Occupational Therapy Students Compete in "Cross Town Splint Off" Feb 13

February 3, 2012

St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Patterson Medical have invited students from the College of Mt. St. Joseph’s physical therapy and Xavier University’s occupational therapy programs to duel in plastic at the Cincinnati area’s first “Cross Town Splint Off” in mid-February.
Many artists start their careers familiar with the tools of their trade. They’ve worked with pencils and paper, crayons and paint, even clay. But that’s often not the case in occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT).
“Many of these students have no idea how to use splinting materials when they start helping patients,” said Meg Robinson, St. Elizabeth occupational therapist and certified hand therapist. “This contest will give them a chance to feel comfortable with the material before having to put it on a person.”
Occupational therapists use activity to help patients regain motor skills after injury or illness, such as helping them to dress, eat or cook. Recovery often includes splinting, something physical therapists may be called on to do.
“It’s tricky to use thermoplastic because it hardens quickly. You have to form shapes during the three to five minutes that the material is flexible. You wait too long and you have to reheat or the splint might not fit,” said Robinson, who noticed students struggling to shape splints during yearly lectures at Xavier. “We want therapy students to feel more comfortable with splinting, learn the basic qualities of various splint materials and most of all not be so nervous, and have fun!”
The three to four-member teams that vie in the Splint Off will build an architectural structure from splint material—with a school-spirit twist. Each project must include three different splint materials (Polyform™, Ezeform™ and Aquaplast™) and no more than four non-splint components. Projects must demonstrate the draping, molding, and bonding ability of the materials, include a cylinder or curved structure, contain some square edges, and represent the school. The project base can’t exceed 8.5x11 inches.
The structures will be judged on uniqueness and originality, aesthetic and professional quality (smoothness, neatness, craftsmanship), materials selection, complexity and intricacy.
Judging will take place at St. Elizabeth Hand Therapy, on 560 S. Loop Road., 2nd Floor in Edgewood. Teams will present their creations to eight judges at the St. Elizabeth Hand Therapy Center from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, February 13. Judges will include two from each school, two from St. Elizabeth Hand Therapy and two guest judges. Students will present and explain their creations; judges will confer and award the trophy which is made of thermoplastic.
Xavier’s graduate OT program includes classroom and field-work experience, as does Mt. St. Joseph’s PT program. Most OT and PT graduates are quite likely to land a job after graduation. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that the demand for both occupational and physical therapists could grow as much as 26-30% from 2008 to 2018.
Competition sponsors expect up to 13 teams to take part in the contest. Eight are enrolled already. Contest sponsors hope this year’s champion school will return to defend their title in 2013. For more information or to arrange photos or video, contact Guy Karrick, Manager of Public Relations Guy.Karrick@stelizabeth.com 859-301-6300.