Physical Therapy Assistant Lab Receives New Equipment
Lackawanna College’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) lab received new equipment for students to learn how to treat patients with a wide range of injuries.
The PTA lab is already full of equipment students can learn from, but the introduction of some new equipment will help them become even more comfortable on the job.
The PTA lab’s new equipment includes a Game Ready pneumatic compression therapy device that can apply heat and cold for injuries, a portable electrical stimulation device for pain and muscle contraction and an Anatomage Table, a 3D visualization system for anatomy and physiology.
“I’m most excited for the (Anatomage) Table because of the concepts I can’t really teach in 2D, I can now show the students in 3D,” Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director Meegan Murray said. “Not only does it show the anatomy with this Table, it also has a lot of physiology functions. I can show the valves of the heart opening and closing.”
The Anatomage Table can help students better visualize what they are learning from their theory courses by giving an actual rendering of the part of the body they are learning.
“The students have a textbook, I have a PowerPoint that shows the order of the heart valves closing. What does that look like when it’s happening? I can’t show them without something like this (Table),” Murray said. “I can show them, look this is what’s happening and the lightbulbs that go off when they see things…it’s just amazing.”
With the other new equipment, the PTA program can stay up to date with contemporary clinical practices, readying students for work after earning their degree.
“The students can try the new equipment here, get comfortable with the equipment here, so when they see them in clinical it’s not intimidating and they can show what they know,” Murray said. “Having that familiarity with the equipment is just an extra level of comfort when they go to clinical.”
Students in the PTA program participate in a total of 18 weeks of clinical experiences, at both inpatient and outpatient physical therapy clinics. With the new equipment in the classroom, students will be well prepared for their clinical experiences.
“We want them as much as possible to hit the ground running because the time flies,” Murray said. “Having them exposed to the equipment and be proficient in using it enables them to be… treating patients and get the bulk of (their time with) the on the job experience instead of observing.”
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is a two-year associates degree program with a focus on hands-on learning, preparing students for the world of physical therapy. Students learn a variety of skills necessary to assist the physical therapist and be compassionate healthcare providers ready to rehabilitate those in need.
“I think students notice when they come to our program that we have really dedicated staff, we are excited about what we do, we are here for the students and we encourage prospective students to speak with current students,” Murray said. “Prospective students see the PTA students in action with a lab that looks like a physical therapy clinic and a lab dedicated to our program. I think that makes students excited.”