TCC Offers Free Physical Therapy By Training Students

Friday, November 11th 2022, 5:25 pm


A group of college students training to be physical therapists are getting a chance to use their skills before they graduate.

Medical costs can be a huge expense for many families. That's why Tulsa Community College is offering free physical therapy services for people in the Tulsa area who need help.

The Nate Waters Physical Therapy Clinic is one of the few places in the U.S. that has its own indwelling pro bono physical therapy clinic.

Physical therapy assistant student, Danny Joyce, said he sees an average of three to five patients per week when he's not in classes.

"We probably have about four or five hours worth of classes and then we get to choose different patients that we come see so at least we have a variety of different experiences," Joyce said.

Eric Ridge suffered a stroke in 2019, which caused him to be unable to walk or talk.

Joyce said Ridge has made significant improvement since he started therapy two years ago.

"Being able to see his progression from not really talking and just kind of shaking his head, to now almost having full sentences," Joyce said.

Melanie Heffington has worked at TCC for eight years.

She said one of the unique aspects about the program is how patients and students develop strong relationships, which allows the patients to be secondary instructor.

"It's really wonderful for us to be able to help people without health insurance or who have exceeded their Medicare dollars or have a really high physical therapy co-pay, to come to us and work alongside the faculty and our students while they're leaning. But still receive physical therapy care to help them return back to their life roles,” Heffington said.

To find out more about this program, click here to visit TCC's website.


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