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Inside Education and Health Sciences

New Equipment Arrives in the Physical Therapy Department

The University of Dayton's Department of Physical Therapy received new equipment and carpet upgrades this spring.

Thanks to a generous donation from Dave '71 and Norma '71 McCarthy, the PT lab space is the home to eight new high-low exam tables, four hand-held dynamometers and four wireless ultrasound units.

Having the ability to adjust the table height helps with optimal positioning of the patient and as well as protecting the therapist's body from strain or injury.

Older adjustable tables are raised and lowered using a corded foot pedal that the therapist has to shuffle around the table as they treat the patient.

With the new tables, the mechanism to raise and lower is a bar, accessible from anywhere around the table, meaning the therapist won't trip over cords and can change the height without having to pause their treatment.

"These are the kinds of tables our students will be using at their clinical sites and in their future careers," said Mary Fisher, department chair and program director for the Department of Physical Therapy, "and it is exciting to be able to teach them on the latest equipment."

The new dynamometers provide an accurate and objective measure of force output, or strength. And the wireless ultrasound units allow students to learn to image soft tissues with just this small device and a cell phone or tablet. This is truly state of the art, as most traditional ultrasound units are large pieces of equipment on wheels. The hand-held ultrasound will enhance student learning in several ways. First, it will give our students a different perspective for learning anatomical structures. Second, it provides real time assessment of soft tissues allowing for unique objective muscle function measures. Finally, ultrasound can assist students and PTs with patient evaluation and can give us new insight into particular diagnoses or the need for additional medical testing.

Additionally, after a burst pipe caused water damage across a large area of the suite, new carpet has been laid in the hallway and a large classroom. The McCarthys' donation will also purchase new chairs for the classroom.

The new chairs will allow the space to be truly multipurpose, from lecture format to small group work. The classroom, which is also used by undergraduates in health science, can be rearranged to fit the needs of its current occupants. Each chair will have a foldable tablet arm to accommodate a laptop, notebook, or textbook. When it is not needed, the tablet arm will collapse and the chairs, which are on casters, will nest nicely into each other for compact storage.

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