DUBOIS – SMP Home Medical, located in the DuBois Mall, recently presented faculty members in the Penn State DuBois Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program with a donation of new equipment. The medical supplies retailer donated a new wheelchair, as well as a trapeze lift to the program. Students will be able to use the equipment to practice patient care.
“We really appreciate the community support for our program,” said LuAnn Demi, instructor and campus coordinator of the OTA program. “With updated equipment, our students will get to practice with the most up-to-date items that are out there, and it really improves their educational experience. There’s just no substitute for practicing with real equipment.”
Demi explained that her students use equipment such as this for lab exercises which simulate real situations where they would administer therapy or assist someone with an injury or disability. The wheelchair can be used in a wide variety of exercises to simulate working with patients suffering from ailments ranging from leg injuries to paralysis. The trapeze lift is placed above a bed and used to help patients in and out of bed, or shift positions in the bed, and students will be able to practice those maneuvers with that new device.
“It’s hands on; what better way is there for these students to learn? When they go out and start working, they’ll know what products are available to them to help their patients,” said John Cesa of SMP Medical. He explained that SMP management and employees like to give back to educators and professionals working in therapy related fields.
In addition to support through donations such as this one, SMP also hosts Penn State DuBois OTA students once each year for an open house where the students have a chance to learn about the latest home medical care equipment.
Pictured with the donated equipment are, left to right, John Cesa, Heather Hedeen, Lisa Goodford, and Mark Agnello, all of SMP Medical, with Amy Fatula and LuAnn Demi, OTA program faculty. (Provided photo)