Turkey Day with OTA
November 28, 2018
WITH TENDER THERAPIES AND CUDDLY HANDMADE BLANKETS FOR GRATEFUL ELLA AUSTIN COMMUNITY CENTER SENIORS, 24 FIRST-YEAR ST. PHILIP'S COLLEGE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT STUDENTS LEARN TO TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS CLIENTS WHILE GIVING BACK NOV. 21
The class of 2020 was the first to present a live tree for the project. It was purposeful.
Twenty four first year occupational therapy assistant students at St. Philip's College completed an annual college medical business project that helps the seniors at Ella Austin Community Center for the holidays. In a special traditional day of local people who are bettering themselves through education sharing the gifts of both therapy and goodwill, quality time and professional care combine uniquely to create a time for folks to heal while counting and sharing basic universal blessings together.
Part one of the medical business project at the center’s 1023 N. Pine St. address was a Halloween themed activity for the senior clients in October. The big event in November is always a holiday activity where clients are not only treated to occupational activities, food and numerous giveaways---some of the seniors received much-needed blankets that are handmade as an onsite project by both the students and the seniors. The blankets will come in handy as a source of comfort during the colder season in San Antonio.
The college's 2018 Ella Austin Center Seniors Community Engagement project event is part of the college's Therapeutic Use of Occupation or Activities I first year course where students translate what they learn into a real-world, real-time therapy firm project with the clients they will serve once they become Occupational Therapy Practitioners. The project was created by college occupational therapy assistant program alumni faculty member Ada Jackson. Current program faculty member Edward Gayden has hosted and grown the original event from 2012 to present. For the students, a turkey day with OTA represents their last business project of the fourth quarter, because their semester will end, they go on a winter break and return to college for more of the education they seek in January.
Lucy Pantoja is the center's senior services director.
“Every year since at least 2007, they have sponsored those events for us,” Pantoja said of the college’s project. “We also partner with UT Health Science Center and their students for the event. The comments from the seniors are that the students energize them. They interact and hear the stories of the seniors, and seniors love that. Some of the students have mentioned they want to work in geriatrics, so I know this is very interesting to them,” said Pantoja. “It’s a time for counting and sharing blessings together,” Pantoja said.
First-year student Hailey Micula is a 2012 James Madison High School alumna.
“It was fun to plan to activities for seniors though this project,” Micula said Nov. 28. “They didn't know how much they were achieving and we observed their challenges and their progress,” said Micula.
First-year student Andrew Munoz is an alumnus of the UTSA athletic medicine program and a 2012 alumnus of Alice High School.
“I was grateful for them, and they were grateful for me. It was mutual, and what sparked my heart was what they were thankful for. Each visiting class presents a Thankfulness Tree where the seniors can post expressions. Our class of 2020 was the first to present a live tree for the project. It was purposeful. We focused on spirituality and found rapport through this focus. They were open and we helped them,” said Munoz.
First-year student Dora Mann is a 2014 graduate of Victory Learning Center.
“I liked that we were able to socialize with elders who don't have a lot of people to socialize with. We were appreciated and in turn, we learned a lot,” said Mann.
Gayden shared the perspective of an instructor and industry practitioner.
“Some of the clients let us know that the socialization, that's the missing element for them. We learned a lot as a team this year,” Gayden said.
Thermajean Jones is chair of the college’s Health Sciences and Histologic Technology business units that include the occupational therapy assistant program. She observed and bonded with Ethel May Cochran among the clients in real-time during turkey day with OTA.
“Ethel May Cochran celebrated her 86th birthday with us on Nov. 21, and we had a great conversation. She still drives and she says she used to come to St. Philip's College as a volunteer,” Jones said.
At the Nov. 21 event, a bevy of crafts sourced by the college’s students made for a bevy of therapy, creativity and expression. Most of the finished products were on display during the program, Jones explained.
"They all made great ones; each one made an apron. We had an individual pie maker and it was such a hit. All residents got one of the pies. My personal goal is to do a program of this impact every month, somewhere," an inspired Jones shared.
One occupational therapy assistant student created a turkey costume and posed with clients who were present with students on two half-day shifts for the full day of therapy and fun.
"The Rubios might have celebrated over 50 years of wedding bliss with us during our turkey day with OTA," Jones said of one of the turkey photo shoot client participants. “Each client pulled door prizes for Wal Mart and HEB gift cards along with other prizes… from coffee makers to foot spas. We ordered a sign and a mountain of stuff for them to celebrate with,” Jones said. “They had choices, building a bag or making a frame or an apron in an arts and crafts section, and getting a personalized picture made with an instant camera. They [students and clients] both put a lot of energy into it, which was really cool.”
The students also sourced bolts of material that became handmade blankets with a matching bottom and top after the ends were cut and hand-tied together, and aprons were purchased for hand painting at the event, Jones explained.
“It all has a dual purpose; people with arthritis in the hands are keeping active as an occupational therapy activity. They [students and clients] did those together. Our students planned therapeutic activities to increase client circulation through active movement. People don't always understand why they [seniors] play bingo. With bingo and board games, they focus on numbers---finding things and making small hand movements, picking up round discs or flipping cards. These people are 75 and up. That's therapeutic, not just playing a game,” Jones said.
To support or join the conversation on occupational therapy assistant programs at St. Philip’s College, contact the program team through their web page.
CAPTIONS (Courtesy images):
OTA21-01 | A therapeutic highlight of the 2018 St. Philip’s College Ella Austin Center Seniors Community Engagement project was a blanket making session with (from left) first-year occupational therapy assistant student Michelle Lopez and senior Ethel May Cochran Nov. 21 in the center at 1023 N. Pine St.
OTA21-02 | Seniors enjoyed socialization therapies with 24 first year occupational therapy assistant students during the 2018 St. Philip’s College Ella Austin Center Seniors Community Engagement project Nov. 21 in the center at 1023 N. Pine St.
OTA21-03 | A new element of the 2018 St. Philip’s College Ella Austin Center Seniors Community Engagement project was the debut of pies created by an individual pie maker in support of socialization therapies college students prepared for their clients in the project Nov. 21 in the center at 1023 N. Pine St.
OTA21-04 | A therapeutic highlight of the 2018 St. Philip’s College Ella Austin Center Seniors Community Engagement project was a photo session to stimulate socialization with a couple (standing at left) celebrating their 50th anniversary and first-year occupational therapy assistant students Monica Sanchez (in turkey costume) and Lameron Kothman Nov. 21 in the center at 1023 N. Pine St.
OTA21-05 | A key part of the 2018 St. Philip’s College Ella Austin Center Seniors Community Engagement project was the drying of aprons hand painted by seniors in support of socialization therapies college students prepared for their clients in the project Nov. 21 in the center at 1023 N. Pine St.
OTAHA-01 | One therapeutic moment from the 2018 St. Philip’s College Ella Austin Center Seniors Community Engagement project was a Halloween-themed face painting session to stimulate the body with first-year occupational therapy assistant student Jose De La Garza in October in the center at 1023 N. Pine St.
OTAHA-02 | For first-year occupational therapy assistant student Andrew Munoz (at left), team planning for the Halloween-themed element of the 2018 St. Philip’s College Ella Austin Center Seniors Community Engagement project included discussing ways to enhance the team’s Thanksgiving-themed business that included socialization therapies that were very meaningful to Munoz, an alumnus of the UTSA athletic medicine program and a 2012 alumnus of Alice High School.
OTAHA-03 | A highlight of the 2018 St. Philip’s College Ella Austin Center Seniors Community Engagement project was a therapy session with (from left) an unidentified client and first-year occupational therapy assistant student Rosario Rangel in October in the center at 1023 N. Pine St.