Intensive Care Unit
Physical therapists primarily serve in a consultative role in the Intensive
Care Units (ICUs). All physical therapists assigned to the ICU have an
advanced level of skill and knowledge in order to treat this critically ill
patient population. They are available to conduct comprehensive initial
assessments and monitor and reassess a patient's progress as appropriate.
Often, they will assist the nursing staff with getting a patient out of bed
for the first time. The therapist educates nurses and families to properly
position and/or exercise critically ill patients while they are required to
be in bed. They also work closely with the treatment team to help patients
manage their airway secretions and breathe independently by performing
chest physical therapy, if indicated.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
A physical therapist is available to provide consultation to infants and
their parents in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She is available
to conduct developmental assessments and to recommend strategies to both
nursing staff and to parents that will encourage normal infant development.
This physical therapist works closely with an occupational therapist as
part of the rehabilitation consult team.