Therapy in a variety of ways

The world of therapy can have drastic changes dependent upon the setting. Just as there may be a patient going to physical therapy at a clinic once a week for a small injury – there may be a patient remaining in the hospital setting after surgery for daily physical therapy, relearning entire movements.

While you may have heard about physical, occupational, and speech therapy, do you know the role they play in a hospitalized, inpatient setting?

“Our speech therapists are trained to work with patients that have speech problems, cognitive issues and/or have difficulty swallowing,” explained Kathleen Kinsler, Rehabilitation Manager. “Our culture is all about connecting with others and when our loved ones can’t communicate or a friend can’t meet for coffee, they become isolated. The speech therapy team is here to work on all of those challenges, with patients and their families.”

Not only do our speech therapists provide an array of inpatient care, they also support patients in many different areas, including the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Dorothy Canfield, Speech Language Pathologist, excitedly said, “I have the opportunity to work with parents in the NICU who may be uncomfortable or nervous feeding their premature infant. I love knowing that I was able to calm their nerves and increase their comfort with feeding so that they are able to have that special bonding time.”

The physical therapy and occupational therapy teams work very closely at Stormont Vail. While physical therapy focuses on allowing patients to better move and control particular body parts, occupational therapy encompasses the patient’s ability to perform daily living activities. Having these two specialties, side-by-side, allows for patients to get the exact care that will best support their goals.

Physical Therapist, Jennifer Geissert, working with patient, George Bradley

“Being able to create a treatment plan to help patients regain what they feel has been lost; to give them hope," said Jenny Sodergren, Occupational Therapist. "Being there to provide hope and education for the families as well, is gratifying. When patients are in this environment going through often life-changing challenges, it's amazing the difference you can make for them just by being kind.”

No therapy is easy; in fact, most therapy is extremely difficult at the inpatient level. That’s why our therapy teams are not only here to listen and be empathetic to our patients, but to also encourage and help to challenge themselves when it’s difficult to muster the strength to do so.

“Sometimes during the physical therapy session, it may not be the physical therapy intervention that was the most helpful to the person that day, but it was giving them an opportunity to feel listened to, to feel like someone cares about them,” explained Diana Brunner, Certified Physical Therapy Assistant.

Stormont Vail knows there is always one important goal in common with the patient: to go home healthier than when they arrived. Our various inpatient therapy teams are committed to the patients, patients’ support teams, and the exciting work that will lead towards going home.

Learn more about our different therapy programs here.

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