While you are in the hospital, it is important to stay active so that you can heal as quickly as possible. The nursing staff will encourage you to move around while you are in the hospital and be out of bed as much as you are able. This will help you maintain your strength and endurance while your medical condition is being treated.

Who would benefit from therapy services in the hospital? If you have an illness or injury that has significantly changed your ability to move around or take care of yourself you may need physical, occupational and/or speech therapy during your acute care hospital stay. The goals of therapy will be to identify functional deficits, make recommendations for continued therapy after you leave the hospital and develop a treatment plan for care while you are in the hospital. Patients may be seen for therapy services one to five times per week depending on physical or functional needs.

What do hospital therapy services involve?

Patients do not automatically receive therapy services. Physical, occupational or speech/language therapy must be consulted based on the patient’s needs. Hospital therapy care begins with a comprehensive evaluation and development of an individualized care plan. Common treatment approaches can include:

  • Mobility training (walking, moving in bed, moving from bed to chair)
  • Self-care skills training (activities of daily living), including: dressing, bathing, toileting, self-feeding, safety training
  • Cognitive assessment and treatment
  • Speech and swallowing instruction (speech therapy)
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Education and training of patient and caregivers

Discharge planning options

Your therapist will make a discharge recommendation after you are seen for an initial evaluation. This recommendation will be updated as needed each time you are seen. There are several options that may be recommended for your discharge from the hospital.

  • Home (yours or a caregiver’s home): Home care or Outpatient therapy services may be recommended if you need additional therapy once you are at home. You need to be considered homebound in most cases to receive skilled home care services.
  • Skilled nursing: This is not a nursing home placement. Skilled nursing facilities provide short term rehabilitation and nursing care.
  • Inpatient rehabilitation: This setting is recommended for patients that require intensive therapy and medical care. Patients must be able to tolerate three hours of therapy a day.

Skilled nursing and inpatient rehabilitation stays require you to have a level of care need that cannot be met by a caregiver. Your insurance provider may need to authorize that you require this level of care prior to hospital discharge. Your therapist will be happy to answer any questions you have about your discharge recommendations.