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New equipment a step in the right direction for Pictou County physiotherapy patients

Jan 5, 2023

Home 5 News 5 New equipment a step in the right direction for Pictou County physiotherapy patients

Beth Gillis, Aberdeen Hospital physiotherapist, shows the Nustep in action. This recumbent stepper, purchased with funding from the Aberdeen Health Foundation, uses both arms and legs for a full body workout. Attachments for the thigh and hand allow stroke patients with mobility limitations to make use of the equipment.

A popular new piece of equipment at Aberdeen Hospital is offering patients a new low-impact exercise opportunity.

“Essentially, the Nustep is a type of recumbent stepper which uses both arms and legs, so it offers a full body workout, where an exercise bike would only work the legs,” says Beth Gillis, physiotherapist at Aberdeen Hospital with over 37 years of experience in her field. “The Nustep also offers attachments for the thigh and hand so, for example, a stroke patient can make use of the equipment without requiring function in both lower extremities.”
The recumbent stepper is already making a difference to stroke patients, according to Tanya MacDonald, health services manager of Rehabilitation Services at Aberdeen Hospital, Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital, Orthopedic and Orthopedic Assessment clinics. “Patients with a loss of movement on one side have support to use both arms and legs on this machine, and with a mirror it can be a very powerful treatment for the brain in recovery from strokes. The whole team enjoys using it and finds it’s a great tool to help patients gain strength and conditioning.”
Other variations of recumbent steppers were previously accessible in Pictou County at the Restorative Care Unit at Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital and the Orthopedic Assessment Clinic, with staff and patients reporting positive impacts. The purchase of the Nustep, made possible with funding from the Aberdeen Health Foundation, is the first time this equipment is available for patients at Aberdeen Hospital.
“The patients using the Nustep are remarking how much they enjoy the equipment and have progressed from initial five to 10-minute long sessions to over 35 minutes, at which time we need to take them off so another patient can use it,” Gillis says, when asked what the initial response to the new machine has been. “We’ve had the Nustep for a few months and we now need to book the equipment in advance as all staff are using it with their patients.”
The Aberdeen Health Foundation recently provided the hospital with funding for the purchase of two Sara Stedy lift transfers, which aid staff in transferring patients safely and with ease. “The Aberdeen Health Foundation is such a valuable asset for equipment purchases,” says Gillis. “As we know, money is tight in our health care system, and although these are valuable pieces of equipment for us and our patients, they may not make it to the top of a priority list. We’re so thankful for the Aberdeen Health Foundation for their financial support in the purchase of equipment which enhances patient care and staff safety.”