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Teaching Independent Transfers for Spinal Cord Injury

presented by Jennifer Hastings

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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In this course Jennifer Hastings explores all aspects of transfers, including how transfer techniques seriously affect the lives of our patients and the importance of learning a technique that allows for an efficient and easy process. The course outlines a review of the key musculature being used during transfers and what specific roles they play. Through demonstrations with spinal cord injury patients and student therapists, gain insight into how to teach different and unique transfers, as well as what cues to watch for in your patients during transfer.

Meet Your Instructor

Jennifer Hastings, PT, PhD, NCS

Dr. Hastings began teaching in 1995 and has maintained clinical practice since earning her PT license working throughout the spectrum of neurologic care (ICU through outpatient and home health). Dr. Hastings is responsible for the adult neurologic rehabilitation content in the curriculum. She is expert in spinal cord injury management, wheelchair prescription and seating systems,…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Why is it Important to Teach How to Teach Transfers?

Understand how poor transfer technique can compromise upper extremity musculoskeletal health. Describe how marginal transfer skills can compromise life participation (ICF). Argue the importance of learning a technique that allows transfers to be easy and efficient and automatic.

2. SCI Motor Levels and Transfer Ability

Describe the key muscles of transfers. Explain why triceps should not be considered a key transfer muscle. Describe the significance of the C6 myotome function for transfer ability.

3. Motor Learning Foundations for Transfer Training

List the principles of motor learning theory and how this relates to new skill acquisition after SCI. Explain the importance of learning appropriate technique in early post injury timeframe. Describe the problems presented by maladaptive learning.

4. The Mechanics of a Sit Pivot Transfer

Explain the leverage and fulcrum of the mechanically assisted transfer technique. Describe the essential characteristics of proper pre transfer positioning. Be able to correct misplacement of hands, feet or buttock in pre transfer positioning.

5. The Therapists’ Role in Training Transfers – Hands on Facilitation of Motor Learning

Explain the importance of the kinesthetic experience of the proper movement. Describe proper therapists contact for manual cues. Recognize misplaced manual contacts and common pre transfer positioning errors (of therapist).

6. Transfer Progressions

Defend the use of a transfer board as a late option for specific transfers rather than an early teaching tool. Recognize the ‘hardest part’ of an independent sit pivot transfer and how to progress toward mastery. Sort common transfers into ordered progression of difficulty.

7. Modifications for Common Challenging Environments

Restate the essential elements in pre transfer positioning to enable transfer success. Analyze a transfer situation and determine 1-2 options for modification to allow transfer success.