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When your child is in the hospital for treatment or a procedure, you’ll meet many different types of providers. One of them might be an acute care physical therapist.
Physical therapists work in many different areas. You can find physical therapists:
The physical therapists your child sees in the hospital are called acute care physical therapists.
Physical therapists can help hospital patients maintain their strength and keep functional mobility while they’re recovering. Functional mobility is the ability to move in bed, sit on the edge of the bed, stand up, and walk.
It can be difficult for your child to move around while in the hospital. They are likely spending most of their time in one room. An illness or recent surgery may prevent them from moving around like they usually do.
An acute care physical therapist will work with your child to make sure they can do these things when they’re ready to leave the hospital.
Physical therapy while your child is in the hospital may include:
During your child’s stay in the hospital, their physical therapist will be in regular contact with their doctor. They’ll provide updates to your child’s care team about their progress.
Acute care physical therapists can also offer recommendations to your child’s doctor when they are ready to leave the hospital. Those might include:
Your child’s physical therapist will begin with an initial evaluation. This is the first step.
The initial evaluation includes:
If your child’s physical therapist determines they need special safety equipment (like orthotics or stabilizing equipment), they will arrange for your child to have it. They will also be sure you and your family know how to use it safely.
Your child’s acute care physical therapist will help ensure your child is ready for discharge and is set up for success at home, so they can recover and regain their strength.
Reviewed: October 2021