North Laredo Diagnostic and Therapy Center and you’re sure to get a response brimming with enthusiasm. “I love Laredo and I love this community,” he says. “And when you add in a supportive organization like this, it’s the perfect trifecta.”
Serna is especially enthusiastic about the one-stop shop nature of the rehab services they provide. “One way we distinguish our services is by offering all three types of rehab in one place,” he says. “Physical therapy focuses on mobility and pain management, occupational therapy retrains for activities of daily living and speech therapy handles swallowing functions and cognition issues.” He adds that it’s not unusual for patients to have overlapping needs, which is why it’s especially helpful to offer them all in one place.
Another thing Serna is excited about? The unique Solo-Step® Overhead System that was recently added to the facility. This ceiling-mounted device is a 10-foot-long linear track and harness system that allows the therapist to work with patients on things like gait, balance and mobility.
“The overall objective of the system is to reduce the fear of falling,” says Serna. “You put the harness on the patient and, once they’re comfortable, you can remove any durable medical equipment they might be using like a walker or a cane.”
Serna describes it as like having an extra set of hands. “Without the harness system, you might need to have one hand on the patient and another hand on whatever equipment you are using.” But now, he explains, the harness system acts as your hands by holding the patient upright. “Now I’m able to provide more cueing and I can challenge the patient more,” he says. “I can up the ante by providing more challenging activities.”
Serna ends his explanation of the Center as enthusiastically as he began. “My goal is to ensure a great overall therapeutic experience, from our front-desk staff to our therapists” he says. “The Solo-Step is just one more way we can provide our patients with the care they need.”