Meet Jackie Widmer. Jackie is a third-year student in Drake's Occupational Therpay Doctorate (OTD) program and will graduate in 2022! In her last year of the OTD program, Jackie has had the opportunity to complete a doctoral capstone experience at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at SwedishAmerican Hospital-A Divison of UW Health in Rockford, Illinois.
My favorite thing about my capstone experience has been developing my skills in an advanced practice setting and working with infants and their families. The NICU is a specialized area and can be challenging, however, it is the most rewarding experience I have had while at Drake.
Growing up in Iowa, I have always enjoyed the Des Moines area. After applying, interviewing, and learning about the program, I felt welcome by students and staff and realized this program would be the perfect fit.
Ultimately my career goals have not changed since starting Drake's OTD program in 2019. I have always dreamed of working in the neonatal intensive care unit. However, I have been exposed to many different settings throughout my clinical placements which has given me the opportunity to enjoy occupational therapy in many different settings.
With the experience I have received from my didactic coursework, community engagement, fieldwork placements, and doctoral capstone placement, I have had the chance to work with a wide range of populations and settings ranging from premature infants to older adults. Although the experiences were all different, there are many skills that can be transferred over to each setting. This has given me the opportunity to grow as an occupational therapy student.
Enjoy the ride! OT school can be challenging, exhausting, and stressful. However, there are so many fun and positive moments throughout. Learn as much as you can, but also try your best to find reasons to laugh and have fun. Lean on classmates, friends, and family when times get tough, and lastly, find time to take care of yourself.
Behrends, Carrie (Mental Health Level II Fieldwork)
Crane, Kate (Brain Injury Level II Fieldwork)
Gacek, Angelica (UnityPoint Trinity Health, Doctoral Capstone)
Hahn (Mills), Hailey (Mental Health, Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc.)
Hawkins, Emily (Geriatric, Long-Term Care and Skilled Nursing Level II Fieldwork)
Metz, Maranda (Pediatric Doctoral Capstone Experience)
Mock, Emily (Pediatric Level II Fieldwork)
Nadolny, Emily (Pediatric Burn Camp Level II Fieldwork)
Nave, Maddy (Mental Health, Forensics and Aging Adults Level II Fieldwork)
Neff, Jessica (Mental Health, Research, SLU OT Transition and Integration Capstone)
Riek, Elizabeth (Program Development, Leadership and Evidence-Based Practice Capstone)
Roe, Mariah (OTR, Millennium Rehabilitation & Consulting Services)
Roe, Mariah (Neurological Level II Fieldwork)
Schimek, Matt (Program Development and Community Practice Capstone)
Speth, Erin (Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Across the Board Therapy)
Wuebker, Molly (Drake OTD Faculty)