Eighteen ATSU-ASHS occupational therapy (OT) students, an OT alumna, and OT faculty advisor Melissa Clark, MS, OTR/L, CES, CHT, assistant professor, department of occupational therapy, participated in a service learning mission trip to Guatemala Sept. 11-19. The OT mission group collaborated with the sponsoring organization Service for Peace to prepare a need’s assessment for training, treatment, and healthcare supplies.
Prior to their travels, the students completed a series of educational modules related to cultural competency, international travel and safety, the Guatemalan healthcare system, and traditional healthcare customs and beliefs. The OT mission group visited a variety of settings, including an adult hospital, an orphanage for children and adults with disabilities, and a vocational rehabilitation site.
The group experienced intense cultural immersion and had the opportunity to provide clinical training on the topics of splinting and preventative intervention strategies. The international service learning project provided rich opportunities for cultural and clinical exchange, and served as a springboard for ATSU-ASHS occupational therapy students to continue a path of global health service.
“Words cannot describe how proud I am of this group of OT students,” said Clark. “They provided compassionate service and truly embraced the Guatemalan culture throughout the trip. It was a gift to take part in this opportunity and witness the students’ personal and professional growth first-hand.”
Latoya Imadiyi, ‘12
OT students (Class of 2015)
Brianna Aker –Student Leader