Training in LTC homes gives occupational therapy students important transferable skills

Fleming College instructor Jeanette Boersma (standing, far left) is seen here with some of her occupational therapy students and physiotherapist assistant Jody Harris.

Better communication and learning how to work with people with a broad range of abilities are some of the skills Fleming College students are perfecting at Riverview Manor

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Enhanced communication skills and experience working with people who have a broad range of physical and cognitive abilities – these are some of the key benefits Fleming College occupational therapy students are reaping through a nine-week placement at Riverview Manor, says their instructor, Jeanette Boersma.

For more than 10 years, students from Fleming’s occupational therapist assistant and physiotherapist assistant program have been working with the Peterborough long-term care home’s residents and physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants to build their skill sets.

“All those skills they learn here are skills they can bring to any workplace,” Jeanette tells The OMNIway.

“They are the kind of transferable skills that will benefit them, no matter what kind of work environment they end up in.”

Occupational therapy, Jeanette notes, is an extremely varied profession. Therapists work in people’s homes and in hospitals. They work with adults and children. Skills such as communication, relationship building, professionalism and working with people who have abroad range of abilities can all be used no matter which discipline they pursue.

Taylor Sayyea is one of the students currently training at Riverview Manor. Taylor says the placement at Riverview Manor has been a “great experience” for her and that she’s learning a lot by working with residents.

“I’ve learned a lot of different things, like applying splints and just anything that we can really take on,” she says.

“I have learned so much from Jeanette about stretching to help improve (the residents’) range of motion and help with their quality of life.”

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