Otago Polytechnic

How can Occupational Therapy students help you?

Does your community have a goal it would like to achieve, where the input of creative problem-solvers with a passion for activity and wellbeing could help?

Third-year occupational therapy students undertake community projects as part of their degrees. In doing so, they can provide some extra energy and effort to help your organisation accomplish its goals.

Projects may include:

  • Facilitating an event
  • Developing a resource
  • Other projects involving people and activities.

For example, your organisation might be an adolescent health service that needs an event during the school holidays. You might provide a garden for unemployed workers and are keen to establish a ‘growing things at home’ programme. You might be involved in a Māori health organisation that wants to organise a Puaka/Matariki celebration. Your kindergarten may need resources for parents.

To be suitable, your project just needs a health or disability, activity or social support focus.

What students will do

Two students will work alongside your organisation to plan, facilitate and evaluate a project that will meet your community need. In liaison with your organisation’s contact person, they will establish clear project objectives and a plan to deliver them.

The student placement then commences for two weeks from: 26 August to 6 September 2013

On completion, the students will be evaluated on their planning, the work they undertook and the extent to which the completed project meets your needs.

Your role

This project requires students to work in partnership with agencies and organisations, helping them meet their needs. Therefore you will have an understanding of your own requirements and a willingness to work with students to help achieve these outcomes.

If you are an organisation selected for the community project, you will

  • Allocate a contact person who can make decisions and things happen
  • Contribute, in person, to the “Project Launch” by providing necessary information
  • Be available to the student during their planning process
  • Find any required budget for the project (which does not include students’ or lecturers’ time)
  • Contribute to the project evaluation and each student’s evaluation
  • Attend a presentation from the students about the project outcome.

Project support

The projects are undertaken by third year students. We expect you will be able to work together to establish one another’s needs and achieve a successful outcome.

In addition, a lecturer from the School of Occupational Therapy oversees each project to help ensure things go smoothly. The lecturer is available for advice and support and will provide project supervision for the students. They are responsible for evaluating the students’ performance alongside your contact person.

Contributions

As well as helping your organisation achieve important outcomes, many projects will result in a report, photograph album or memory book. These provide a record of the project and recommendations for how a similar exercise could be undertaken in the future.
These can help your organisation capture the learning from the project and make any further initiatives even easier.

Contact details

Dunedin
The School of Occupational Therapy contact lecturers are:
Kaye.cheetham@op.ac.nz
Karin.govaerts@op.ac.nz

Hamilton
The School of Occupational Therapy contact lecturers are:
Carolyn.vankampen@op.ac.nz
Annette.jensen@op.ac.nz