Title

Occupational Therapy Beyond Borders: Developing and Implementing an International OT Fieldwork Experience

Location

Room 218

Strand #1

Service/Programs - Higher Education

Strand #2

Service/Programs - General/Other

Relevance

Development and implementation of a sustainable global program is a focus of this conference. This poster outlines the process used to develop and implement a clinical experience within healthcare program in an underserved country.

This poster is very similar to the presentation submitted by the same authors, as both relate to the same global program. The poster will differ from the presentation as it will focus on visual documentation of the previous trips and experiences .

Brief Program Description

The millennial generation is the most globally connected generation to date. These students arrive on college campuses with international experiences and desire to continue interacting within the global community throughout their healthcare education. Higher education programs must recognize this and provide international experiences to further develop this generation of global citizens. This poster describes one healthcare program’s process of developing and implementing an international fieldwork experience.

Summary

International experiences are becoming increasingly popular

within occupational therapy as a strategy to enhance student

development, particularly in the area of cultural competence

(Lattazi & Pechak, 2011; Mu et al, 2013; Simonelis et al,

2011). As these experiences become increasingly popular within

the OT profession, academic programs are challenged to provide

students with fieldwork opportunities to develop such skills while

enrolled in the OT curriculum. The millennial OT student is

geared towards global connections and travel. Hence, OT

programs should embrace this openness by providing

international fieldwork experiences, which enhance student

development and cultural competence. This poster outlines one

program’s development and implementation of a culturally rich

OT international fieldwork experience.

In 2013, one occupational therapy program developed a fieldwork relationship

with a host facility in Kingston Jamaica . To date, four cohorts of Level

I fieldwork students and faculty have travelled to Jamaica and

provided services to the residents and caregivers of the host facility.

In this poster presentation the faculty who lead these trips will share their

experiences in developing and engaging in this international

educational opportunity. Valuable knowledge and lessons

learned will be shared including utilization of campus resources

for international travel and working with international customs

to bring medical supplies/equipment into an impoverished

country. The presenters will address preparatory activities

necessary to organize and implement such an educational

experience. The poster will also outline supervision and

feedback sessions during the weeklong trip to facilitate the

student learning process during the fieldwork experience. The

presenters will address the challenges associated with providing

services within a setting that has limited understanding of

occupational therapy or rehabilitation/habilitation services. The

cultural values and beliefs related to disability in the host

country will be presented as an essential component of the

international fieldwork experience. Program successes,

challenges and plans for future development including

opportunities for practicing clinicians will also be discussed.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr Sharon Swift is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Georgia Regents University. She is the Director of Student Affairs and Alumni Relations and also serves as the International Fieldwork Director. Dr Swift earned a Bachelors of Science in Special Education at University of South Florida and taught as a special education teacher in Tampa, Florida. She earned a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Occupational Therapy and a Master of Science in Healthcare at Eastern Kentucky University. She is a 2012 graduate of Georgia Southern where she earned her Educational Doctorate in Education Administration. Dr Swift serves on the Executive Board of Lynndale, a community day program and on the Augusta Adaptive Sports Council.

Dr Pamalyn Kearney is an Associate Professor and Program Director of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Georgia Regents University. Dr Kearney received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University and her Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Widener University. She is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist through the National Association of Home Builders and serves on the Roster of Accreditation Evaluators for the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

Keyword Descriptors

global service, international service, international program development, healthcare service

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

9-18-2015 2:15 PM

End Date

9-18-2015 3:15 PM

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Sep 18th, 2:15 PM Sep 18th, 3:15 PM

Occupational Therapy Beyond Borders: Developing and Implementing an International OT Fieldwork Experience

Room 218

The millennial generation is the most globally connected generation to date. These students arrive on college campuses with international experiences and desire to continue interacting within the global community throughout their healthcare education. Higher education programs must recognize this and provide international experiences to further develop this generation of global citizens. This poster describes one healthcare program’s process of developing and implementing an international fieldwork experience.