Inpatient Physical Therapy
Inpatient Physical Therapy refers to physical therapy services to patients who are admitted to the hospital. At St. Vincent's HealthCare, physical therapy must be ordered by a physician or physician assistant.
There are many reasons physicians prescribe physical therapy. The predominant reason is that the patient has had a decline in their ability to function independently. Perhaps the patient has trouble walking, transferring to and from a standing position, and/or maneuvering in bed while in the hospital.
It is the physical therapist's job to look at the patient's prior level of function before hospitalization. The therapist can then determine if something can be done to intervene and restore that function in an effort to get the patient to the next level of care. That next level may be at home, with family, in a rehabilitation hospital or facility, or in a long-term care facility.
Almost all of the treatment provided to patients staying in the hospital is done bedside in the patient's room. Often, the therapist will take the patient outside of the room to instruct in walking, or to practice balance maneuvers or stair training in preparation for returning home.
Common Types of Patient Problems
- General reconditioning as a result of hospitalization
- Total joint replacement
- Cardiac problems
- Obstetric issues
Physical therapists are skilled professionals who maximize functional independence for those with physical limitations. The physical therapists at St. Vincent's HealthCare are healthcare providers who are experts in the evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems that affect a person's ability to move and function in daily life. For example, physical therapists help patients with orthopedic problems such as lower back pain or knee surgeries to reduce pain and regain function. Similarly, physical therapists help patients recovering from a stroke by providing treatment to improve the ability to use their limbs again.
Physical therapists at St. Vincent's HealthCare establish goals together with the patient once the initial evaluation is completed. These goals will focus on improving and achieving an optimal level of physical function.