Patient Experience | MedStar NRH | MedStar Health
Physical therapist taking care of senior paitent

What to expect at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital

We are nationally and internationally known for cutting-edge research and innovations to help patients regain abilities lost to injury or illness. We have been awarded a 3-year accreditation by The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for our:

  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Program (Adults, Adolescents, and Children)
  • Brain Injury Program

  • Stroke Specialty Program

  • Spinal Cord System of Care (Adults, Adolescents, and Children)

Furthermore, the hospital has met the requirements of the Joint Commission's Hospital Accreditation Program, assuring that we maintain our focus on quality and safety.

Preparing for your hospital stay

For all patients

You should bring three to five changes of comfortable, loose-fitting, wash-and-wear clothing. Sweat suits are perfectly acceptable. Your clothes should have your name on them in case they are misplaced. We suggest that you also bring:

  • Toiletries

  • Shirts/blouses/sweaters

  • Pants and/or shorts

  • Underwear and socks

  • Shoes and/or slippers

  • Pajamas/robe

  • Swimsuit (if hydrotherapy is prescribed)

For international patients

Patients from more than 24 countries have sought care at MedStar NRH. Amenities include: interpreters, semi private or private rooms, telecommunications services, assistance in working with payer sources, and the ordering and shipping of medical equipment to the patient's home.


As part of your therapy (if you are able), you will be expected to launder your own clothing in washers and dryers provided by the hospital. You can bring your own soap powder or purchase it at the gift shop in the lobby of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center across the street.

Valuables and medications

We strongly urge you to leave your valuables at home and bring only enough money for incidental items such as magazines and snacks. Any valuables you bring should be kept in the safe in the Cashier's Office, which is located in the lobby. The hospital is not responsible for any lost or stolen items not deposited in the safe.

If you have brought medications with you, please give them to your nurse. They will be held for safekeeping. While you are hospitalized, your physician will order any needed medications from the hospital pharmacy.

Bedside call service

Please familiarize yourself with the bedside call service equipment. When you push the button at your bedside, call lights are activated at the nurses' station and outside your room. A nurse will respond to your call as promptly as possible.

An emergency call system is also provided in the bathroom. Should you need help, pull the cord to signal the nurses' station. A nurse will come to assist you.

If you have questions or concerns during your stay, please talk with your primary nurse, the nursing manager on your unit, or a nursing supervisor.

Tour our facility

Patients, family members, and case managers are invited to tour MedStar NRH before admission to learn more about our services. The tour takes approximately 1 hour. Parking is included.

To arrange a tour call us at 202-877-1152.

Take a quick virtual tour inside MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, the region's leading inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

Getting settled

An Admissions representative will meet with you and your family, usually in your room, to verify information and ask you to sign all necessary consent and financial forms. An identification band will be placed on your wrist. 

Please leave the band on until you are released from the hospital. If the band is lost or damaged, please notify your nurse so that a new one can be provided.

On the day you are admitted to our hospital, a nurse from your unit will orient you to your room and your unit, discuss the role of your primary nurse, and provide other information. 

Family members may be oriented at a later time if they are not available at the time of admission. Other members on your clinical team will also orient you about their roles and responsibilities early in your stay.

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