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SIU patients push the boundaries with plug and practice VR

17 May 2024

Patients at PA Hospital’s Spinal Injuries Unit now have access to virtual reality headsets that are allowing them to take their rehabilitation workouts up a notch.

Occupational Therapists participated in a ‘Plug and Practise’ session to familiarise with the equipment which will assist patients to improve physical fitness, dexterity, hand-eye coordination in the context of their spinal injury and most of all, give them a virtual experience outside of the ward.

Senior Leisure Therapist in SIU, Kate Martin said the new and innovative tech equipment is all about motivating patients with more options over their long stay. 

“Our patients set goals for their rehab which include things like improving hand function so they can attend to self-cares and feeding, leisure activities, and discharge home which may be to an environment with more obstacles to navigate,” Kate said. 

“One of our patients is a big fan of the equipment given his active background living on a farm.” 

Differing levels of injury and grip strength are key challenges for patients with the occupational therapy team helping to overcome barriers so that all patients can see some improvements through use of the equipment. 

“Our patient has been struggling to innovate his trunk and build control. With the headset on, he is getting trunk control and awareness by default with incidental and reflexive movements which is really helping him achieve his goals on the way to getting home to his family.” 

With boxing workouts, wizard-waltz, and connections practise, the options are proving to get patients (and staff) excited about their progress in rehabilitation… or at the very least, a trip to a magical place where visual sparks fly out of their fingers as they embrace their inner wizard.

Last updated 17 May 2024
Last reviewed 17 May 2024

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