Student research has real-world impact

OT, PT and AT poster presentation

OT, PT and AT poster presentation

They haven't even entered the workforce yet, but St. Scholastica's Occupational Therapy graduate students are already making an impact in the field through their research projects.

Some OT students are doing literature reviews for their final projects, partnering with the Essentia Health-Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Center. They divide into groups, choose topics, and select articles to critically review. At the end of the semester, they present their findings to practitioners.

"We do lots with research; we have the time to do it, and that's part of our job," said Kelly Erickson, assistant professor of occupational therapy. "It really is a win/win on both sides. We hope we're teaching students to become better practitioners and consumers of literature in a way that's realistic within practice, and giving back to the practitioners who desperately want and need this information but don't have the time to get it."

Students are also doing their own original projects, investigating topics such as the effectiveness of an app called Dexteria designed to rebuild fine motor skills in stroke patients.