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Students Donate Innovative Therapy Tools to Hospital

 Penn State DuBois Occupational Therapy Students look over the Occupation Kits with Clearfield Hospital OT Assistant Nakoma Tamburlin. From Left to Right are, Jen McManigle, OT Student; Tamburlin; Jenn Ploof, OT Student, and Lisa Demotte, OT Student.
12/15/2008 —

DuBois – During this season of giving, students in the Occupational Therapy (OT) Program at Penn State DuBois have donated some inventive tool kits to the Occupational Therapy Department at Clearfield Hospital.  Known as Occupation Kits, students worked with therapists at Clearfield hospital to determine what items the kits should include.  They contain items that are used for some typical occupations and tasks that people engage in, like cooking, home maintenance, and dressing themselves or children. 

“The reason these were put together is so therapists at the hospital could have ready-made occupational activities for their patients to use in therapy sessions,” said OT Instructor LuAnn Demi.  She explained, “If a person who had a stroke is receiving therapy and they indicate that they need to do home maintenance chores when they return home, the therapist can pull out the Home Maintenance Occupation Kit and have the patient use the typical items in a therapeutic way.”  The Home Maintenance Kit, Demi said, includes things like pipe fittings that the patient can practice putting together, and even includes a kit the patient can use to build a bird house.  “It’s therapy that makes sense to the patients,” Demi said. 

Clearfield Hospital OT Assistant and Penn State DuBois Graduate Nakoma Tamburlin accepted the donation.  “I think the kits will help a lot,” she said.  “Everything you’ll need is in one container, and they’re very organized and useful for many different activities.” 

The kits donated to the hospital include the Home Maintenance Kit, plus a Pediatric Dressing Kit which contains clothes activities for children to help them learn to dress themselves, and a Cooking kit, with basic cooking utensils and kitchen items.  The OT Department at Penn State DuBois will keep a House Cleaning Kit and a Pet Care Kit on campus to use for instruction. 

Students said just putting the kits together has been educational, and rewarding, and that they learned a lot just by thinking about the items that should be included in the kits.  “It was meaningful to me because it’s going to be used at Clearfield Hospital,” said OT Student Lindsey Anderson.  “It’s not some project on a piece of poster board that I’m going to throw away, it’s practical and people will benefit from it.” 

OT Instructors at the campus will conduct research into the use of these kits at the hospital to determine their usefulness compared to traditional therapy. 

Instructors LuAnn Demi and Marge Pendzick will also make a presentation on Occupation Kits at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s annual conference in Houston, Texas, in April of 2009. 

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