Pa. OT Conference

POTAOver the course of two days last week, faculty members and alumni from the University’s Occupational Therapy (OT) Department attended the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association conference in State College, Pa. Salus served as a silver sponsor for the event, which helped commemorate 100 years of the OT profession.

The attendees conducted four presentations and presented seven posters about various topics within the OT profession, ranging from the OT’s role in breastfeeding, to promoting sensory experiences in the classroom, to injury prevention in musicians, among others.

Brianna Brim, MOT, OTR/L, CPAMS, instructor and academic fieldwork coordinator, said the conference was a great opportunity for the students to showcase their work at a professional level.

“It’s always so great to see our students’ hard work acknowledged at the state level,” she said. “We are very proud when they complete their capstone presentations, but to see them accepted to a professional conference is a tremendous accomplishment for them.”

In their presentation, “Upper Extremity Injury Prevention and Care in Musicians,” Brim and passionate musician Hope Ann Wahlmar, OT ’17, examined the high injury risk rates for concert-trained musicians and explored ways in which they can decrease musculoskeletal pain.

Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, MS, EdD, College of Education and Rehabilitation interim dean, mentored Ciarra Bell, OT ’17 during her research on “Assessing Play in Preschool Children.” Bell worked with an interdisciplinary team of pediatric therapists, teachers, early intervention non-profit organizations, OTs, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and special education teachers at a preschool to emphasize the importance of play and utilized a variety of assessments to evaluate play.

The OT profession is currently booming, but such competition and growth the potential increases for mental burnout, according to Brim who also presented, “Professional Burnout: Confessions of a Survivor.”

“The newest research suggests that the newest practitioners are at a high risk for professional burnout,” she said. “I defined what burnout is and applied modern theories related to better mental health.”
 
2017 POTA Presentations and Posters
The Role of Occupational Therapy at the Breastfeeding Resource Center
Lauren Sponseller, OTD, OTR/L, MEd, Occupational Therapy Department chair; Caitlyn Foy, OTD, OTR/L, assistant professor
 
Expanding Our Role in Wellness Through Role Emerging Fieldwork
Andrea Tyszka, MS, OTR/L, SPIT, associate professor; Brianna Brim, MOT, OTR/L, CPAMS, instructor and academic fieldwork coordinator; Lauren Sponseller OTD, OTR/L, MEd, Occupational Therapy Department chair
 
Partnering with Community Programs to Support Inclusion
Janelle Hottel, OT ’17, Fern Silverman, OTR/L, director of the Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program
 
Promoting Occupational Therapy’s Role in Self-Regulation when Co-Treating
Jenna Napier, OT ’17; Andrea Tyszka, MS, OTR/L, SIPT, associate professor
 
Promoting Health and Wellness Through Baby Wearing
Emily Shiflet, OT ’17, Lauren Sponseller, OTD, OTR/L, Med, Occupational Therapy Department chair
 
Assessing Play in Preschool Children
Ciarra Bell, OT ’17; Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, MS, EdD, College of Education and Rehabilitation interim dean
 
Effect of a Sensory Map on Museum Experiences
Courtney Hahn, OT ’17; Alicia Tallia, OT ’17; Fern Silverman, EdD, OTR/L, Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program; Andrea Tyszka, OTR/L, associate professor
 
Promoting Sensory Experiences in the Classroom
Jennifer Swiski, OT ’17; Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, EdD, MS, College of Education and Rehabilitation interim dean
 
Upper Extremity Injury Prevention and Care in Musicians
Hope Ann Wahlmar, OT ’17; Brianna Brim, MOT, OTR/L, CPAM, instructor and academic fieldwork coordinator
 
Sports Participation in Children Exhibiting Sensory Processing Patterns
Regina Wilson, OT ’17; Dawn Ciccarone, MS, OTR/L, CLVT, instructor
 
Professional Burnout: Confessions of a Survivor
Brianna Brim, MOT, OTR/L, CPAM, instructor and academic fieldwork coordinator