Additional physiotherapy and occupational therapy professionals have been hired to fully staff the hospital’s expanded total joint replacement program, which reduces wait times for hip and knee replacement patients throughout the region

JUNE 1, 2012 – The launch of the total joint replacement program at Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) in October 2011 created growth in the hospital’s rehab department. Additional physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants were hired to provide necessary physiotherapy to knee replacement patients during their hospital stay. Then, with the addition of hip replacements to the surgical program in April 2012, the Rehab Team grew again.

Left to Right, Members of the KDH Rehab Team (left to right): Meg O'Brien, Tanya Collins, Lindsay Smith, Laurie Laporte-Piticco

Left to Right, Members of the KDH Rehab Team (left to right): Meg O’Brien, Tanya Collins, Lindsay Smith, Laurie Laporte-Piticco

What is Physiotherapy? 
Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that assists people to restore, maintain and maximize their strength, function, movement, and overall wellbeing. Benefits of physiotherapy include decreased pain, improved joint mobility, increased strength and coordination and improved cardiorespiratory function. Physiotherapy is helpful not only to patients recovering from surgery or an injury but also to those living with a chronic illness.

What is Occupational Therapy?
 Occupational therapy is a profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through engagement in occupation. Occupational therapy helps people to participate in a desired activity they are having difficulty with. By seeing an occupational therapist, people develop the skills to participate more fully in the life they choose, or to prevent a disruption in their day-to-day living, following surgery, for example. Occupational therapy can help people overcome and/or develop strategies to cope with mobility and seating problems, severe or chronic pain, fatigue caused by a chronic illness, memory loss, and more.

Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy at KDH 
The Rehab Team at KDH sees joint replacement patients a few weeks prior to their surgery, during their short hospital stay, and on a weekly basis for the first few weeks after they’ve been discharged from the hospital.

The “pre-hab” class held for both hip and knee replacement patients before their surgery ensures that patients will be prepared and at ease in dealing with their physical limitations in the days and weeks following their operation. The patients hear from a physiotherapist, a pharmacist and a representative of the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). They learn what to expect, how they will manage, and the exercises they will need to do.

The pre-hab class for hip replacement patients has an occupational therapy component. The occupational therapist provides education on self-care after surgery, such as putting on socks or shoes, getting in and out of the bath tub, etc. The occupational therapist will suggest that patients get certain devices and practice using them, such as reachers, sock aids, long-handled shoehorns, a raised toilet seat, and a shower chair or bench.

Joint replacement patients also return to KDH for outpatient physiotherapy after discharge from the hospital, unless there is a physiotherapy clinic more convenient to their situation. Joint replacement patients generally need physiotherapy twice a week for four to six weeks.

As they did before the launch of the total joint replacement program, physiotherapists at KDH also assist other inpatients in the Medical/Surgical and Interim Long-Term Care units as required. A regular physiotherapy event at KDH is a weekly exercise class for Parkinson’s patients.

The KDH Rehab Team consists of four physiotherapists, two occupational therapists, and three physiotherapy assistants. Meg O’Brien, full-time physiotherapist, appreciates the opportunity to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, and was very happy to be able to help develop the pre-hab and post-hab programs at KDH. She also valued the opportunity to help build the Rehab Team as it has grown through the total joint replacement program; “It’s a team I’m really proud of,” she says.

About Kemptville District Hospital

Kemptville District Hospital is a fully accredited healthcare facility committed to building healthier communities. We are distinct within the provincial health system as a model of hospital-led integrated health services. We operate on two sites and provide primary care management services, acute care hospital services, advanced orthopaedic care and pride ourselves on being a good partner within the system. Kemptville Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for both patient and employee satisfaction.

For further information contact:

Jenny Read, Communications Lead

Tel: 613-258-6133 ext. 223