Occupational Therapy

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Meet Jenna Gregoire.

Jenna is a third-year student in Drake's Occupational Therpay Doctorate (OTD) program and will graduate in 2024! In her last year of the OTD program, Jenna has had the opportunity to complete a doctoral capstone experience at Eastern Star Masonic Home in Boone, Iowa.

Name: Jenna Gregoire
Hometown: Altoona, Wisconsin
Degree Program: OTD, May 2024
Capstone Organization: Eastern Star Masonic Home
Location: Boone, Iowa
Tell us about your Doctoral Capstone. What were your responsibilities and what did a typical day/week look like?

My responsibilities include:

  • Assist with home assessments prior to discharge to home/off-site setting
  • Participate in staff huddle meetings to advocate for fall prevention, support staff
  • Advocate for fall prevention/recovery with residents during interactions, nursing staff when approached and during huddles, Wellness Center staff, and community-dwelling older adults that use the Wellness Center on-site
  • Facilitate fall prevention and recovery courses including: fall prevention, fall recovery, exercises to promote fall prevention/recovery, home modifications/equipment, and energy conservation
  • Research and create resources for the skilled nursing unit of the facility for staff to reference or provide resident/caregiver education
  • Extra by choice: Assist with evaluations, treatments, discharge planning

A typical day at my capstone looks like:

  • Check emails, get up-to-date on any facility/resident concerns or new admits
  • Assist with a few transfers/treatments with PT
  • Work on learning objectives
  • Attend staff huddles
  • Facilitate a fall prevention/recovery class at the Wellness Center
  • Assist with any treatments throughout the day with OT when I have available time
What is your favorite thing about the Doctoral Capstone?

My favorite thing about my Doctoral Capstone is:

  • Finally getting to work with older adults!
  • Getting to work with a topic that has been a passion of mine for a long, long time
  • Having the freedom to explore a topic/setting that I have a strong interest in, and in the way that I want to
What attracted you to Drake's OTD program?

I was attracted to Drake's OTD program because:

  • I have an interest in potentially working in academia one day
  • Staff interactions during the interviewing process - I loved the interactions I had and felt very comfortable and confident in my ability to strive in this program.
  • In a larger city than I have had experience in - provides me with more exposure to diversity within healthcare
How has Drake helped you prepare for your future career as an occupational therapy professional?

I had been provided with the base of knowledge needed to be successful in my fieldwork experiences, which really prepared me for my capstone. With capstone being more self-directed and it having a higher expectation for independence, this has really prepared me for entering the working world. Drake offered a lot of hands-on experience and, with a smaller cohort than other schools, I was able to build relationships with my professors. Being comfortable and closer with my professors allowed me to grow out of my shell of just being a "number" and get more 1:1 attention toward my education.

What are your career goals? Have they changed at all since you started Drake's OTD program?
I started the program knowing I wanted to work with older adults, and that has remained strong! I knew coming in that I would potentially want to be a professor one day, and that also remains a possible career goal for me, especially after the teaching and learning course.
What is one piece of advice you would give to future occupational therapy students?

Have a good self-care routine. School can be very stressful, and fieldwork even more. With a good self-care routine, you will feel more successful and able to take on the workload. Not only that but enjoy your time!

Return to the OTD Capstone Spotlight home page here.

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