Physical Therapy Assistant students learn wheelchairs firsthand

Today two of our staff members got to sit in on a demonstration and lecture given to our Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) students by James, a local Rehabilitation Engineer for BarnesHealthcare.

James showed off some of the newest models of lightweight Rigid Wheelchairs from Quickie, the different options in wheels and armrests, and discussed some of the details and considerations that go into choosing the best wheelchair and accessories options for patients in physical therapy. He also demonstrated a model of fully reclining chair often used for cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and newly injured spinal cord injury patients in hospital/hospice care.

BarnesHealthcare Demo PTA Lab

BarnesHealthcare Rehab Engineer, James, gives lecture and demo to Physical Therapy Assistant students at GCCC. Photo courtesy Tamara Nguyen.

The image above was taken while James demonstrated the use of a machine which Rehab Engineers use for rapid prototyping of custom contoured cushions. He explained the necessity to create a chair that “touches” as much of the patient’s body as possible, important for both comfort, prevention of injury, and aid in the prevention of pressure sores. No patients were harmed in the demonstration, though the willing PTA student did get a thumbs up from one of her classmates for creating a well formed contour mold.

James also brought with him Sam, the local representative for Permobil, one of the industry’s most internationally recognized and used wheelchair, powerchair, and assistive devices manufacturer and distributors.

Guest lectures and demonstrations like this are just one of the many ways that Gulf Coast Community College sets themselves apart from other colleges in their endeavors to provide the most academically challenging and diverse education possible.

1 comment so far

  1. james on

    great post! always good to see solid information being posted on the web about physical therapy assistants and some of the tasks and job duties they perform. Thanks for posting!

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