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Exercise Site Support, Living Well with a Chronic Condition - Alberta Health Services

KNES 441-443-445 – PRACTICUM COURSE

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Practicum Position Title: Exercise Site Support

# of Positions Available: 2

Industry/Company Description: Living Well with a Chronic Condition is an Alberta Health Services program for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, chronic lung disease, chronic pain and other long term illnesses. http://www.calgaryhealthregion.ca/programs/cdm/living_with_a_chronic_condition/livingwell.htm

Location: Varies

Required Hours/Week: 60-72 Hours/term (5-6 hours/week).  Hours need to be evenly dispersed throughout 13-week term.

Terms:  Fall and Winter Terms only

Project Objectives/Goals:

  • Gain experience working with patients with chronic disease in a group exercise setting
  • Complete patient interview and assessment including all applicable outcomes measures, interpretation of results and exercise prescription and provide exercise counselling during the patients group exercise class

Student Accountabilities/Duties:  (ALSO SEE NEXT PAGE)

  • Attend Living Well Exercise Orientation Intake Session
  • Participate in development, implementation and evaluation of appropriate exercise therapy based on patient history, patient goals and preferences and performance in exercise tolerance testing in consultation with other health care professionals as required 
  • Assist patients with pre/post exercise class measurements including blood sugar, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, RPE, and completion of exercise logs
  • Help monitor patient exercise performance, technique, symptoms and progression 
  • Research an exercise and health related “special topic” and present to exercise class participants (10-15 minutes)
  • Complete approved Exercise Site Support project

Required Student Qualifications:

  • Current CPR Certificate
  • KNES 433 an asset
  • Working toward CPT-CEP certification( hours accumulated will count toward future certification)
  • Criminal record check necessary
  • Up-to-date vaccinations necessary

On-Site Supervisor:  --- Please contact directly for an interview …

Colin Kay - colin.kay@albertahealthservices.ca


Welcome to the Living Well with a Chronic Condition program!

The Living Well with a Chronic Condition program is an Alberta Health Services program for people living with various chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and chronic lung disease, to name a few.  Specifically, our program is based on the concept of self-management and is designed to teach participants how to better manage their health, using exercise and physical activity in a safe and appropriate manner.  Participants attend our program for eight weeks and will learn some of the basic principles of exercise and how to incorporate them into an exercise program that suits their needs and abilities.  Our team consists of various health care professionals, including kinesiologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, dieticians and social workers.

In order to better serve our participants, we have designed three different “levels” of classes, which are primarily based on functional abilities.  These three levels are briefly summarized below.

  • Easy Going - this level is for participants that have significantly limiting symptoms or balance issues.  Typical conditions that are seen at this level include, but are not limited to, fibromyalgia, MS, stroke, and arthritis.  The emphasis of this class is on improving basic movement abilities, strength, balance and flexibility.
  • Get Going – this level is for participants that have moderately limiting symptoms, whether they are muscular, pulmonary, or cardiac in nature.  The typical conditions that are seen at this level include, but are not limited to, COPD and coronary artery disease.  A primary goal of this class is to improve the function of the cardiopulmonary system and increase energy levels, with a secondary focus on strength, flexibility and balance.
  • Keep Going – this level is for participants with very few, if any, limiting symptoms.  The typical conditions that are seen at this level include, but are not limited to, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia.  This class moves at a faster and more advanced pace than the other two levels and emphasizes cardio, strength, balance and flexibility.

As a practicum student with the Living Well program, you will gain experience working with all three levels of our program.  The over-arching goal of your practicum will be on applying the principles of exercise physiology to various patient populations.  More specifically, you will learn how to complete a patient interview and assessment, prescribe exercise, supervise and counsel participants during a group exercise class, and develop your clinical skills.  You will also be given the opportunity to teach certain aspects of class, observe and work with other disciplines, follow a participant during their 8 week program, and complete a mini-project or presentation. 

We are happy you chose to complete your placement with us and hope to provide you with a positive practicum experience!  If you have any additional questions about the program and/or your role, don’t hesitate to ask your site supervisor.

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