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Focus on Health Professions - 2024

Students Learn Universal Precautions

Students from the class of 2025 learned about universal precautions with Zachary Huff, clinical assistant professor, in a clinical examination and intervention course.

Man instructing students

Professor Presents Research on Pre-Participation Dance Screenings and Injury Surveillance to Promote Injury Risk Reduction  

In October, Kimberly Veirs, clinical assistant professor, presented at the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science Conference on pre-participation dance screenings and injury surveillance to promote injury risk reduction in a university dance department.

Interprofessional Education Program Now Offered

The College of Health Professions is now offering interprofessional education, which occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. This philosophy teaches effective strategies to improve patient care through professional collaborative practice and is demonstrated through teamwork, reduction in provider error rates and improvement toward competencies in healthcare professionals.

One example of this in action is a nursing/physical therapy collaboration in the simulation center where students collaborate with each other over simulated patient care in an inpatient setting. It is a great learning experience prior to the PT students embarking on their first 12-week clinical rotation. Another example is the Physician Assistant program and the School of Theatre working together to provide curriculum designed to develop training caregiver skills regarding displayed compassion and sensitivity, methods of communication to evaluate patient needs, recognition of personal limitations and roles of the interprofessional team, beneficence and maleficence, and respecting and upholding the autonomy of the patient. In January, there was a curriculum component and performance of the Pulitzer Prize winning play “W;t” which included an in-person talkback session with playwright Maggie Edson. The additional playwright perspective provided a more diverse interprofessional view of the performance and applications to medical care.

The college also hosted an IPE event for first year nursing, physician assistant and physical therapy students, introducing them to multiple healthcare professions where they learned about the various roles and responsibilities while working through case studies that required teamwork and collaboration among the three disciplines.

Child Development and Developmental Assessment 

Students from the class of 2024 learned about child development and developmental assessment in three pediatric labs where children and their families from the community participated.

Women and a child

Faculty Present at 18th Annual Physical Therapy Education Leadership Conference  

Amanda Porter, director of clinical education, and Maria Jones, program director, presented a poster titled “Developing Effective Communication in Physical Therapy Students: The Role of Embedded Opportunities” at the 18th Annual Physical Therapy Education Leadership Conference in October.

Women standing by a presentation poster

Faculty Honors

Kramer School of Nursing

The Kramer School of Nursing formed a partnership with Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma to provide health and wellness education to Girl Scouts in Oklahoma.

Two new programs have been developed within the Kramer School of Nursing, including the Doctor of Nurse Practitioner— Nurse Educator track, and this January, the first cohort will begin the 12 month accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Cheryl Frutchey, clinical associate professor, received the 2023 Oklahoma Nurses Association award for “Excellence in Nursing Education.”

Michelle Johnston, assistant professor, has been named the Oklahoma City Regional Representative for the Association of Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners board of directors.

Cene’ Livingston, chair of advanced practice programs and associate professor, published an article titled “Using Appreciative Inquiry to Improve Cultural Humility in Primary Healthcare” in the International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry.

Physican Assistant Program 

Jose Medina, director of assessment and evaluation, recently completed his Ph.D. He has been working at OCU since 2021 and has practiced as a physician’s assistant for the past 17 years in the Oklahoma City area. His doctorate is in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with a focus in Anatomical Science with the successful defense of his dissertation titled “Establishing a Relationship Between Emotional Quotient and Academic Performance within Third Year Medical Students During Their Surgical Clerkship.” The implications of his dissertation are to develop a consistent and objective method for training and evaluating professionalism in the medical student providers by utilizing non-cognitive skills.

Additionally, Medina and another faculty member are currently investigating the “Effects of Empathy Training in First Year Physician Assistant Students.” Medina and Rebecca Carlozzi are conducting this institutional research board approved study that is a non-randomized control trial designed to evaluate the potential impact of formalized clinical practice-based empathy training during the didactic phase of first year PA students. The primary aim is to demonstrate the effects of empathy training in first year PA students with this data collection portion concluding in March of 2025.

Physican Assistant Program 

Wendee Lentz, clinical assistant professor, was named as the clinical director for Special Olympics Healthy Athletes FUNFitness in Oklahoma. Lentz was also awarded an OCU faculty scholarship to support professional development and training for the new Special Olympics clinical director position.

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