Referrals in the hospital to Rehab services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy) are always ordered by a physician or nurse practitioner. For many injuries or critical illnesses, rehab services are started upon admission as the standard of care within the medical teams. Nurses and other health care practitioners are also skilled at identifying patients that might need therapy and can initiate rehab services’ involvement in care. Once evaluated by the therapist(s), the best plan of care is determined. This plan of care will consider the diagnosis, goals, medical stability and discharge planning to determine how often and how much therapy is needed. The treatment amount will vary during the stay as the patient is continually re-assessed each visit with safety and patient benefit in mind. Therapy plans are different for everyone.

Questions regarding the individualized treatment plan are encouraged and can be discussed with the therapist.

Discharge needs and further rehab services are considered at the initial evaluation. Discharge planning is discussed with patients and families from the beginning to the end of treatments. The therapist can then make a discharge recommendation to the team with the best and safest options possible.

Most patients will be seen by the therapist coming to perform therapy where the patient is located in the hospital. The rehab department does have additional space and equipment available if needed. The inpatient rehab department is located in the basement of the hospital. Rehab services can be contacted at 502-562-4691. You can also be connected to the therapy supervisors or the director of rehab services at this number.

Inpatient physical therapy

Our physical therapists specialize in the treatment of critically ill or injured patients who have lost movement and function. The high level of expertise and experience of our staff allows us to provide specialized care to each of our patients.

Physical therapists evaluate each patient and create a specialized program of care focusing on movement and mobility skills. We focus on providing patients with the skills they need to move independently in bed, get out of bed to a chair and walk again. We teach patients to move safely and effectively. If a patient needs a walker, crutches, cane or another assistive device to walk, we teach them how to use it. We also provide balance training to improve safety during movement – especially important for patients who have fallen or are at risk for falling. Physical therapists also work with patients on an individual exercise program to increase movement, strength and endurance. We work with nursing on all units to emphasize early patient mobility to speed recovery.

Today's physical therapist is required to complete a clinical doctorate from an accredited education program before taking the national licensure exam that allows them to practice. Several of our therapists hold nationally recognized certifications in neurology, burn and wound care, lymphedema and brain injury. UofL Hospital has several special programs and our therapists are an integral part of patient care in these programs, including the burn unit, comprehensive stroke center and bone marrow transplant unit.

Inpatient occupational therapy

Our highly skilled and certified occupational therapists are trained to provide evaluations and treatments to a wide variety of diagnoses. The focus of occupational therapy is functional, purposeful activities to focus on getting patients back to their everyday living. Occupational therapy provides the following:

  • OT individualized evaluation

  • Activities of daily living (ADLs) bathing, dressing and grooming.

  • Adaptive equipment training (equipment used for completing self-care)

  • Strengthening, functional and coordination training for upper extremities

  • Custom fabrication splinting for upper extremities

  • Scar management

  • Edema management

  • Modalities

  • Cognitive retraining

Inpatient speech-language pathology services

The speech-language pathology department provides services to patients admitted to UofL Hospital. Some of the main services provided include swallow studies, speech and language evaluations, cognitive (thinking skills) evaluations and voice evaluations.

Therapy may be needed during the hospital stay to address communication and/or swallowing difficulties. There is a team of more than a dozen certified speech-language pathologists with a combined experience of over 50 years. The speech department is an integral part of many of our multidisciplinary teams within the hospital, e.g. stroke, neurosurgery, trauma, and otolaryngology/ENT. This team works to provide for the special needs of patients that may have head and neck cancer, laryngectomy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, burn and neurologic disease processes, e.g. Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis (MS).
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