A cohort of support | Marquette Today – Marquette Today

The inaugural Occupational Therapy graduating class

Dr. Kailee Schraepfer, OT ’23, says when she was trying to find the suitable slot in a medical skilled program, she skilled a scarcity of interpersonal reference to many faculties she interviewed.

“At Marquette, I rapidly realized that they needed to get to know who I’m as an individual,” Schraepfer recollects.

That modified in 2019 when she met the school in Marquette’s Occupational Remedy program.

“My first encounter with the school made me really feel proper at residence throughout my admissions interview,” Schraepfer says. “The interview was laid again and welcoming. The school drew me right here to Marquette in that interview and allowed me to be comfy in a brand new atmosphere, rising and specializing in changing into the skilled I needed to be.”

Schraepfer’s expertise is certainly one of many among the many college students within the Occupational Remedy Doctorate program’s first graduating class who walked throughout the stage to gather their levels final August. Because the program’s inception, college have been working diligently to verify the curriculum is tailor-made to college students’ wants.

“I might inform it was going to be a close-knit group even in the course of the preliminary interview,” Dr. Taylor Drost, OT ’23, says. “The truth that we had been the primary cohort was actually one thing particular. The school took us by the hand, and for the previous three years they’ve been supporting us by every semester.”

School members felt it was necessary to create a welcoming atmosphere to foster a development mindset and facilitate vital curiosity in college students as they develop their skilled identities, says Dr. Michele Sheehan, medical assistant professor and doctoral capstone coordinator.  

“The scholars thrive understanding they’ve a community of assist from college, workers and fellow college students,” Sheehan says. “By making a welcoming atmosphere with familial vitality, we’ve got inspired college students to assist one another and be ‘comfy with the uncomfortable’ as they’re pushed to excel within the career of occupational remedy.”

Students getting their picture taken in a crowd.
College students get their image taken by relations after the ceremony. Pictures by Patrick Manning.

For Dr. Tory Houdek, OT ’23, a serious differentiator was the respect college members confirmed for college kids who recognized alternatives for program enchancment.

“We had been the guinea pigs and, as with every new program, there have been issues that wanted to be ironed out,” Houdek says. “It goes to indicate how extremely they regarded our opinions that we’d give them suggestions and it was taken severely. The school supplied a supporting and trusting atmosphere for us to be taught and sometimes applied the wanted modifications within the very subsequent semester after ideas had been made.”

Studying to supply and settle for constructive suggestions is a giant a part of professionalism and is important to excel in any follow, Sheehan says. As such, program college have embraced the concept of continuous development and growth to create a program that excels in coaching college students who’re positioned to be leaders of their area. “We wish to make sure that we’re embracing our mission ‘to graduate college students who’re remodeled by their training, and who will rework the world through which they reside.’”

The funding in pupil success is a part of the explanation why this system was lately awarded seven-year accreditation — a major accomplishment, particularly for a primary try.

“The division’s shared imaginative and prescient and dedication to growing skilled, practice-competent, and critically curious servant leaders has led us to attaining this nice milestone,” says Dr. Christine O’Neill, chair of the Occupational Remedy Division and program director. “However, in the end, that is for our college students. Present and potential college students could be assured that they’re receiving the best high quality training within the self-discipline, and one that’s distinctive to Marquette College.”

A student walking with a diploma
Pablo Rodruigez walks out of the ceremony along with his diploma in hand.

Capstone experiences marked by significant mentorship

In the summertime, all 26 college students within the first graduating class started their 12-week capstone analysis initiatives.

Some, like Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, OT ’23, (photograph under left) knew precisely what they needed to research throughout their capstone expertise — his curiosity was piqued in the course of the cohort’s first course in orthopedics.

“One thing clicked for me in that class: I cherished studying concerning the anatomy and physiology of hand operate and the way exactly detailed every little thing needs to be to operate optimally,” Rodriguez says. “I get pleasure from making splints for folks and serving to to revive higher extremity operate; orthopedics was a distinct and thrilling facet of occupational remedy in comparison with different areas of follow.”

On web site at Aurora BayCare’s Orthopedic and Sports activities Drugs Middle in Inexperienced Bay, Wisconsin, Rodriguez’s capstone centered on growing a novel fellowship program for the bodily rehabilitation of upper-extremity musculoskeletal accidents.

The mission concept was spurred by a classroom dialogue. The brand new fellowship was additionally one thing Dr. Mitchell Voss, adjunct professor of occupational remedy, had been contemplating; nevertheless, he lacked the time and assets to make it occur. Working with college throughout the division, Rodriguez spearheaded the trouble.

This system will fill a vital want by growing the variety of fellowship coaching alternatives throughout the nation and producing clinically competent occupational therapists on this specialty follow space.

“At present there are solely 11 OT packages which are orthopedic-based,” Rodriguez says. “This fellowship program can be an effective way to not solely impression the neighborhood by providing one other type of remedy permitting sufferers to execute their each day occupations once more, nevertheless it additionally impacts the OT career on an organizational degree by giving therapists data in an space that isn’t all the time taught comprehensively at grasp’s and doctorate packages.”

He credit his college and medical mentors for the chance.

“Mentorship provides practitioners confidence and permits them to take that subsequent step,” Rodriguez says. “This fellowship program can information these interested by or transitioning to orthopedics by selling each particular person {and professional} development in a area they’re captivated with.”

Students taking a selfie.
College students take a selfie after their commencement ceremony.

Focusing passions

Different college students within the Marquette OT program understood the place their passions lie, however simply wanted some steerage to focus their capstone initiatives. Schraepfer knew she needed to work with babies and to give attention to effective motor expertise — how precisely to try this, nevertheless, was much less clear to her.

Schraepfer sought the assistance of her adviser, Dr. Ann E. Millard, medical assistant professor and affiliate chair, and capstone director Sheehan for tactics to finest join her pursuits.

“I began digging in and looking for a means I might assist toddlers,” Schraepfer says. “What I discovered — because of the seed planted by Dr. Sheehan — is that whether or not it was due to digital studying within the pandemic, current will increase in expertise use by toddlers, or maybe each, younger children had been missing the required effective motor expertise wanted at their age.”

Sadly, there aren’t many occupational therapists in day care facilities, that means she wasn’t certain she might work immediately with toddlers.

Fortunately, Schraepfer discovered a means.

“I realized that early childhood lecturers aren’t receiving effective motor talent training and don’t know assist the children who’re falling behind of their developmental expertise,” Schraepfer says. “So, as an alternative of serving to the children one-on-one, my capstone is targeted on growing using effective motor talent actions in preschool lecture rooms by instructor training.”

“This manner, lecturers will have the ability to simply perceive what they’re serving to the scholars work towards and may implement these actions for years to come back — hopefully serving to a era of youngsters.”

O’Neill counseled the cohort members on their distinctive journey to commencement, which included beginning this system in the course of the pandemic.

“The primary cohort of any program doesn’t have a simple highway, dealing with obstacles in a brand new, growing curriculum, college and workers getting acclimated to the college, and rather more,” O’Neill says. “I couldn’t be prouder of this primary cohort of scholars for all of the challenges they overcame by their three years right here at Marquette. They grew in grace, service, resilience, data and suppleness. All of those expertise are essential to being an distinctive occupational therapist.”

And seeing the scholars become caring and competent clinicians has been extraordinarily rewarding for the whole program, O’Neill says. “It’s a enormous private and departmental accomplishment to know that we had been part of difficult these college students — to push themselves past what they thought they had been able to and to rejoice with them of their triumphs,” O’Neill says. “It’s a highly effective second and one I’ll always remember.”

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