1. How often will I receive physical therapy?

The frequency and duration of a physical therapy (PT) treatment plan is related to the medical diagnosis or surgical procedure performed.

2. Do you have a rehabilitation unit at BIDMC?

We do not have a rehabilitation unit. Physical therapists work closely with the case manager and make recommendations to the treatment team for patients requiring further rehabilitation services after they are discharged from the hospital. Discharge options include home with or without physical therapy or continued physical therapy in an acute or subacute rehabilitation facility or skilled nursing facility.

3. Do I need to bring my walker (cane, etc.) with me to the hospital?

We will provide you with one of our walkers or canes for use during your physical therapy session. However, if you have specially adapted equipment, we may request that you have it with you while you are here.

4. Since BIDMC is a teaching hospital do I need to be treated by a student?

We have a very active student teaching program and always have physical therapy students in training. However, you may request to not be treated by a student.

5. How many years of training do physical therapists have?

New graduate physical therapists must have at least a Master's Degree in physical therapy and have successfully passed a licensure examination in order to practice in Massachusetts. Most physical therapy programs offer an entry-level clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Several of our staff have their Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and others have received specialty board certification.

6. What is the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy?

While both disciplines work very closely to coordinate their care, the physical therapist focuses on a patient's ability to mobilize safely, such as transferring out of bed to a chair, walking and climbing stairs. BIDMC physical therapists also are trained in chest physical therapy and use these techniques to help their patients clear their secretions. The occupational therapist focuses on a patient's occupational performance. For example, if a patient is returning home to care for an infant the occupational therapist will focus on those functional activities that will be important for that parent to perform, such as carrying the infant, diapering, etc. Each patient identifies what is important to him/her in the initial assessment and those activities are included in the treatment plan.