Spotlight on… Critical Care Rehabilitation Team

Date: 20 July 2018

critical care team for web

The Critical Care Rehabilitation Team, part of the Therapies team, is a specialist therapy team working in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Research has shown that early rehabilitation for patients in critical care has many benefits, including improvements in strength, functional ability, quality of life and a reduced stay in hospital.

Lorna Flisher, Physiotherapist, Kim Read, Senior Occupational Therapist, and Samantha Cook, Therapy Assistant Practitioner, take us through a typical day.

 “We start each day at 8am with a ‘huddle’ every morning on the ICU to talk about our patients’ goals for the day. Then we’ll start working with our patients with therapies such as using the THERA-trainer, tilt table, chest therapies or working to get patients sitting on the edge of the bed. The Occupational Therapist (OT) may do a washing and dressing assessment or assess the patient’s mood, looking out for any sign of anxiety or depression.

“Some patients will be ventilated and/or sedated but there is still a lot we can do to support them in their recovery. We will do a range of movement exercises to keep their limbs moving and we will often walk with patients on a portable ventilator. Just because a patient is ventilated doesn’t mean they can’t get out of bed and walk around!

“At around 10.30am we will let the ward staff on ICU know which patients should be prepared to come down to the gym. We always encourage patients to be dressed in their own clothes rather than a hospital gown or pyjamas as it can aid their recovery as well as enhance their mental wellbeing. At the gym we may walk with patients between the parallel bars, do sit-to-stand exercises and practise walking upstairs. These are all therapies to help them both move around and adjust to life at home.

“We have a break at 12.30pm and then the team will meet again for an informal huddle. Most afternoons we hold training sessions for Therapy Assistant Practitioners.  On Mondays we hold clinics for patients who have been discharged home, where they can come back and talk to a therapist about their experiences.  If it’s a Friday we have a team meeting to discuss each patient’s goals for the next week. That way if any of us is away we can ensure that patients still get their appropriate treatment.”

  • Summary:

    The Critical Care Rehabilitation Team is a specialist therapy team working in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Research has shown that early rehabilitation for patients in critical care has many benefits, including improvements in strength, functional ability, quality of life and a reduced stay in hospital.