Here, physiotherapists at Lakeridge Health receive Circle of Gratitude recognition for their amazing work with our patients
Physiotherapy heroes at Lakeridge Health
Our physiotherapists are health heroes, adapting to challenges of COVID-19
May is National Physiotherapy month and Lakeridge Health Foundation is highlighting the essential role of physiotherapists at our Lakeridge Health Hospitals, sharing how some of our physiotherapy teams have adapted to the challenges of COVID-19. Our physiotherapy teams' main goal remains to serve family and friends in our community to the best of their abilities.
To celebrate Physiotherapy Month, we caught up with Danielle who is a registered physiotherapist working in the outpatient department at our Lakeridge Health Whitby Hospital. Danielle has experience serving multiple departments within Lakeridge Health and today she is sharing how vital physiotherapy is for patients in our local Hospitals. Even now, as COVID-19 changes the way we live and work, physiotherapists are helping those affected by the virus to optimize their quality of life.
“Many people are unaware that physiotherapists work on every single unit in the hospital,” she explains. “We provide care in ICU, helping people mobilize amidst multiple lines and tubes or aiding them with breathing via chest therapy. We work on medical, post-operative and rehab floors assisting patients with getting back on their feet and ultimately discharged home, safely.” Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in facilitating these discharges. Danielle shares that it is amazing to see a patient sitting up at a bedside chair in the ICU, then walking the floors of a rehab floor. Physiotherapists help to navigate a patient through their medical journey in all areas of the hospital, and hopefully prevent re-admissions.
Danielle, who primarily works with patients who have had hip or knee replacements, shoulder surgeries, or fractures, is now helping out in the neuro rehab program during the COVID-19 pandemic. While our physiotherapists are among the front line heroes at all of our Lakeridge Health sites, they are working harder than ever to ensure outpatient services are available for those in need of physiotherapy once discharged home. She wants to share that during this pandemic we are still open and are able to treat in person, by telephone, or newly by virtual care.
Thanks to donor support for the Durham Fights COVID-19 campaign, the new Virtual Connections program launched at Lakeridge Health this past April. With this program, Hospital staff are using iPads to connect patients with their loved ones via video calls. With this technology, Lakeridge Health outpatient physiotherapy teams are now also able to offer tele-rehabilitation care to support the patients they care for.
“This (tele-rehabilitation) is a great resource for those who have been discharged home from the hospital and are still on their road to recovery,” says Danielle. “Our team has worked hard to ensure virtual care options are available in the outpatient departments during this pandemic,” she adds.
She recalls a truly positive experience she had with a patient at the end of April during a virtual appointment.
“An Occupational Therapist and I assessed a gentleman in his late 70’s who suffered a stroke. Both of his daughters and their families live in the same house with him and his wife, so they were able to be present to assist the gentleman with the virtual visit. This was super helpful! During the visit I was able to complete a balance assessment and then prescribed exercises to help him improve his balance. I was also able to see via the video chat that the gait aid the gentleman used was too high for him, about 2 inches too high. His daughter was able to adjust the height for him and he felt more comfortable walking with his quad cane afterwards. At the end of the call the patient and his daughters expressed how grateful they were to have a virtual appointment option which allowed this gentleman to remain safe at home.”
For Danielle, going above and beyond to serve her patients is second nature. For her, having the option to use virtual connections now means she can continue to be as thorough as possible while helping her patients on their road to recovery. Danielle and her teammates at Lakeridge Health Whitby Hospital continue to navigate the “new normal” of virtual appointments and use of personal protective equipment every day. Like all of our Lakeridge Health Hospital heroes, our physiotherapists are doing everything they can to ensure a safe environment for patients.
Please join us in thanking our physiotherapists today during Physiotherapy Month and every day! These Lakeridge Health caregivers are here for our family and friends, and for that we are grateful. If you would like to support physiotherapists and hospital heroes like Danielle and her team at our Lakeridge Health Whitby Hospital, please consider donating today: www.durhamfightscovid19.ca