Therapy professionals and their roles

Therapy Professionals and Their Roles

Courtesy Twin Creeks Hospital, Collin LIVING WELL Magazine

The leadership of Twin Creeks Hospital understands the importance of providing quality rehabilitative care to their patients. Leslie Finta, physical therapist and director of therapy, strives to staff Twin Creeks Hospital with highly qualified therapists.

There are currently 12 full-time therapists on staff at Twin Creeks Hospital with combined experience of 104 years. One of the occupational therapists at Twin Creeks Hospital is fully NDT© (Neuro-Developmental Treatment) trained and three of the physical therapists and one of the occupational therapists have taken NDT© courses. NDT is a problem-solving approach to the examination and treatment of the impairments and functional limitations of individuals with neuropathology, primarily children with CP and adults with stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Therapy is one of the key components in rehabilitating patients to their highest functional level. The therapists at Twin Creeks Hospital work with a variety of patients with diagnosis ranging from strokes, traumatic brain injury, MS, amputations, and an assortment of orthopedic and neurological conditions. Therapy provides each patient with three hours of professional therapy services a day, five days per week, to assist patients in achieving goals. For patients who are unable to tolerate three hours of therapy a progressive therapy program may be available.

What are the different designations among therapists and what are their specific roles? Physical therapists (PTs) work to increase a patient’s independence. For some that may mean better mobility in bed. For those suffering from a severe stroke just scooting up in bed may be a real chore. Physical therapists assist patients with getting in and out of bed, joint mobility, motion, increasing activity tolerance, walking, increasing lower body strength, endurance and balance.

Occupational therapists (OTs) focus on improving a patient’s self-care skills, including bathing, dressing, and grooming. OTs also address skills patients may perform at home such as cooking and laundry. OTs do this by instructing on safety during self care, exercises for upper body strength, coordination, and balance activities. OTs also train patients on fine motor coordination, gross motor coordination, ergonomics, perception skills, cognitive skills and functional transfers to the commode, tub, bed, chair, etc. An OT’s goal is to increase a patient’s independence and safety.

Speech therapists (STs) or speech language pathologists, focus on several areas. Speech therapy can help a patient regain his or her speech after a stroke or other type of illness or trauma. STs may have to retrain a patient who cannot eat a regular diet due to swallow difficulties. Patients may have to start with a liquid diet and advance to a regular diet under the observation and training of an ST. STs also work with patients on mental (cognitive) deficits such as short-term memory loss, long-term memory loss, problem solving, safety judgment, and visuospatial neglect. The goal of the speech therapist, like that of the PT and OT, is to help the patient achieve the highest level of independence possible. Both speech therapists at Twin Creeks Hospital are also VitalStim® certified. VitalStim® Therapy is a patented therapy process and equipment system developed specifically to treat dysphagia.

Twin Creeks Hospital is an Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Hospital in Allen, Texas. The goal at Twin Creeks Hospital is to help each person admitted to regain his or her maximal functional independence. For more information or for a tour call 972-908-2000, visit www.twincree