Concordia’s Physical Therapy Department started its new pro-bono clinics with Covid-19 guidelines September 15, including steps for safe environment to protect all participants during the current pandemic.
Physical Therapy students use hands-on learning to examine and treat patients, guided by a supervising therapist. Before the shutdown, clinics would run twice a week. The sessions would run for an hour and two students would examine and treat each patient.
Last spring, Concordia had to cancel all pro-bono clinics due to COVID-19, leaving many students without hands-on training. Due to quarantine, students finished their clinic hours via Telehealth, a virtual medium for health-related services and information.
“When we made the switch to Telehealth last semester, it greatly impacted students’ hands-on learning. Students were unable to have time with patients in the clinic,” said Jess Budig, a current Physical Therapy student at Concordia. “However, this then challenged students to get creative and learn how to work with patients when they can’t have contact with them.”
Concordia’s new Physical Therapy Pro-bono clinics are now on campus at the Concordia Center for Environmental Stewardship (CCES). Students use face shields and KN95 masks while implementing social distancing measures. The CCES provides substantial space to have a safe and comfortable environment that gives peace of mind to both students and patients.
The sessions are forty-five minutes and have in-person interactions using these safety precautions. Budig noted a decrease in patients, but the department looks forward to more participants.
“Overall, our program has done a really good job of setting up the clinic so we can get the most out of our time,” said Budig. “We were able to find a space that would accommodate the guidelines for social distancing and were able to bring in equipment that can easily be sanitized between patients. The program provided us with proper PPE at no cost to us so we could resume in-person clinics.”
The Physical Therapy Department emails both faculty and students about upcoming Pro-bono clinics with a link to sign up. With these new measures, The PT department encourages anyone to participate.
Written By Hana Castillo