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08-26-2016

Clarkson University Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Practice People Skills at Massage Clinic

Before Clarkson University Doctor of Physical Therapy students begin their first full-time clinical rotations this month, they had the opportunity to hone their massage skills on volunteers from the North Country.

DPT Massage ClinicMore than 100 people signed up for 150 massages during a three-day clinic run by DPT students.

Clarkson Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Leslie Russek said students have practiced giving massages to classmates, but it's not the same as working one-on-one with real clients with different personalities, cultures and needs.

Students learn about the resources needed to run the clinic as well as the safety issues of massages, including what to do different if someone has a condition such as diabetes or takes blood pressure medication.

Russek said while massages are a small part of physical therapy, the clinic provides students with invaluable opportunities to practice interpersonal skills. Besides the massage itself, students must learn how to create the schedule, work the front desk, welcome guests and provide the proper paperwork.

"I'm confident they have the skills, and now they get to put it all together," she said.

Doctor of physical therapy student John LaRue, of Liverpool, N.Y., said the students who ran the clinic are preparing for their first full-time clinical rotations, so this is a good opportunity for them to put into practice what they have learned in the program so far.

"From the front desk to the laundry, we're taking inventory and scheduling clients," he said. "It's really a student-run process from top-to-bottom."

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, New York, and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University Doctor of Physical Therapy student Megan Ryan, of Chazy, N.Y., gives a massage during the DPT student-run massage clinic. The clinic provides students with an opportunity to gain one-on-one experience with clients.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/dptclinic-2016.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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