On the road to recovery with a car simulator

Last Modified: 11/01/2019

Car simulator

Whether you sustained an injury or are working to bounce back postoperatively, the road to recovery can be a challenging one. The smallest task can seem insurmountable. Learning to function in a “new normal” will take time as you progress through rehabilitation. Fortunately, the occupational therapy department at Parkview Ortho Hospital is equipped to support and aid patients in reaching their goals while teaching the necessary skills for a healthy recovery. The car simulator is just one of the many devices therapists can utilize when working with a patient.

What is the car simulator?

The car simulator is a realistic mock-up of the anterior half of a vehicle. The therapists at Parkview Ortho Hospital have been using this innovative rehabilitation for several years. Originally, the vehicle was unpainted but recently received a well-deserved makeover. With a newly painted wrap and top of the line hydraulic lift added to the underbody, the car now allows patients the ability to practice entering and exiting at the true height of their own personal vehicle.

Who utilizes the simulator?

At Parkview Ortho Hospital, the simulation is primarily used for patients who are rehabilitating after an orthopedic surgery. Postoperative patients often have activity and movement restrictions, which is why the simulation car is essential in prepping for their return to driving.

Why is car simulation specifically important?

The simulator is an invaluable tool because it allows patients and their families to understand their new range of motion while still adhering to any restrictions the patient may have. Since operating a vehicle is a necessity in most people's lives, having the simulator helps them learn to perform the activity safely.

Using the car simulator, occupational therapists can effectively instruct patients how to maneuver in and out of their vehicle in a safe and controlled environment while maintaining their postoperative precautions. The simulation experience gives an accurate depiction of what someone can expect once their rehabilitation has ended.

It’s true, simulation is not a new idea, but in rehabilitative settings, it certainly is a vital one. With a newly installed hydraulic lift and fresh paint job, Parkview Ortho Hospital’s simulator car truly delivers. Its enhanced functionality allows therapists the opportunity to expand on already exceptional patient care while awarding patients with a feeling of confidence and preparedness as they return to their daily lives.

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