Throughout the month of October, Clarke University’s Physical Therapy department has observed National Physical Therapy Month, an annual opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits of physical therapy.
On October 13, the department held its yearly “Hot Seat” event virtually. The purpose of the event is to connect Clarke physical therapy students with physical therapy clinicians (many of whom are Clarke alumni) and test students’ knowledge on a variety of clinical scenarios. This year, 12 clinicians participated as well as 62 Clarke students.
“Initially, we were afraid this event would be canceled due to COVID,” said Clarke Professor of Physical Therapy and Physical Therapy Department Chair Jennifer Mai. “Most students and clinicians think this is one of the highlights of our program. Clinicians share real cases and students are put in the ‘Hot Seat’ to problem-solve through the management of the patient. Members of our faculty suggested we reach out to alumni since we were holding the event virtually. We had 11 alumni join us to share cases. Most of these alums are not local, so it was great to be able to connect with them and still host the event.”
Just over a week later, on October 21, students and faculty wore orange in support of ChoosePT Day, a nationwide initiative designed to promote physical therapy treatments. The primary goal of ChoosePT is to highlight physical therapy as a safe, effective alternative to opioid-based pain treatment.
“Organizing the Clarke University Choose PT Day provided us the opportunity to advocate for physical therapy at Clarke and beyond,” said Clarke Physical Therapy Student Cody Ries. “It also allowed us to share the benefits of physical therapy as a worthwhile approach to treating chronic pain instead of opioids, which have caused an ongoing crisis in America.”
The department will close out the month with its Wheels for the World wheelchair and assistive device drive on October 31. Now in its 13th year, the annual event gives Clarke physical therapy students a chance to volunteer through the collection of used wheelchairs and other assistive devices. The devices are then donated to Wheels for the World, refurbished, and distributed worldwide.