Campus Life  

Lived experience lands in Therapist Assistant classroom

Two men in wheeled mobility aids in a classroom

Students in the Therapist Assistant Diploma (TAD) program took a deep dive into the lived experiences of those with spinal cord injury, thanks to a community partnership.

Guest speakers from the Praxis Spinal Cord Institute attended the class last week. Praxis is a Canadian-based, non-profit that leads global collaboration in spinal cord injury research, innovation, and care. James Hektner, PLEX Community Liaison and Shannon Rockall, OT Clinical Liaison with Praxis Spinal Cord Institute, presented up-to-date statistics, research and best practices on the topic of spinal cord injury.

Cody Petrone and Cara Gerow from Kelowna, and William McCreight from Kamloops, talked to students about their lived experiences with spinal cord injuries, discussing specialized equipment, skin health, self-care, autonomic dysreflexia, and recreation considerations.

"The students were absolutely rapt during this day with Praxis. The presenters were honest, open, and approachable and answered a variety of questions from the students. All of the speakers stayed after the formal presentation and spent time with the students and instructors giving freely of their experiences and knowledge. We hope to continue this partnership next term with Praxis representatives coming into our labs to practice skills such as stretching and transfers. A huge thank you to Praxis this involvement with the students is profoundly rich and valuable and strengthens their clinical skills and knowledge," said Siri Marken, Therapist Assistant Diploma Chair.

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