Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapists evaluate a patient’s joint range of motion, muscle strength and endurance, muscle tone, reflexes, pain, sensation, function of heart and lungs during activity, balance, coordination, walking appearance and stability, need and use of braces and artificial limbs for walking,  need for assistive devices to help with walking, use of a wheelchair, and general mobility. Physical Therapists may use a variety of techniques with their hands to manually improve muscle or joint movement, they may use exercise, or modalities (heat, ice, ultrasound, traction, electric stimulation…). They teach the patient and family how to best take care of themselves at home with a home program. 

Located on the 3rd Floor of the Acute Care Tower.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy assists patients in developing the skills to take care of themselves when a health problem limits normal, day-to-day activity, such as bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, doing housework and managing personal business. Therapy may include the following:

  • Exercises related to activities and function of the upper body
  • Training to improve self-care, dressing and activities of daily living
  • Assessment for visual and spatial impairment
  • Energy conservation measures for improved endurance
  • Home improvements for safety and increased independence
  • Training on the use of adaptive equipment to improve independence and safety during daily life tasks
  • Assessment and treatment of cognitive impairments

Hand therapy, a specialty practice area of occupational therapy, is typically concerned with treating orthopedic-based upper-extremity conditions to optimize the functional use of the hand and arm. Conditions seen by the occupational therapy practitioner specializing in this area include fractures of the hand or arm, lacerations and amputations, burns, and surgical repairs of tendons and nerves. Acquired conditions such as tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome also are treated by hand specialists. Occupational therapy practitioners who treat clients with conditions of the hand or arm can do so without additional formal education in most states. However, many practitioners choose to gain several years of experience before treating hand clients, and therapists may choose to become specially certified through the Hand Therapy Certification Commission.

Speech Therapy (Speech-Language Pathology)

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to evaluate, diagnose, and treat speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders and educate patients and family.

  • Speech disorders occur when a person has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly due to muscle weakness (e.g., slurred speech)  or fluently (e.g., stuttering).  The patient can also have voice problems (e.g., hoarseness, trouble speaking louder or with a normal pitch)
  • Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language).  Language disorders may be spoken or written.
  • Cognitive-communication disorders include problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving.  These disorders usually happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia.
  • Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may follow an illness (e.g., cancer), surgery, stroke, or brain injury.


Audiologist provides audiology evaluations and hearing aid services.

Audiology Evaluations:

  • Consist of a battery of tests.
  • Sometimes require several visits.
  • Are used to determine medical and non medical treatment
  • Require referrals.
  • May require authorizations, depending on insurance plan. 

Hearing Aids:

Questions about hearing aids and hearing aid coverage should be directed to the audiologist.  Audiologist needs current insurance information, to inform patients about hearing aid coverage.

  • Require audiology evaluations within six months of hearing aid fittings.
  • May be covered by Medi-Cal, depending on the plan.
  • May require authorizations.  Authorizations for hearing aids are requested by the audiologist.
  • It is important to distinguish between authorizations for audiology evaluations and authorizations for hearing aids.
  • Authorizations for hearing aids need to be put in the audiologist’s mailbox.  No further action is needed.  Patients should not be scheduled, when hearing aid authorizations are received.
  • Hearing aid selection and fitting is a process, consisting of several visits.  Some patients require more visits than others.
  • Hearing aids are custom made and custom fitted to each person.