Pediatric Rehabilitation

The basis of Tampa General Hospital’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Program is family-centered care involving the following critical components:

  • Recognition that the family / support system is the constant in the child’s life, while the service systems and personnel within those systems fluctuate.
  • Facilitation of family / support system – professional collaboration at all levels of care.
  • Sharing of unbiased and compete information with the family / support system about the child’s care on an ongoing basis, in an appropriate and supportive manner.
  • Implementation of appropriate policies and programs that are comprehensive and provide emotional and financial support to meet the needs of families / support systems.
  • Recognition of family / support system strengths and individuality and respect for different methods of coping.
  • Understanding and incorporating the developmental needs of infants, children, and adolescents and their families / support systems into healthcare systems.
  • Encouragement of parent-to-parent support.
  • Assurance that the design of healthcare delivery systems is flexible, accessible, and responsive to family / support system needs.

The TGH Pediatric Rehabilitation Program is culturally sensitive, interdisciplinary, coordinated, and focused on outcomes. This program serves children / adolescents who have significant functional limitations as a result of acquired or congenital impairments. The program uses an individualized, developmental, and age-appropriate approach to rehabilitation that ensures that care focuses on preventing further impairment, reducing activity limitations, and minimizing participation restrictions while maximizing growth and development. The program encompasses care that enhances the life of each child / adolescent served within the family, school and community. A major focus of this program is on providing developmentally appropriate care that acknowledges each child’s / adolescent’s need to learn and play.

Inpatient Pediatric Rehab

Patients typically referred to the Tampa General Hospital’s Pediatric Rehabilitation program include those with a diagnosis of:

  • Rhizotomy Brain injury – traumatic and non-traumatic
  • Spinal cord injury/disorder
  • Burns
  • Encephalopathy
  • Strokes
  • Amputations
  • Multiple injuries due to trauma
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Neuromuscular disease

Our pediatric inpatient rehabilitation programs have earned accreditation (three-year) by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Inpatient Services Available

  • Physical therapy
  • Wheelchair evaluations
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy for speech, dysphagia and cognitive rehab
  • Child Life therapy
  • Psychology – for adjustment to injury, family counseling and sexuality counseling
  • Neuropsychological testing to assist with return to school
  • Pediatric nursing
  • Multiple medical specialties /medical consultative services
  • Radiology/diagnostic imaging
  • Laboratory
  • Pharmacy
  • Audiology
  • Pastoral care /chaplaincy services
  • Dialysis
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Ostomy/ Wound care
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Spasticity management
  • Total parenteral nutrition
  • Social work
  • Financial counseling

Additional Services Available by Referral

  • Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology
  • Substance misuse counseling
  • Driver rehabilitation
  • Environmental modification
  • Orthotics/prosthetics
  • Peer support
  • Rehabilitation engineering
  • Visual assessment /ophthalmology
  • Homebound school
  • Vocational rehab

Admission Criteria

  • Birth – 16 years of age. Patients 16-21 years of age may be admitted to the pediatric unit as an exception by the pediatric physiatrist/medical director/administrative director, depending on the developmental and emotional needs of the patient and family.
  • Presence of treatable medical rehabilitation diagnosis
  • Patient must be medically stable
  • Patient must be non-ventilator dependent
  • Need comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation program as determined by physiatrist
  • Have the ability to participate in and benefit from intensive rehabilitation
  • Generally able to tolerate about 3 hours of therapy/day, depending on their age (5 of the 7 days of a week)
  • Able to follow commands and actively participate in therapy
  • Patient should be approved by insurance company for admission to inpatient rehab
  • Patient should have a defined achievable discharge disposition

Hours of Operation
Rehab physician/designee – available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week
Rehab nursing – available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week
Therapy services – available 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Therapy Schedule Patients admitted to the pediatric rehabilitation program are scheduled for up to three hours of therapy Monday through Friday, depending on their age. On weekends patients are only scheduled for one discipline (physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy).

Insurance Tampa General accepts most major health plans. For a complete list of accepted insurances, click here.

Financial Services Financial counselors are available to assist with insurance authorizations and identifying any co-payments/deductibles that might need to be met prior to admission.

Referral Sources Referrals are accepted from TGH, other acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, community physicians, and community therapists. Patients admitted from home will need to complete an office visit with the physiatrist for inpatient rehab prior to admission. To contact the Physiatry office, please call (813) 228-7696.

Discharge/Transition Criteria

  • Patient has met all the goals set in collaboration with the Rehab Team for IP stay.
  • Patient not showing any measurable gains
  • Patient not complying with the expectations laid out in a behavioral contract
  • Non-voluntary discharge when patient is not medically stable for continued participation in a Rehab Program.
  • May require admission to hospital.
  • Insurance company ready for providing care for next level of care for the patient.

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.

Click here to download the Inpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation handbook.

Click here for Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Program 2013 Outcomes.

Click below to watch a short video about Sierra's story.

Outpatient Pediatric Rehab Program

Outpatient services provided include the following:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy at TGH consists of specific exercises and modalities directed toward maximizing functional abilities and mobility to increase independence in the home and community.  During your child’s first visit, the PT will evaluate his or her strength, range of motion (ROM), balance and mobility and ask you about your current home environment and goals for therapy. This information will assist them in developing an individualized treatment plan that fits your child’s needs. The therapist will work with your child on exercises to improve their gross motor skills/developmental activities, pre-gait and gait training coordination and balance activities, evaluate the need for assistive devices, train you and your child in the use of the device. The therapist will also provide education and training to you to ensure that you are able to practice these skills at home with your child.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy addresses activities of daily living (ADL’s) such as bathing, dressing, eating, handwriting, visual perceptual and sensory integration skills. Occupational therapists also work on the ROM and Strength of the arm.  During your child’s first visit, the occupational therapist will evaluate your child’s strength, ROM, ability to complete age appropriate ADL’s, cognitive status and ask you about your current home environment and goals for therapy. This information will assist them in developing an individualized treatment plan that fits your child’s needs. The therapist will work with you on exercises to improve the gross motor and fine motor function of the upper extremity, evaluate the need for adaptive equipment and splints and train you and your child in the use of the device. The therapist will also provide education and training to you to ensure that you are able to practice these skills at home with your child.

Speech Therapy

Speech and Language Pathologists address Cognition, Communication and Swallowing. During your child’s first visit, the speech language pathologist (SLP) will evaluate your child’s cognitive status, ability to communicate, ability to read, ability to feed and swallow food of different consistencies (if applicable), and ask you about your current home environment and goals for therapy. This information will assist them in developing an individualized treatment plan that fits your needs. The therapist will work with your child on exercises, programs and worksheets to improve their language, speech and communication skills, reading and writing skills, cognitive skills, swallowing, evaluate the need for assistive technology and train your child and you in the use of the device. The therapist will also provide education and training to you to ensure that you are able to practice these skills at home with your child.