The students from Brother Tarcisius Prosthetic and Orthotic Training College went on a field trip Thursday to visit the Prosthetic and Orthotic Facility at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Koforidua. The visit was primarily to see how Prosthetics and Orthotics are carried out at a hospital, compared to an out-patient setting.
St. Joseph’s we were told is mainly an Orthopaedic and Trauma Hospital. It has 200 beds and is owned and operated by the Brothers of Saint John of God. They have a new Orthopedic Building which was opened in 2010. We were given a tour of the entire facility. Each Department told us how they fit into the scheme of the entire treatment plan for patient care.
Then we were allowed to see some patients in the Orthopedic Building who were mostly victims of Trauma. There were 3 amputee’s who spoke with us about their recovery and plans for a prosthesis. The Physio Therapy Department was very active while we visited it. All forms of Therapy were occurring. Amputees were receiving gait instruction. Stroke victims were receiving muscle strengthening and retraining, and others were receiving electro-therapy treatments. We realized how an intervention with a more modern approach to amputation surgery such as a Immediate Post- Operative Fitting Prosthesis would benefit the trauma amputees. The ready accessibility to Physio and a well-trained Prosthetist would also greatly enhance the rehabilitation for this type of patient.
We visited the Orthotic and Prosthetic Department which was our main reason for going to St. Joseph’s. It was very informative. We were surprised to see so many of the tools and machines used at OTC in use there. In fact there facility is as well-equipped as the OTC. They have a large oven. A large band saw, a well-equipped router and sewing machines. A M.I.G. welder and all the necessary hand tools and machinery to perform Orthotic and Prosthetic and Pedorthtic work.
The ability to see how and why Prosthetics and Orthotics contributes to the rehabilitation of the in-patient, right from the acute stage of care, was demonstrated to the students. It helped give them a sense of understanding and importance of the role they will perform in the treatment of P & O clients in the near future.