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At Sutherland-Chan we are particularly proud of our Specialty Clinics. These are designated clinics that provide a variety of clinical experiences beyond what occurs in Student Clinic. Their mandate is to expand our students’ educational portfolio and to provide free or very low-cost massage therapy for patients with diverse physical and psychosocial needs. Held both on-site at the school and off-site at a variety of health care and institutional settings, Specialty Clinics greatly expand the scope of our students’ learning. Whether on the school premises or off-site at other locations, Specialty Clinic students always work under the guidance of one of our instructors – the student:instructor ratio is between 6:1 and 10:1, depending on the needs of the site and the complexity of patient care involved.
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Term 3 Specialty Clinics
Each Term 3 student must complete one rotation of a Specialty Clinic focused on working with senior citizens, and one in a hospital post-surgical unit.
On-site clinics include:
- S-C Seniors Clinic: This clinic is for seniors who are sufficiently physically and mentally healthy to come to appointments at the school. The focus is on ailments and health needs that are common in the senior population.
- Pregnancy Clinic: This clinic is part of the Term 3 Pregnancy Massage course, so it is technically not a Specialty Clinic. However, it is similar in that it provides a focused experience of treating pregnant women in any trimester and with the variety of discomforts and complaints common to pregnancy, in a supervised student clinic setting. All Term 3 students participate in Pregnancy Clinic.
If you are interested in booking an appointment in Seniors Clinic or Pregnancy Clinic, please call our Reception Coordinator at 416-924-1107 ext. 15.
Off-site seniors clinics include:
- The Annex (Spadina site)
- Loyola Arrupe Centre for Seniors
- St. Matthew’s Bracondale House
- Isabel and Arthur Meighan Manor
- Centre d’Accueil Héritage
These seniors’ residences are locations with which Sutherland-Chan has a long-term connection. Their residents range along the health and mobility spectrum and provide a variety of learning experiences for our Term 3 students.
The off-site hospital experience includes:
- University Health Network: Our students work at the Toronto General Hospital in Thoracic Surgery, OB/GYN and General Surgery. They provide treatments to hospital patients who have had a wide variety of surgical procedures within the past few days. A large focus of the clinic is managing post-surgical pain and becoming a part of the patient’s connection to his or her own healing and recovery processes.
Term 4 Specialty Clinics
The Specialty Clinic program is central to the Term 4 curriculum. All students must successfully complete a minimum of three different Specialty Clinics based on their personal goals and preferences.
On-site clinics include:
- MS Clinic: This clinic is for people with multiple sclerosis and focuses on their particular needs; for example, improving circulation and mobility, boosting energy and mood, improving sleep, reducing pain and improving everyday functions. Most are in wheelchairs or use ambulatory aids and need various types of treatment adaptation. Patients are usually referred to us through the MS Society, but this is not mandatory.
- CNS Clinic: CNS Clinic attracts a broad group of patients with neurological disorders, from more common ones such as Parkinsons, cerebral palsy and stroke to less frequently seen conditions like Friedrich’s ataxia and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Each case is different and students are challenged to assess and plan for their patients’ unique presentations.
- Breast Clinic: Most of this clinic’s clientele are women (and occasionally men) at various points in the breast cancer journey. They are seeking treatment of post-surgical and post-radiation tissue changes – usually for pain or reduced mobility. Some are immediately pre- or post-surgical or currently involved in medical treatment protocols, while others are more long-term survivors. The remaining patients represent a variety of treatment needs: non-cancer related rehabilitation and scar work, including for gender transition, implant problems, and relief of breast pain and congestion from various causes.
- Sports Clinic: This clinic provides its students the opportunity to work on an ongoing basis with athletes and the rehabilitation of athletic injuries. This clinic’s patients come from diverse backgrounds and engage in a wide variety of sports. Emphasis is placed on assessment and self care in addition to massage treatment.
If you would like to inquire about being a patient in any of the above clinics, please call our Reception Coordinator at 416-924-1107 ext. 15.
Off-site clinics include:
- Bellwoods Park House: Bellwoods is an assisted living facility for people with a variety of neurological conditions that include acquired brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, disabilities from birth like spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and progressive conditions like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. In addition to musculoskeletal issues, patients often have difficulties with vision or hearing loss, or communication and cognitive dysfunctions.
- Lyndhurst: The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute at Lyndhurst Hospital Spinal Cord Centre specializes in spinal cord injuries and dysfunctions. While most Lyndhurst patients have suffered a spinal cord injury, some have conditions resulting from tumours or other localized cord syndromes, while others may be recovering from Guillain-Barré Syndrome or West Nile Virus infection. Lyndhurst patients who receive massage therapy as part of Sutherland-Chan’s Specialty Clinic program are medically stabilized and engaged in recuperation and rehabilitation programs.
- Stroke Club: This Specialty Clinic takes place at Central Neighbourhood House, which operates a community-based program as part of a larger stroke support network. The patients present with a wide range of post-stroke neurological symptoms as well as requiring cardiovascular treatment adaptations. This clinic takes place in a large community space with the patients in wheelchairs or reclining chairs, so the student therapist encounters the challenges of working in a non-traditional set-up.
- 330 Jarvis: This Specialty Clinic provides an opportunity to work with patients who are living with HIV and/or AIDS – the patients represent a range of stages and presentations in the HIV spectrum. Treatments are given in the patients’ own apartments. In addition to HIV and related complications, some 330 Jarvis patients are also contending with addictions, mental health and poverty issues.
- Princess Margaret Hospital: Students of this Specialty Clinic are placed in the Palliative Care unit; they work with hospital patients dying of cancer who are no longer receiving cancer treatment. The unit is a 12-bed facility for patients receiving end-of-life care primarily focused on management of acute pain or other intense symptoms. Massage therapy is focused on safe ways of enhancing physical comfort and quality of life.
- Princess Margaret Lodge: Princess Margaret Hospital Lodge is a short-term residential facility for people who have traveled to Toronto from smaller communities to receive cancer treatments. This Specialty Clinic provides an incredible opportunity to plan massage treatments alongside a variety of medical procedures with the goal of providing physically and emotionally supportive care.
- Sunnybrook Hospital: This Specialty Clinic takes students into the High Risk Obstetrics unit where patients are hospitalized for various conditions that complicate their pregnancies. Massaging pregnant women in this setting offers different challenges from the “healthy, normal” pregnancies encountered in Term 3 Pregnancy Clinic. In addition to learning more about high-risk conditions in pregnancy, there are a number of logistical and treatment adaptation challenges, as well as opportunities to work alongside the medical team.