Once again, God blessed our time together! We reviewed and tested over previously taught material, covered quite a bit of new material, and learned new therapeutic techniques. We focused on physical therapy for adults with neurological diagnoses, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis. We started each new topic with pathophysiology before moving into specific therapeutic considerations and treatment approaches.
This class is rather small now with only four physical therapy students and one occupational therapy student. So we did most of our practical skills work together as a group.
We worked on various facilitation techniques:
Following the lecture on orthotics, we pulled out as many different types of orthotics as possible from our storage (and we have quite a few thanks to donations over the years!) and the students walked around in them to get a better understanding of the functions of the various types.
As has become our tradition, we played "Brain Ring" a couple of times to give the students an extensive review over the material we covered:
We are very blessed to have one treatment mat at Agape that can be elevated. This mat was obtained a couple of years ago through a humanitarian shipment, but the motor was broken so we used it at it's lowest level for a long time. A few months ago, though, our guys were finally able to install a new motor. Now this mat is highly prized by our therapists and it is perfect for Veeka as she can raise it above the level of her wheelchair and get close to her patients. During this session, we crowded as many students as possible on it so that they could practice new skills with good body mechanics. We hope one day we can have another high/low mat in our center.
|I'd say we maximized our use of the available mat space!|
We also used patient scenarios as a teaching tool. Each students was given a role as a patient and received some coaching from Sveta. The student therapist was then given specific tasks to accomplish while the other students observed. It was an good opportunity for them to integrate the knowledge and skills they were learning, to work on critical thinking and to receive feedback:
We had the privilege of having a guest lecturer on the topic of pressure ulcers. Kristina is an American nurse who has been a missionary in Ukraine for 17 years and is a specialist in wound care. She had to leave Crimea 2 years ago due to the Russian takeover and her missionary work in Ukraine transitioned away from nursing as a result. Her friend told her about Agape, so she decided to ship us her leftover wound care supplies. What a blessing to learn of her presence in Ukraine! Sergiy and Natasha Bolchuk invited her to come to Agape to train our medical staff and to consult with former, current, and prospective patients with wounds. In February, she came for 4-5 days and had a huge impact! As a result of her knowledge and recommendations, Vasya (who was baptized in December) learned that his pressure ulcer was down to the bone and required surgery. He has since had that surgery and is back at Agape recovering, lying only on his stomach 24 hours a day for over 4 weeks now. Kristina agreed to come back to oversee his initial wound care treatment upon his discharge from the hospital and since that time corresponded with our session, we invited her to talk with our students. Our students are still not wound care specialists, but they now have specific recommendations they can share with their patients which can help in their prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. We are excited to see how God continues to use Kristina and her expertise at Agape in the future!
As always, students took tests on the first and last days of the session. Passing the test day on the first day is required to officially pass the previous session and receive a certificate of completion. The last day's test involves written and practical components and is the first requirement for passing the current session. Some students require more than one attempt to pass the written component and/or some coaching on the practical component, but all are showing progress and we pray for their continued growth and development as therapists.
Thank you for those who pray for the PT Training Center! We are in a busy season and have some particular prayer requests:
- The second session for the second class is April 24-May 5. Please pray for the students as they finalize try to finish learning muscles; for me as I finalize preparation, including rearranging and rewriting some of the lecture material as well as developing some new lectures; and for Tanja who will be the full-time translator again (for physical and mental stamina and recollection of the specific terminology).
- The fourth and final session of the first class is scheduled for June 5-16. At this time, no material is prepared for this session and the time available for preparation is very short. Please pray for wisdom regarding what topics to teach and efficiency in preparing the material.
Thank you again for supporting this work!