Acute Therapy Services

Acute Therapies are provided for patients in Winter Haven Hospital. These services begin our continuum of care. Our Acute Therapy team is composed of Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants, Rehabilitation Technicians, Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants, and Speech-Language Pathologists. If your physician orders one or more of the therapies, our acute therapists will see you in your hospital room. The first time you see your therapist, he or she will evaluate what kinds of difficulties you may be experiencing, and will help you set your individual goals for your recovery. Subsequent treatment sessions with the therapists will focus on taking those steps towards your goals.

  • Physical therapy (PT) helps to increase mobility, and starts at the bedside, helping with repositioning and exercises to increase strength, and increasing mobility. The therapist may recommend assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or gait belts to help along the recovery of independence with getting from place to place. Exercises to help build strength may be advised before you take on the challenge of getting out of bed safely, then walking a few steps, and perhaps advancing to more challenging activities. Depending on your illness or injury, your physical therapist will help you progress as smoothly and safely as possible.
  • Occupational therapy (OT) assists with self care, such as getting to the bathroom, showering, grooming, and eating. This therapy may include training on using assistive devices for greater reach, or to conserve energy. Depending on your illness or injury, the occupational therapist will help educate you and your loved ones on what to do now, or in the next phase of your recovery, whether it is at home with home health, in an inpatient rehabilitation facility such as the Joy-Fuller Rehabilitation Center, or in an outpatient center such as the ESTEEM program at Winter Haven Hospital.
  • Speech-language pathology (SLP) improves communication, cognition, and swallowing. The therapist may work with you during your first session if your physician or you think you are having difficulty swallowing. The therapist may evaluate your swallow with some food and drink, and/ or may recommend you have a swallowing test in the radiology department that includes drinking and eating with moving x-rays taken. This test is called a modified barium swallow study. There may be some techniques or adjustments to the foods and drinks you swallow, in order to swallow safely and prevent complications after your illness or injury. Our speech-language pathology staff also provides outpatient modified barium swallow studies for our community, so they may help to reevaluate your swallow after you have been discharged. The speech-language pathologist may be back on the following days to evaluate your communication to see if there have been any changes in your ability to understand spoken or written language, and your ability to speak and write after your illness or injury.

Our Acute Care therapists work with the nurses and doctors, as well as the other healthcare professionals, to help recovery start right away.