• Dental Hygiene and Occupational Therapy: Working Together to Improve Oral Care

      Dishman, Karen; Coan, Lorinda
      The purpose of this quality improvement project is to determine the effectiveness and student satisfaction following a virtual interprofessional learning module between dental hygiene and occupational therapy students. Will a virtual interprofessional experience (IPE) learning module between dental hygiene and occupational therapy students improve student’s interprofessional teamwork skills and knowledge, and provide student satisfaction with their IPE learning experience? The Triple Aim and more preventive focus on systemic health resulted in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This medical focus improves public health, patient experiences, and controls costs. 1 This led to a medical-dental integration (MDI) model whereby medical and dental systems are linked to support patients and remove treatment barriers. 2 Based on IPCP concepts; it requires IPE- providing curricular experiences readying students for collaborative practice. Lack of IPE experiences contributes to misinformation about qualifications and scope-of-practice of other providers, influences interactions with other disciplines and self-perceptions as professionals. 3 Amended dental hygiene accreditation standard 2-15 requires including IPE within curricula. 4 A virtual interprofessional learning module was implemented with 30 occupational therapy students and 23 dental hygiene students from September-December 2020. Students were asked to complete the SPICE-R2 instrument and additional five questions both prior to and after completing the IPE virtual module to determine the module’s effectiveness and student satisfaction. Voluntary surveys were distributed through Qualtrics and displayed the informed consent letter. Each survey took no more than 10 minutes to complete. Data collected will be used to determine future implementation of virtual interprofessional activities and will be used to share with other educators in dissemination through articles, presentations and posters. How did the implemented strategy impact student learning or academic success? Results revealed improvement in student understanding of professional criteria and in interactions with other providers. See student quotes below: Combining various fields of thought can bring about new ideas as well as solutions to the issues faced by a client. With this newly obtained aspect on client-centered care, we can now look at clients in more than one selective view. Moving forward, we will apply what we learned about communication to future IPE experiences to provide collaborative care to our patients. What are the findings related to student learning and success or your teaching practice? All students completed the IPE simulation requirements successfully. Showed improvement in all pre/post survey questions. What were the unexpected outcomes and lessons learned? Student reported surprise in the level of similarity between professional curricula. Students were impressed by the depth of knowledge in each other’s professional skill set. How might others apply, adapt, or extend what you have done to address student learning or academic success in their teaching practice? Follow up experiences allowing live interactions in the community. Utilization of a standardized patient. Focus on providing detailed procedural instructions. References Beasley C. The Triple Aim. Optimizing health, care, and cost. Health Exec 2009 Jan-Feb;24(1):64-6. World Health Organization. Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2010; [cited 2020 Dec 15] Available from: http://www.who.int/hrh/resources/framework_action/en/ Ateah CA, Snow W, Wener P, et al. Stereotyping as a barrier to collaboration: does interprofessional education make a difference? Nurse Educ Today. 2011 Feb; 31(2):208-13. American Dental Association. Accreditation standards for dental hygiene education programs. [Internet] Chicago: Commission on Dental Accreditation. c2019 [cited 2020 Dec 15]. Available from: https://www.ada.org/~/media/CODA/Files/2019_dental_hygiene_standards.pdf?la=en
    • Service-Learning: Perspectives of Assistive Technology for Participation in Unified Games

      Dishman, Karen; Mason, Jessica
      Topic/Problem Statement: Understanding the significance of occupation is a necessary concept occupational therapy (OT) students must understand while in the didactic years of academic education. There is limited research within the profession investigating teaching occupation to students (Krishnagiri, Hooper, Price, Taff, & Bilics, 2019). The purpose of this research was to explore perceptions of OT students regarding a service-learning project. The project involved creating assistive technology (AT) to increase student participation in occupations at their unified games. Context: Special education staff from the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) contacted OT faculty with the need to increase participation for students with severe physical and/or cognitive disabilities in their unified games. Through collaboration with both parties, a service-learning opportunity was developed for OT students to create assistive technology projects for students with severe physical and/or cognitive disabilities to increase their participation in various activities involved in the occupations of play and leisure. Grounding: Occupational therapy educators need to understand the impact curriculum has on student perception and learning (Gitlow & Flecky, 2005). Gitlow and Flecky (2005) report students agreed that their participation in service learning helped them apply course content to occupational therapy practice (p. 550). It is imperative students in occupational therapy programs not only understand concepts underlying occupational therapy practice but also how to apply these concepts in a practice setting. Participating in service-learning activities increases students knowledge of disabilities and accessibility awareness and helps to define the role of advocacy (Gitlow & Flecky, 2005). Approach: Second year OT students developed assistive technology for EVSC students with severe physical and/or cognitive disabilities to use to increase active participation. The AT prototypes were trialed with the EVSC students during adaptive physical education class with first year OT students present also. After the trial of the AT prototypes, second year OT students made any necessary revisions to the AT equipment. The first year OT students implemented the AT equipment with the EVSC students during the unified games event. First- and second-year OT students then completed an IRB approved questionnaire about the service-learning experience. Reflection/Discussion: Fifty-nine students participated in the IRB approved study. Results indicated that 63.89% (n=46) of participants strongly agree that the community service aspect of the project helped them to see how the subject matter can be used in everyday life. When participants were asked if the service provided through this course benefited the community, 73.61% (n=53) strongly agreed. 63.89% (n=46) strongly agree and 15.28% (n=11) agree the community service aspect of this activity helped to develop problem-solving skills compared to 2.78% (n=2) were not sure. 61.11% (n=44) of participants strongly agree and 20.83% (n=15) agree they can make a difference in their community. Survey results indicate that most students believed this project helped them become more comfortable working with people different from themselves. All participants agreed that service-learning should be incorporated into more OT classes. OT faculty plan to explore incorporating more service-learning activities into the curriculum in the future. References: Gitlow, L., & Flecky, K. (2005). Integrating disability studies concepts into occupational therapy education using service learning. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 59, 546-553. Krishnagiri, S., Hooper, B., Price, P., Taff, S. D., & Bilics, A. (2019). A national survey of learning activities and instructional strategies used to teach occupation: Implications for signature pedagogies. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73, 7305205080. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.032789
    • USI OT/OTA Toy Accessibility Project

      Mason, Jessica; Dishman, Karen; Arvin, Mary Kay
      Topic/Problem Statement: The role of an occupational therapy professional is to ensure that individuals can participate in daily life activities. Play is the work of children. All children grow and develop from play experiences. For some children with disabilities, participation in play can be limited due to physical and/or cognitive deficits. Children with disabilities can utilize switch-operated toys to more easily engage in play. The occupational therapy (OT) and occupational therapy assistant (OTA) programs decided to work together to modify toys for children with disabilities in our community as a service learning activity. Context: Occupational therapy students and occupational therapy assistant students make up the USI Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA). The SOTA program applied and received the USI Endeavor Grant in the fall of 2018. The grant was written by two OT students, one OTA student, and two OT faculty members. The funds from the grant will allow students to learn how to adapt battery operated items using switches. Students will be able to use this skill in future professional occupational therapy practice. Approach: According to Hamm (2005), play experiences provide children with practice for skills that they require in adult life. Children learn from interactions with peers through play. The OT and OTA students received education and training on modifying a battery-operated plush toy into a switch operated toy. The process for adapting the toys was provided by the robotics program at Ivy Tech. This process included learning how a simple electrical circuit works, evaluating the toy, splicing together wires, and connecting the switch to the toy.  Toys were presented to the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation and Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center during December and January. A total of 50 toys were switch adapted by the OT and OTA students. Reflection/Discussion: After the toy adaptation sessions were completed, OT and OTA students were asked to participate in an IRB approved research study regarding the service learning experience.  Results indicated most students believed this activity helped them make a difference and become more aware of the needs in the community. A majority of the OT and OTA students also reported this activity reinforced problem-solving skills and critical thinking.  The OT and OTA students will present the outcomes of the project at the USI Endeavor Symposium in April 2019. References: Hamm, E. M., Mistrett, S. G., & Ruffino, A.G. (2005). Play outcomes and satisfaction with toys and technology of young children with special needs. Journal of Special Education Technology, 21(1), 29-35. Doi:10.1177/016264340602100103