Using the TRAM for Safe Transfers and Mobility in the School Setting

Terri Goebel, PT, Kellie Ray, ESE Teacher and Tara Wayland, OTR/L | March 2018

A young boy uses the rifton tram for safe transfers to standing and ambulation over the carpet of the gym.Our team of therapists and educators works together to provide opportunities for functional mobility to our students throughout the school day.The challenges we face include a variety of health diagnoses, behavioral management issues, and cognitive and physical deficits. These situations require team problem solving for safe and efficient physical management of the student while maximizing participation in school and community activities.

The Rifton TRAM has solved many of these issues in a number of cases, most recently with an eight year old student with a diagnosis of seizure disorder and intellectual disabilities. His seizure condition results in extreme variance of his ambulatory capabilities including balance, body awareness and postural control. Due to his weight (over 120 lbs) he requires up to three people to be transferred safely from his wheelchair to the Activity chair, changing table or gait trainer.

The TRAM allows us to safely perform transfers with just one staff person. It also provides him with safe, independent, self-directed mobility during his school day when used as a gait trainer.With the TRAM, staff can assist practice of sit-to-stand transitions in a safe, secure manner. This piece of equipment has been a valuable addition to our school based practice, benefitting student and staff alike.

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