Inpatient and outpatient rehab and physical therapy at West Chester Hospital is provided by the skilled physicians and clinicians of Drake Center.
Physical therapists work to restore function, improve mobility, increase flexibility, strength and endurance, and promote a return to the highest level of activity possible. Physical therapists in the hospital setting develop individualized treatment plans to address functional mobility, balance and strength that have been impaired due to an illness, surgery or acquired injury. These plans often include the following:
- Re-learning to move in and out of bed
- Re-training for walking, including assessing for the need of an assistive device such as a walker, crutches, or cane
- Transferring to a chair or commode, focusing on balance and safety issues
- Teaching precautions to protect joints, surgical sites, and other acute injuries
- Educating patients and their caregivers on the safest ways to manage mobility limitations
- Assisting with planning for discharge from the hospital, including recommendations for continued therapy in the home or at a transitional, skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility
Occupational therapists work with patients to develop or relearn the skills needed to perform everyday activities, including bathing, dressing, feeding and toileting. Often with an acute injury, illness or surgical procedure, patients lose range of motion, flexibility and strength which affects their ability to perform self care and other functional tasks.
Occupational therapists in the hospital setting develop individualized treatment plans to address these deficits, including recommending adaptive equipment to help patients perform functional activities as independently as possible.
Occupational therapists can also fabricate resting and positioning splints to protect joints and prevent excessive tightness in body tissues. Like physical therapists, they also assist with discharge planning, including recommendations for adaptive equipment, durable medical equipment including bedside commode or tub chair/shower bench, and recommendations for transitioning to the next level of care.
Speech-language pathologists in the hospital setting work with patients who have difficulty with language, communication, speech production, cognition and swallowing. They help determine patients’ ability to eat and drink safely by evaluation of eating and drinking at the bedside, or with use of an x-ray swallow study. This information is used to make recommendations for diet texture/consistency modification or to identify the need for a feeding tube.
Speech therapists develop treatment plans to address any of the following areas, depending on the patients’ individualized needs:
- Selection and use of communication assistive devices
- Strategies to assist with thinking, memory and problem-solving
- Techniques to improve voice production
- Exercises and compensatory strategies to improve the ability to eat, drink and swallow
Speech-language pathologists also play a role in discharge planning and make recommendations to ensure patient safety and the appropriate transition to the next level of care after a hospitalization.