Physiotherapy Department homepage
Physiotherapy: What We Do
Physiotherapists work within an Allied Health team consisting of Dietetics and Nutrition, Psychology, Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Clinical Measurements, Pharmacy and Medical Imaging. This team works closely with medical officers, nursing and other support staff to optimise patient recovery and well-being.
Physiotherapists play a major role in the following areas:
- strengthening and physical conditioning
- assessment and treatment of cardio-respiratory conditions
- facilitation of correct movement patterns
- restoring balance and mobility
- pain relief
- education of patients and carers
- injury/health prevention
- prescription of mobility aids
- rehabilitation post injury
Physiotherapists at Cairns Hospital (CH) provide care for both inpatients and outpatients across the areas of:
Physiotherapists work with patients post trauma, surgery and elective surgery to regain function, enhance mobility and provide exercises to strengthen and increase range of motion to maximise recovery.
Physiotherapists work with respiratory conditions, and assist a wide variety of people to improve their mobility and function post-illness.
Intensive Care (ICU) and High Dependency (HDU)
Physiotherapists provide respiratory care for critically ill ventilated and non-ventilated patients and patients requiring high dependency monitoring. Physiotherapists maintain and increase strength and joint movement through passive and active exercises; assist with regaining mobility; treat musculoskeletal conditions and commence rehabilitation once patients are well enough to participate in therapy.
Physiotherapists treat a variety of respiratory and other illnesses, and assist in commencing Phase 1 Cardiac Rehabilitation in hospital.
Physiotherapists provide care for patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures:
Physiotherapists work with patients both pre- and post-operatively to maintain function and mobility and manage respiratory conditions.
Inpatient and Outpatient management and treatment of childhood respiratory diseases (such as Cystic Fibrosis and Pneumonia); neurodevelopmental assessments and treatments for conditions such as Cerebral Palsy; and orthopaedic conditions.
Physiotherapists assist women of many ages with ante-natal and post-natal issues, and with recovery post illness and injury.
Musculoskeletal and Orthopaedic Outpatients
Physiotherapists provide individual assessment, treatment and management of a variety of client groups:
Working closely with the Occupational Therapy Department, physiotherapists provide assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for patients following trauma/surgery to the hand and upper limb
Physiotherapists work within a multidisciplinary team and under direction of a rehabilitation physician and geriatrician to provide rehabilitation to patients with conditions such as:
The rehabilitation unit also caters for orthopaedic patients, aged and de-conditioned clients who require physiotherapy in order to maintain and gain mobility, strength, endurance, balance and independence.
A physiotherapist works specifically with these patients to assist to increase exercise and activity, and make healthy lifestyle choices.
Geriatric Evaluation and Management Service (GEMS)/ Older Persons Evaluation, Rehabilitation and Assessment (OPERA)
A Physiotherapist works as part of this multidisciplinary team to provide sub-acute rehabilitation to the geriatric population to assist them in optimising their function for a safe discharge.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stroke Team
This team aims to provide high quality, evidenced based and culturally appropriate care for stroke survivors of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent. The multidisciplinary team follows stroke survivors throughout their recovery, from admission to hospital, through their rehabilitation process and provides ongoing follow-up and support after discharge.
Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Screening Clinic and Multidisciplinary Service (OPSC & MDS)
Physiotherapists work with the Orthopaedics Department to identify patients awaiting orthopaedic / surgical opinion, who may benefit from non-surgical management of their orthopaedic (musculoskeletal) condition. The OPSC & MDS helps to reduce the waiting time for patients who do require surgery.
An advanced Primary Contact Physiotherapist works with Nurse Practitioners and Medical staff within the large and busy Emergency Department and contributes to the care of patients with musculoskeletal injuries, minor fractures and dislocations, vestibular, cardiorespiratory and mobility and balance issues.
Cancer Care Services
Physiotherapists have many roles in assisting people to manage cancer or the effects of cancer treatments from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Cancer care Physiotherapists can offer support to inpatients and outpatients:
Projects and Research
Cairns Hospital Physiotherapy Department is actively leading or participating in the following research projects in association with various funding partners:
CH Physiotherapy Department has strong links with external agencies to ensure a smooth care pathway from inpatient to community management through referrals when necessary and education for patients and/or carers via programs such as:
CH Physiotherapy is also linked to the physiotherapists who work in regional hospitals at Innisfail, Tully, Babinda, Atherton, Mareeba and Mossman. CH provides a district reliever physiotherapist to help manage recreation leave in regional and Cairns Community facilities which enhances the relationships.