Training future therapists

Rutgers student Dongmin Park of Palisades Park, NJ, tries out a power wheelchair as Cindy Labar, Matheny director of physical therapy, looks on.

Recognizing that we can’t provide healthcare for everyone with a disability, Matheny has taken on the responsibility of trying to ensure that future healthcare professionals understand how to care for and treat people with disabilities.

With that in mind, a group of physical therapy students from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School visits Matheny every year to learn about the therapy and equipment required by persons with developmental disabilities. During this year’s visit, on March 28, the PT students rotated through eight stations dealing with switch access, communication devices, music therapy, pressure mapping, standing and adaptive tricycles, power and manual wheelchairs, gait trainers and recreational activities.

Rutgers student Sarah Carothers of Basking Ridge, NJ, learns how to operate a manual wheelchair.