Wheelchair Skills Training: a Workshop for Student Nurses

R. Lee Kirby, MD, Cynthia Barkhouse-MacKeen, MSc, Cher Smith, BScOT

Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine (Kirby) and School of Nursing (Barkhouse-MacKeen), Dalhousie University; and Department of Occupational Therapy (Smith), Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


The objective of this pilot study was to design, implement and assess a wheelchair educational experience for nursing students. We studied 123 2nd year nursing students. Each of 5 groups received a 2.5hr workshop that included hands-on experience learning wheelchair skills. This was conducted in a rotational basis, using 6 15-minute stations. Following the workshop, the students completed a brief questionnaire asking them to rate the experience, using a 5-point Likert scale. The mean scores ranged from 4.74 to 4.96 of a possible 1.00-5.00. The experience proved to be surprisingly feasible and the School of Nursing plans to make this an annual event.


wheelchair; nursing; training; motor skills

Correspondence to:

Dr. R.L. Kirby, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre Site, 1341 Summer Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4K4. E-mail: kirby@dal.ca.