Therapy Means More Than Just PT


The more well-known and identifiable of the three therapy disciplines—physical, occupational and speech therapy—is generally physical therapy. PTs help people move. We address all manner of gross-motor skills and planning. We retrain muscles and movement patterns to achieve functional goals. Whether getting out of bed or returning to competitive sports, PTs can typically help. Physical therapy is a great offering, but the real power in rehabilitation is approaching each client’s medical condition with a multidisciplinary approach to insure we care for the whole person.

While physical therapists can cross over into some fine fine-motor skills (hand function), occupational therapists often tackle that role based on their expertise. Additionally, occupational therapists address activities of daily living, which means the activities people do on a daily basis to survive. This may include dressing and grooming, preparing meals, or balancing an account or other cognitive tasks. Speech therapists bring yet another set of skills. Like OTs, speech therapists also address cognitive issues, while also delivering care on eating, swallowing and communication. As a simple example, PT helps the client get to the table, OT helps get the food to their mouth, and ST helps them chew and swallow.

Saying “PT is enough” leaves a lot of people hungry.

Therapists actually do a lot more than what I’ve listed here, but the point is, quality care will address all the deficits and therefore all the risks to a person’s livelihood. As a matter of fact, therapy services should also work in tandem with social workers, dieticians, discharge planners, mental health specialists and, of course, nurses, physician’s assistants and physicians. It is a group effort to make sure patients will have the most success for discharge back into their prior living arrangements without difficulty and without re-admittance to the hospital.

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