Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vol State Students Use PTA Skills in Guatemala

Vol State students travel the globe during Spring Break, some for travel-study experiences and some for service learning projects. Here is a blog post from a group in Guatemala this week:

Four students from the 2012 Vol State Physical Therapist Assistant class are currently traveling in Guatemala on a service learning trip. Caroline Hutchinson, Katy Jones, Hannah Kirk and Jaymi Mick, along with Program Director Carolyn Moore, are partnering with Physical and Occupational Therapy students and faculty from Belmont University to provide rehabilitation services to children in impoverished communities surrounding Guatemala City. We are also in partnership with The Shalom Foundation (, the non profit organization who is coordinating our trip.

We arrived on Sunday, March 4th. So far, we have visited the community of Las Conchas where we made home visits to educate the community about an upcoming free medical clinic and collect anthropometric data at the local school to provide a baseline to track the success of a recently established feeding program. Next, we visited Hope for Tomorrow Children's Home to administer screening tests for motor proficiency and assess other children with various diagnoses, including cerebral palsy. Today we visited the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center founded by The Shalom Foundation. Earlier in the week, one of our translators informed us that her brother has spina bifida and wanted some recommendations regarding his care. We assessed him, provided a home exercise program, and showed the mother proper stretching techniques. Shalom Foundation has agreed to connect the family with a social worker who will provide him with appropriate orthotics.

Tomorrow we will assist a Physical Therapist in home visits in Tecpan. We are thoroughly enjoying our time together in Guatemala and are learning a great deal about treating the pediatric population in a situation where such care is not normally available. We are thankful for this opportunity and we look forward to updating you again in a few days.

-PTA Guatemala Team, Carolyn, Katy, Hannah, Jaymi and Caroline

Volunteer State Community College


Nitin said...

Way to spread the impact of our profession around the world! See you all in May. -Nitin

Brian Bloomfield said...

That is incredible. What a fantastic way to apply your skills to help mankind in different areas of the globe.