Oaklee Rogers, OTD, OTR/L; Andrea Heck, OTS; Lindsey Kohnert, OTS, MEd; Pooja Paode, BS; Liz Harrell, DNP, PMHNP-BC
Student-run free clinics (SRFCs) provide services to underserved populations while enhancing student education. Occupational therapy (OT) participation in integrated care SRFCs is an emerging area of practice and enhances the interprofessional model necessary for holistic patient care. The Student Health Outreach for Wellness (SHOW) organization, located in Phoenix, Arizona, is a SRFC comprised of three state universities that incorporates nine different health professional programs to deliver interprofessional care, including OT. The SHOW clinic provides direct care services where student volunteers practice clinical and interprofessional skills under the guidance of licensed health care providers. OT preceptors and students participate in team-based assessment and care delivery to practice their discipline-specific treatment knowledge of upper-extremity impairments, musculoskeletal pain, medication management, fall prevention, and behavioral health issues, among many others. OT integration into the clinic provides students and preceptors an opportunity to build a unique skill set in interprofessional care, educate other disciplines about OT, and become emerging leaders in the field. Challenges for OT involvement in this SRFC include recruitment and sustainability of volunteers and lack of knowledge and understanding about the role of OT on an interprofessional team. Further research is needed to identify additional benefits of OT services in SFRCs.
Rogers, O., Heck, A., Kohnert, L., Paode, P., & Harrell, L. (2017). Occupational Therapy’s Role in an Interprofessional Student-Run Free Clinic: Challenges and Opportunities Identified. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1387