I went to the inpatient physical therapy unit on Tuesday October 30, 2012 and Thursday November 1, 2012. I observed a physical therapist named Melanie. She was the only physical therapist at the hospital during this shift so I got to see a lot of different things in the short amount of time I was there.
The services provided in this unit were health assessments and physical evaluations. The physical therapist would come in and check the patient’s oxygen and walk with them then check it again to insure they were healthy. She would also do various stretches and exercises with patients to measure how strong and capable of being independent they truly were. She would also inquire personal details about their life such as if they work full time, have stairs in their home, or walk regularly. She then makes a decision on if this patient is at risk for falling, if they do or do not need physical therapy throughout the duration of their hospital stay, and how ready they are to be released back home.
The physical therapist used technology called a pulse oximeter to measure the patient’s oxygen throughout her visit with them. This was portable so she could take it with her on their journey throughout the hospital. She also used oxygen tanks for those who needed them.
The physical therapist can go to any area of the hospital to help with treatment but she tends to stay in the progressive care unit because of the post-surgery patients who need to be evaluated or need therapy. Her typical patient ranges from middle aged to older adults, but leans a little more towards older adults because the muscles in there body naturally break down from age. She said that the majority of her patients ended up in the condition they are in because of bad choices. She has treated a lot of smokers who now have lung problems, so as a result it is hard for them to get up and walk around because they lose their breath, this makes them far less physically capable. Another patient that she would...