The Physical Therapy Department at Boston Children's Hospital provides services to patients in all inpatient care units and provides treatment to a broad spectrum of individuals ranging from newborns to young adults.
Physical therapy is available to inpatients:
- Monday through Friday, 7:30 am - 5 pm
- Saturday and Sunday (including holidays), 8:30 am - 5 pm
Patients referred for physical therapy while in the hospital may be:
- Recovering from surgery
- Receiving care for a traumatic injury or illness
- Undergoing treatment related to an acute, chronic or complex medical conditions
Our staff is specially trained to deal with a variety of pediatric medical problems and frequently encounter patients with extensive and complex problems, such as:
- Chronic and acute pulmonary
- Needs related to solid organ, cardiac and bone marrow transplant
Our staff also has extensive experience in baclofen pump trials. These trials determine if a patient will benefit from the use of baclofen, a muscle relaxant commonly used to decrease spasticity related to cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries or other neurological diseases.
Physical therapists also play an integral role in the management of patients in our intensive care units:
- Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU)
- Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Physical therapists provide examination, evaluation and treatment to patients with impairments, functional limitations, disease, and disability. We also provide consultation to the medical and surgical staff regarding physical therapy services.
The goal of therapy
Physical therapists work to improve each patient's underlying impairments and try to help them make a full recovery, return to their previous level of function, or to learn to work within their functional limitations.
Physical therapy is initiated by a referral from the patient's physician.
Our physical therapists perform thorough initial evaluations and use the findings to develop comprehensive treatment programs and establish specific, objective, measurable and time-based goals.
Treatment programs are always individualized to meet each patient's needs. Examples of treatment include:
- Positioning and posture alignment
- Range of motion and strengthening exercises
- Chest physical therapy and other airway clearance techniques
- Balance activities
- Developmental activities
- Endurance training
- Gait training
- Functional mobility training
Our physical therapists also make recommendations regarding orthotics and adaptive equipment when necessary.
Our staff works together with other members of the health care team, including physicians, nurses, and patient care coordinators to provide the best possible care to each patient.
Inpatient physical therapists attend multidisciplinary rounds and team meetings, and give input to the team regarding a patient's progress.
Additionally, physical therapists often identify new patient's needs and assist the health care team determine when physical therapy is appropriate.
Educating patients and families
We emphasize participation of the family or other caregivers in each patient's treatment program. Patients and caregivers are educated about the role of physical therapy and are encouraged to be involved in treatment sessions whenever possible.
Home programs are provided, as well as education regarding physical therapy discharge plans and follow-up.
In many instances, physical therapists assist in deciding when a patient is ready to leave the hospital. We communicate whether or not a patient is safe to be discharged to home or may benefit from a transition to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital.
Along with the patient's physician, we may recommend that a patient receive physical therapy services in his/her home or on an outpatient basis after leaving the hospital.
Additionally, we decide if they will need equipment such as crutches, walkers or wheelchairs.
If a patient needs to return for outpatient physical therapy appointments, we often refer patients to Children's Outpatient physical therapists. We can also help coordinate outpatient services within the community.
For more information about our Inpatient Physical Therapy services, call 617-355-7212.