Athletic Therapy Centre stretches its arms to all



For those looking to rehabilitate injuries or ease physical discomfort on a student budget, a sanctuary exists.

The Athletic Therapy Centre at the Davis campus has been reopened for the 2014-15 school year and offers inexpensive physical treatment services for students, faculty and the general public alike administered by fourth-year Athletic Therapy students.

“We’re not technically a student service,” said clinic director Amanda Halls, adding that students pay $15 for their first two visits. “But after that their treatments are free. Plus, the two first visits are reimbursed through the ‘I have a plan’ [health] plan.”

So basically, with a little paperwork, it’s free to students.

The 38-year-old Halls is an Athletic Therapy lab technologist, and she regulates the lifeblood of the facility. From helping the fourth-years stay on track with a patient’s plan, or reviewing appointment schedules made by the second-years, she does it all.

She believes the success of the clinic hinges directly on the successes of the Athletic Therapy program in the past, and the reputation they’ve gained because of it.

“We were the first [school] to be accredited by the Canadian Athletic Therapist Association, so we were the place to come,” she said in regards to their impressive reputation. “We still pump out the best product. Our students are really good.”

Part of the reason they’re so good is because of staff members like Nicole Difilippo.

Difilippo is the clinic manager and a stabilizing force in the facility who performs daily managerial responsibilities alongside Halls. She has seen the clinic develop over the years, as she was a student in the first class to run the clinic since moving it from the Trafalgar campus in 2008.

“Our program started off as a diploma, and it’s progressed to a degree [since 2007]. So the clinic has changed and grown as the program’s grown,” said the 28-year-old Athletic Therapy lab technologist.

Difilippo says there is a substantial number of Sheridan graduates currently positioned in the Athletic Therapy field. Whether it’s working for the Blue Jays, Canada Basketball or the National Ballet,
Sheridan’s brand is consistently recognized.

If their regularity of success alone doesn’t promise enough merit, the activities they perform daily are impressive. Students are required to deliver detailed analysis, scrupulous critical thinking and efficient solution application for each patient they assist.

“We come in at 2 p.m. and look over our charts to see what clients we have for the day and what we’re going to be treating,” said 26-year-old Jordan Brown, who’s one of the fourth-year students currently running the clinic.

After a brief meet and greet in which the patient’s physical ailments are discussed, the students then run an initial test on the patient and prepare three possible reasons as to what might be causing their pain. From there, they run further tests to determine which of the three options pertain to the situation.

Once the root of the problem is identified, the students then prepare a rehabilitation plan consisting of stretches and exercises that can be practised by the patient at home or at the clinic. After a few appointments, the students can then fully grasp what’s working and what isn’t and tailor changes where they deem appropriate.

They even receive post-operation patients who have been referred to the clinic by their surgeon. In these instances, protocols from surgeons detailing their expectation of the patient’s recovery are followed very closely when organizing a rehabilitation plan to make sure the patient is “hitting their gains,” according to Difilippo.

So what’s it like to be a patient?

“You’re getting all the state-of-the-art equipment and receiving proper techniques that students are learning. It’s not something that’s outdated, this is the forefront,” said Sheridan Health Centre nurse Tracy O’Donnell, before playfully adding: “I benefit from it.”

The clinic is open at room H118 at the Davis campus from Monday to Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Appointments can be made at 905-459-7533, extension 5033.