Occupational therapy students share ideas at final conference

13 October 2021

A group of CQUniversity Occupational Therapy graduating students from Rockhampton and Bundaberg will showcase their professionalism and advanced skill sets at their student-driven conference this week.

The Bundaberg students have proven it's 'not hip to trip' in their final-year community project which forms part of the student conference this Friday.

Ashleigh Agius' Renee Baker and Erin Harford have been working with Centacare in Bundaberg to help examine current falls risk identification and management processes for the organisation's clients.

The results from the project informed development of a falls risk assessment tool and educational resources to help improve the way staff and clients address falls.

The project was a win-win for Centacare and the CQUniversity students who will present their findings during this week's conference.

Meanwhile' a team of graduating students from Rockhampton have been working with Bidgerdii Community Health Service's Children and Family Centre to address child development concerns in the community through the development of an occupational therapy model of care plan.

Alyssa Meyer-Williams' Kate Fry' Candice Rideout and Aleisha Kooyman explored ways the organisation could retain a long-term occupational therapist by developing a model of care that describes the potential full role and scope of practice within current service delivery at the centre.

Results from the project informed the creation of an occupational therapy Model of Care document' communication and service pathways and a referral form' as well as an information video normalising the importance of supporting child development.

CQUniversity Bachelor of Occupational Therapy lecturer Narelle Henwood said the projects were among many to be showcased at the Occupational Therapy Graduate Conference at CQUni Rockhampton North on Friday 15 October.

"This year's conference theme is 'Knowing and Growing' which reflects the transition of students into professionals'" said Ms Henwood.

"The 2021 cohort is delighted to present both their community projects which they've collaborated on with various organisations' as well as research proposals which cover a range of topics within the occupational therapy field."

The conference will showcase the work of 23 graduating students from Bundaberg and Rockhampton and include a presentation of student awards.

Student Ashleigh Agius said the conference allowed her cohort to illustrate what they had been working so hard on.

"I feel excited but also nervous as our conference approaches."

Another student Erin Harford said the conference was a consolidation of many of the things they had learnt throughout the degree and an opportunity to put them into practice.

"Teamwork' presenting information' research' preparation and how hard we have worked throughout this term' it is all coming together as we come to the end of an amazing journey.

"The excitement and nerves of finishing the course are definitely beginning to rise."

This week's conference will also feature two guest speakers: occupational therapist Brock Cook who will speak about person-centred mental health care and behaviour specialist Sarah James who will discuss positive behaviour support plans.