Students from the New Vision Medical Careers Program at Geneva General Hospital (GGH) have recently completed a service project where they refurbished the hospital’s wheelchairs in need of repair.
Seventeen area high school seniors from five area school districts who rotate through more than 20 departments across the hospital, noted when on the Transport rotation that more wheelchairs could increase efficiency at GGH. With the hospital at surge capacity level with a higher number of inpatients and emergency department patients, the New Vision students on acute care units with limited wheelchairs available when needed. Students were aware that there were some wheelchairs in various stages of repair being stored in long-term care.
They took the critical step to repurpose as many of the existing wheelchairs as possible for use with patients and residents. They worked with biomedical services and facilities to assess the chairs, perform “triage” and repair chairs for use.
For the project, the students triaged 73 out-of-use wheel chairs, completed assessments, repairs, and had them reviewed/approved for use by a qualified FLH technician. Ultimately, they were able to repurpose 22 wheelchairs (13 regular and 9 extra wide) chairs. They identified 3 more that can be put into service with technician support, and 10 specialized chairs for use. They also categorized and organized parts of the other incomplete wheelchairs.
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