by Kevin Harrison
Occupational Performance Process Model from Enabling Occuption:
An occupational therapy perspective. (CAOT, 1997, p.61).
In December of 1998, seven occupational therapy students from the University of British Columbia travelled to a tertiary care paediatric center for a two-hour workshop. Unlike past clinical visits, this session was unique in that the students were facilitating the workshop. This article will demonstrate how this group of students helped the therapists address a specific occupational performance issue in their clinical practice.
The purpose of the two-hour workshop was to provide a succinct review of the Occupational Performance Process Model (OPPM) as presented in Enabling Occupation: An occupational therapy perspective (CAOT, 1997) and then to apply these principles to everyday practice. In the spirit of the students' presentation, the Occupational Performance Process Model is used below to relate the details of this collaborative effort.
Occupational Therapy Department at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Group of seven graduating occupational therapy students from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia
Name, Validate, & Prioritize Occupational Performance Issues
Occupational Therapists at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children wanted more information on how to incorporate the Occupational Performance Process Model into their clinical practice. [Area of Occupation: Productivity]
Select Theoretical Approaches
The workshop incorporated commonly used educational learning strategies including the use of multimedia for presentation of ideas and concepts, repetition of main points throughout the session, and a combination of passive and active learning approaches.
Identify Occupational Performance Components and Environmental Conditions
- Limited access to qualified facilitators that meet budget constraints.
- Exclusive use of occupational therapy models limited by the highly transdisciplinary nature of the service environment.
- Lack of continuing education courses offering updates on occupational therapy theory.
- Lack of on-site therapists with strong working knowledge of OPPM.
- Limited access to Enabling Occupation -- only one copy on-site.
Identify Strengths & Resources
- Some therapists were familiar with Enabling Occupation after attending prior teleconference.
- All therapists provided opportunity and encouraged to attend session.
- Students given clinical data beforehand in order to incorporate 'real clients' into the learning process.
- Budget resources sufficient to secure student presenters.
Students have working knowledge of Enabling Occupation and access to further resources at the university.
- Students able to accommodate therapists' schedules and needs.
Negotiate Targeted Outcomes and Develop Action Plans
Targeted Outcome: Occupational therapy staff will be able to apply the OPPM to their clinical practice.
- Clinical concerns of therapists communicated to students through liaison to increase students' understanding of clinical issues.
- Students given data on real clients to develop case study for use in the presentation.
- Students met on several occasions to prepare presentation material, which incorporated material from Enabling Occupation and the case study.
- Final date, time, and cost of workshop negotiated between students and Sunny Hill.
Implement Plans through Occupation
Each participant in the workshop:
- Received a presentation on the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance.
- Received a presentation on the Occupational Performance Process Model.
- Participated in a group exercise in naming Occupational Performance Issues and charting using the Fearing Method.
- Worked in a small group to apply the Occupational Performance Process Model to a real client.
- Received a copy of the presentation for future reference and learning.
Evaluate Occupational Performance Outcomes
The response form used was provided by Sunny Hill and contained five basic questions. The forms were distributed to each participant immediately following the workshop. Only seven responses were obtained out of a possible eleven. An overall rating of 5/5 was obtained from all respondents, which indicates that the presentation was successful as an educational experience. The students did not plan any follow-up studies due to time constraints with fieldwork and upcoming graduation.
Application of the Occupational Performance Process Model was specifically discussed with the therapists. The general consensus was, that as a tertiary care facility, therapists at Sunny Hill would normally move through the process until Stage 4 or Stage 5, while Stages 5 to 7 would typically occur in the community setting. Also, as mentioned earlier under Stage 3, the therapists at Sunny Hill function within a highly collaborative team. Therapists of differing professional training move together through the process of assessment and development of targeted outcomes. Working within a common process model with common frames of reference and terminology can be a challenge in this type of setting.
This collaboration was a success in many aspects and met the needs of both students and therapists. The therapists received a succinct review of the Occupational Performance Process Model, which was reinforced through the case study exercise. The students gained some insight into the application of theory to the clinical setting while making some great contacts with the therapists themselves.
With the recent movement towards evidence-based practice, occupational therapists are being challenged to develop more extensive learning and research resources within the confines of their clinical settings. Staying abreast of the advances in both clinical and theoretical knowledge may require more innovative approaches such as the one presented above. By drawing on the natural strengths of the academic community, clinicians can continue to update their knowledge and provide the highest standards of practice.
Students: The Untapped Resource
Four Good Reasons to Involve Students in Your Professional Development
1. Knowledge is Power
Students develop a firm grounding in the most current theory shaping our profession. Core principles and models can be reviewed through effective presentation and interactive discussions.
Establish links with the academic community and benefit from its resources. Tap into the wealth of scholastic and clinical expertise of the Faculty and Staff. With campus wide access to the library system and computer stations for CD-ROM and internet searches, students' research resources are vast.
The end product (workshop, article reviews, program design proposal) can be customized to suit the needs of the therapists and their unique clinical setting. Ensuring a "therapist-centred" content will facilitate the application of theory to the realities of the workplace.
Students bring excellent oral and written presentation skills, a strong work ethic, and a fresh perspective that can be motivating for the target audience.
Many thanks to Donna Drynan of Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children for believing in us. Grateful acknowledgements to George Kokuryo for his contributions and support.
This article is dedicated to the six fellow classmates who persevered through final exams to deliver our final presentation: Edgar Emnacen, Umilla Galbaransingh, George Kokuryo, Lauren Lewis, Matthew Schenck and Russell Stead.
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. (1997). Enabling Occupation: An occupational therapy perspective. Ottawa: CAOT Publications ACE.
Kevin Harrison, B.Sc.(O.T.), OT(C), Reg. B.C. graduated from the University
of British Columbia in 1999. He is currently working in Extended Care
at Langley Memorial Hospital in Langley, BC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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