By Kate Hunger
Occupational therapy, physical therapy, and dental students participated in an ongoing interprofessional collaboration this spring focused on ergonomics in health professions and the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders.
Occupational therapy students performed ergonomic assessments of third-year dental students while they worked with patients. Those same dental students had received instruction and a lab in their first year on how to use ergonomic principles to set up their chairs and those of their patients, said Occupational Therapy Associate Professor Kimatha Oxford Grice, OTD, OTR, CHT.
“This spring was the first complete cycle,” of the project, she said.
Also as part of the project, second-year PT students evaluated first-year dental students’ posture and range of motion, providing hands-on treatment and teaching them exercises, said Department of Physical Therapy Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Education Michael Geelhoed, D.P.T., OCS, MTC. Geelhoed lectures first-year dental students on posture and exercises to prevent back and neck pain.
“It was so incredibly well received by our students and the dental students,” said Geelhoed of the physical therapy evaluations.
The project is funded by a seed grant from Linking Interprofessional Networks for Collaboration (LINC). Associate Professor and Associate Dean for External Affairs Juanita Lozano-Pineda, D.D.S, M.P.H, is the project’s principal investigator, with co-principal investigators Grice, Geelhoed and Occupational Therapy Assistant Professor Ricky Joseph, Ph.D., OTR.
“We have had a very positive response,” said Lozano-Pineda. “This is something we are going to continue.”