The rehabilitation department provides evidence-based, individualized physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy by expert, compassionate professionals in a collaborative, positive and supportive environment. Services are provided in an outpatient setting or if indicated in the inpatient setting. Our experienced therapists use and help to develop the most advanced knowledge in rehabilitation techniques to ensure they always provide evidence-based practice.
Physical therapy is an important component of care for many conditions. Physical therapy helps children improve their level of function so they can be as independent as possible. Each patient’s program is tailored to his or her individual needs and developmental abilities. Family involvement is highly encouraged and crucial. Physical therapy services may include teaching safe methods of transporting/transferring patients after surgery; instruction about appropriate exercises to increase strength and mobility, including walking, adaptive activities and training to use an assistive device, brace or prosthesis. When the goal is to learn to sit, stand or walk, improve wheelchair skills or use new prostheses, our team of physical therapists are here to help. In their therapy sessions, patients are taught how to strengthen their muscles, how to walk with a new walker or crutches, how to take care of themselves and how to be safe all in a fun environment.
Occupational therapists work with children to enable and promote their engagement in typical childhood activities. Those activities may be related to self-care, improved hand skills, play, school or recreation. By way of occupational therapy, children can increase their participation in meaningful activities, promote, and maintain their health and well-being. Our occupational therapists are skilled in assessing and rehabilitating children born with conditions that affect their participation, as well as rehabilitating children that have been injured or had surgery. In therapy sessions, the occupational therapist will design and implement interventions to address functional challenges. The occupational therapist may make customized braces/splints to assist with positioning, aid specific activities or to protect a child’s extremity after a surgical procedure. They may also issue specialized equipment to increase a child’s independence.
An important aspect of therapy is the use of recreation as a way to support medical treatment. Art therapy, aquatic therapy, pet therapy and horticulture are all approaches that support the child during the hospitalization. Leisure activities and events are planned by the recreational therapist to enhance health, functional abilities, independence and quality of life.
Child life therapy is available to reduce the stresses associated with staying in the hospital and to teach patients coping skills through offering opportunities to play, learn and interact with others in an emotionally and socially safe environment. Play experiences help children express fears and misconceptions of hospitalization and medical procedures. Services include procedural support, pain management techniques, pre-op teaching prior to surgery, group activities and education about upcoming procedures/hospital visits.
Music therapists evaluate patient’s needs and develop an individual treatment plan. Patients can be treated throughout their episode of care, exposing them to the healing impact of music therapy. Focused patient treatment plans assist with pain management, anxiety management and reduction in trauma symptoms, as well as body image, improving motor skills and many quality of life issues.
Speech therapists provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and therapeutic treatment for speech, language and swallowing disorders. We also provide low tech and high tech assistive technology services.
Children who require aggressive rehabilitation services, but not inpatient care, participate in this program. This program consists of half-day or full-day of goal-directed therapies that are described above.
At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia, we have established a comprehensive sub-acute care program.These Many patients are admitted into the program from external referrals, while several of our inpatients transition into the program requiring nursing and rehabilitation services. In the program, we focus our expertise and energy on helping children in need with the ultimate goal of returning patients to home and school with the ability to achieve their greatest potential.
Children admitted to the acute inpatient rehabilitation program are children who have functional deficits due to illnesses, disease or other disruptions to typical development and have the potential to improve function through a comprehensive, multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. To qualify for these services the child or young adult must be able to participate in at least three hours of intensive therapy per day and require other supportive services to meet defined functional goals.