In October, we celebrated National Physical Therapy Month, a time to recognize physical therapists and the services they provide patients. Physical therapy can help patients with regaining mobility and living pain-free after a traumatic or repetitive injury, an orthopedic or neurological disorder or a chronic or congenital illness.
To learn more about the therapies offered at Pascack Valley, we spoke with Pierre Juliano, Director of Rehabilitation, Michael Polizzano, outpatient physical therapist and Miyoshi Ramirez, inpatient physical therapist.
“At Pascack Valley, we offer physical therapy both on an inpatient and outpatient basis,” said Juliano. “When we started five years ago, we just had an inpatient service line. In 2015, we opened our outpatient center for therapy and rehabilitation to serve the community and make sure that the needs were met through the continuum of care.”
Juliano has enjoyed seeing the rapid growth of the therapy and rehabilitation program at Pascack Valley. “I joined the hospital before it opened as the manager of the therapy program,” said Juliano. “What appealed to me about Pascack Valley was the community environment at which the patients are really the forefront of what we do. Being a part of such a community-focused organization where I had the opportunity to build a department with clinicians who had the skills needed, but more importantly, empathy and an interest in community involvement, has been wonderful. I feel like I have been able build a team of therapists who treat the patients holistically from the minute they walk in the door, through their recovery and even after they leave the program.”
Outpatient therapy serves a broad range of patients. “In outpatient services, we see a wide variety of patients before and after they have any sort of procedure for strengthening or neurological diagnosis,” said Polizzano. “We see a lot of patients with back, shoulder, hip and knee pain. Balance is another focal point of our services. Working with patients on gaining proper balance helps with avoiding falls. Taking those types of preventative measures is something we really like to focus on.”
Polizzano loves seeing the patients create their own community during their time in therapy. “It’s great to see that our patients feel a sense of community,” said Polizzano. “Each patient I see is invested in their recovery and they also work together to support one another through the rehab phase. Many of them make lasting bonds that extend out into the community. I love seeing them support each other here as well as after they have completed their rehab programs.”
The inpatient part of the therapy program also sees a wide variety of patients. “When it comes to the inpatient side of things, the process is quite similar,” said Ramirez. “We see a lot of orthopedic patients who have had total knee replacements, total hip replacements or spinal surgeries. We also see neurological cases such as stroke and vertigo. Visiting the intensive care unit (ICU) is something we also do when physicians allow and the patient is as stable as possible.”
The team at Pascack Valley is one of the reasons Ramirez enjoys her job. “I like working in the hospital because of the incredible team,” said Ramirez. “A lot of the team members here started working around the same time, so it’s been a process of learning and building things together. We are always working towards what is best for the patients.”
Evaluations with our physical therapists are available by appointment. Call 201-781-1453 to schedule.