New York Tech students on the Northwell Health Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Bus.


D.P.T. Students Offered Unique Training Experience

March 7, 2022

On February 18, Northwell Healthcare Systems’ mobile simulation bus rolled on to New York Tech’s Long Island campus to provide first-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) students a unique experience in safe patient handling and mobility.

“This innovative, hands-on training is especially important as this group of students prepare to enter their first clinical education experience later this spring,” said Michael Tautonico, D.P.T., assistant profess of physical therapy, who coordinated with Northwell to bring the new learning experience to students. He noted that the training, which simulates real-life hospital encounters, was enthusiastically supported by School of Health Professions Dean Gordon Schmidt, Ph.D., and Chair of Physical Therapy Cheryl Hall, D.H.Sc.

Northwell’s Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Bus is a mobile laboratory equipped with up-to-date equipment that duplicates an inpatient care setting. It expands to the size of a standard hospital room and contains a simulation lab. Mobility equipment such as total assist lifts, sit-to-stand devices, and lateral transfer devices were used to teach New York Tech’s students how to use equipment commonly found in inpatient settings.

The six-hour experience was led by two physical therapists from Northwell Health, Timothy Lee, D.P.T., and Erin DiCandia, D.P.T., who spent the day with the first-year cohort and provided instruction on patient care techniques and equipment commonly utilized to assist patients with functional skills, such as bed mobility and transfer activities and ambulation skills. Beyond encouraging safe mobility of patients, the training also helps decrease the risk of injury to clinicians caring for people in inpatient care environments. 

This article was contributed by Michael Tautonico, D.P.T.