• Interprofessional Peer-to-Peer Teaching

      Bonhotal, Susan; Kilbane, Janet; Seibert, Susan; Mason, Jessica; Bartek, Jennifer
      Focus: The purpose of this project was to promote interprofessional education by developing a relationship between first semester nursing students and second year Master’s level occupational therapy (MSOT) students as well as between first semester nursing students and first year dental hygiene students. The focus was implementation of peer-to-peer teaching. Interprofessional education is a universal means to facilitate relationships, develop collaboration, and promote communication between health care professionals. Context: First semester baccalaureate nursing in the Introduction to Professional Nursing course at a public university were introduced to interprofessional peer-to-peer teaching while learning basic nursing skills. Approach: Peer-to-peer teaching was endorsed by the Institute of Medicine (2003) as a method to improve the overall quality of health care. The project was implemented for basic nursing skills modules focusing on activity/immobility and oral hygiene. The MSOT students and dental hygiene students served as peer teachers, leaders, and role models, instructing and coaching 97 nursing students during two hour skills labs. MSOT students demonstrated and instructed activity and immobility skills including: gait belts, assisting patients out of bed, walking with crutches, walkers and canes, mechanical lifts, and transferring patients. The dental hygiene students demonstrated and instructed oral hygiene skills including brushing and flossing teeth. Results: The interprofessional peer-to-peer teaching was successfully implemented as noted by instructor observation of skill attainment and anecdotal narratives of student development of mutual respect for one another’s profession. Discussion: Faculty plan to continue the activity
    • Occupational Therapy/Respiratory Therapy Collaboration: Understanding Roles and Early Mobility Simulation

      Mason, Jessica; Arvin, Mary Kay; Delp, Jody; Morgan, Julie; Phy, Wesley; Mason, Jessica; Arvin, Mary Kay; Delp, Jody; Morgan, Julie; Phy, Wesley
      Topic/Problem Statement: Students enrolled in healthcare programs must learn to work collaboratively to best serve patients. Outside of one’s own profession, roles of additional team members may not be clearly understood. Occupational and respiratory therapists work collaboratively as part of early mobility teams in intensive care units. Students of identified programs need to learn each other’s roles and purpose to best work collaboratively within these teams. They must also learn to communicate effectively to ensure patient safety. Context: Occupational therapy students and respiratory students both presented on their roles and scope of practice to the other discipline. Additionally, handouts were created to aid each discipline in the practice of early mobility. Following the presentations, the students completed two early mobility simulation activities. From this experience, student outcomes involved role and scope of practice recognition, the benefits of interprofessional peer teaching, and identifying the components of interprofessional collaboration and teamwork. Approach: The occupational therapy profession will need to focus on interprofessional education in the classroom to be better prepared for evolving healthcare reform impacted by emerging areas of practice within the profession (Mroz, Pitonyak, Fogelberg, & Leland, 2015). The Institute of Medicine (2003) endorsed peer-to-peer teaching to better improve healthcare quality (Buring et al., 2009). The occupational therapy students presented to the respiratory therapy students the role of occupational therapy, importance of functional and early mobility, and how to perform a stand-pivot transfer. Next, respiratory therapy students presented the role of respiratory therapy, an overview of different types of oxygen equipment, and knowledge of oxygen parameters. All students then participated in two interprofessional simulation activities requiring teamwork to transfer a patient safely while maintaining all necessary equipment, monitoring vital signs, and assessing the patient appropriately. Reflection/Discussion: At the end of the simulation, students debriefed with occupational and respiratory therapy faculty and the standardized patient. Students voiced a better understanding of one another’s roles and scope of practice. They emphasized the need for teamwork and communication when working with any patient. Many students voiced learning from the other discipline during both the presentation and simulation. The students were asked to participate in a survey at the end of the debriefing focused on the peer teaching experience. Results indicate most students agreed the interprofessional activity will help with their therapy role in the future, was time and effort well spent, and that each discipline has a responsibility to teach others. Faculty plan to continue the interprofessional activity in the future. References: Buring, S. M., Bhushan, A., Broeseker, A., Conway, S., Duncan-Hewitt, W., Hansen, L., & Westberg, S. (2009). Interprofessional education: Definitions, student competencies, and guidelines for implementation. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 73(4), article 59. Mroz, T.M., Pitonyak, J.S., Fogelberg, D., & Leland, N.E. (2015). Health policy perspectives – Client centeredness and health reform: Key issues for occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69, 6905090010.  Retrieved from http://ajot.aota.org/article.aspx?articleid=2436567  
    • 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