Occupational therapy (OT) promotes wellness through everyday activities (occupations). The profession helps people of all ages overcome challenges to participation in their daily lives by developing the “living skills” necessary for independence and satisfaction. Occupational therapists often use environmental adaptation, splinting, assistive devices, work simplification, and work hardening to help the individual engage in meaningful daily activities, maintain his/her sense of well-being and prevent regressing in function to ensure one’s satisfaction in life.
The course complies with the educational requirements for accreditation by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT).
Department of Occupational Therapy at ISU
The design of OT courses follows the educational requirements for accreditation by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists in 2002. Core courses are for health professionals proficient in entry-level clinical skills in physical dysfunction, mental illness, and pediatrics. The OT program is part of ISU’s overall strategy for providing comprehensive courses in the college. Areas of study in the first year include Introduction to OT, Basic Sciences, Applied Computer Concepts and Liberal Arts. In the second year, education in basic medical topics, such as Anatomy and Physiology, is offered. The third year involves major professional courses for guiding the students to acquire professional knowledge and professional skills in all OT fields. Courses in the fourth year include seminars on OT and clinical training in hospitals and institutions.
Teaching and Research
Dedicated faculty members incorporate a student-centered, problem-solving and experiential approach to learning. The teaching addresses both theoretical and practical aspects. The instruction focuses on raising the motivation of students via multimedia presentations and lively demonstrations. From basic to advanced clinical courses, students come to understand the relationship between occupational performances and the continuum of health and well-being across the life span. In addition to teaching, the faculty members of the department are also intensively engaged in ongoing research projects covering a range of basic and application topics such as the cognitive context of motor control, the efficacy of interventions for patients with physical or mental disorders, and pediatric programs in school systems.
Facilities and Equipment
To facilitate internships and clinical research, 5 laboratories with an area of a total of 650 m2 have been set up completely. Courses are taught in these well-equipped laboratories using the latest technology. The laboratories cover various professional fields, including (1) Lab for Pediatric OT, (2) Therapeutic Techniques & ADL Training Lab, (3) Therapeutic Activities Lab, (4) OT & Work Capacity Evaluation Lab, and (5) Assistive Technology Lab.
The teaching contents of occupational therapy are exceedingly diverse. They include but are not limited to acute care, industrial rehabilitation, physical rehabilitation, mental health, long-term care, case management, consultation, school systems, early intervention, community service, education, disease prevention and health promotion. As a result, graduates of this program can have many practice opportunities, participate in research, or enroll in postgraduate programs in related fields.
Biology: This course is designed to provide the fundamentals of biology that are required for students majoring in occupational therapy to understand the basic biological concepts and principles within the framework of the scientific method and modern evolutionary theory. This course addresses selected emphasis on cellular biology with topics, including basic chemistry, structure, regulation, energy transformation, photosynthesis, respiration, reproduction and genetics of living systems. Coverage includes those cellular principles most important to the understanding of living organisms.
Introduction to Occupational Therapy: This course provides students with a foundation for professional education about occupational therapy. In this course, the history, philosophy, theories and models of the profession and the practice of occupational therapy will be introduced. The function, duty and role of occupational therapists will be clarified. In addition, students will be encouraged to understand the profession by visiting the OT department in hospitals.
General Sociology: Our everyday life or the social world is sociological. Therefore, sociological thinking is very important if we want to realize our social life deeply. With the course “in general sociology,” we try to introduce the students to what sociology has to do with our everyday life. What does sociological thinking mean? How can we interpret everyday life from a sociological perspective? Besides, we try to lead the students with this course to look at different social issues which are happening in our society.
General Biology Lab: General Biology Lab focuses on basic biological concepts and principles. Upon completion of this course, students will have an understanding of basic biological laboratory techniques, the scientific method of inquiry, and the collection, reduction, interpretation, and formal presentation of data. Furthermore, knowledge of the procedures and theoretical foundations are needed to study the following biological phenomena: separation of biological compounds, enzyme kinetics, cell structures, membrane transport mechanisms, fermentation, extraction/measurement of nucleic acids, meiosis, mitosis, population genetics, bacteria, fungi and animal anatomy.
Anatomy of Movement: The human body is a phenomenal and complex mechanism; to truly evaluate and manage it, a clinical therapist must understand it. This course focuses on understanding the origin, insertion, innervation, structure and function of each muscle and its related skeletal and articulating systems. The scheduled lessons provide knowledge about the muscles used during the exertion of various movement activities and about the mechanical principles used for the structure and function of the human body.
General Chemistry: The principal goals of this lecture are to provide a broad overview of the principles of chemistry, the reactivity of the chemical elements and their compounds, and the applications of chemistry. Furthermore, the course will provide some insights into the chemical aspects of biochemistry and medicine. The topics of this course include stoichiometry, gases, liquids, solids, solutions, equilibrium, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, atomic structure and bonding, kinetics, and selected chemical systems.
Medical and Life Ethics: This course includes different aspects of medical and life ethics, such as terminal stage care, do not resuscitate, brain death, organ, transplantation, young age abortion, infertility problem, animal experiment ethics, IRB, and adverse drug effect. The course not only focuses on giving lectures but also put emphasis on group discussion and personal communication. It does not tell the students what, when, and where is right or wrong. The purpose of this course is designed to provide the proper thinking processes and behavior in medical and life events.
General Psychology: This course is designed to provide an overview of the field of psychology and human behavior. Topics include philosophical perspectives, history, biology, learning, personality, behavioral biology, development, motivation, emotion, abnormal behavior, theories, and therapies. The major objective of this course is to give students a broad introduction to the field of psychology. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to discuss historical and philosophical foundations of psychology, discuss biological perspectives of human behavior, evaluate theories and perspectives on human behavior and mental processes, describe theories of human concept and language development, evaluate psychological disorders and therapies, demonstrate knowledge of research methodology, and explore research related to topics, such as sensation, perception, consciousness.
Ethics of Occupational Therapy: This is a basic course of occupational therapy. Students taking this course will learn the following knowledge: (1) understand four basic principles and related theories, (2) realize related issues of medical ethics and get the ability to discuss these issues, and (3) get the ability to apply these medical ethics to make the appropriate decision.
Gross Anatomy: The course provides: 1. An understanding of the organization, structure and function of the human body. 2. An awareness of how the body plan is developed and how it varies between individuals and with age. 3. The use of observation, correlation and experimentation in gaining anatomical knowledge to be applied in clinical and scientific contexts. 4. An awareness of how the study of anatomy impinges on ethical and attitudinal issues and is the language of communication in medical practice.5. An environment where students work effectively and cooperatively in small groups to develop their individual learning styles to pursue independent, self-directed, reflective and critical learning.
Practicum in Gross Anatomy: The course of anatomy has been designed for the students to see the structures of the body in the cadaver, but simultaneously learn their relevance to clinical situations. The anatomy course comprises integration within dissection, procedures and lectures. The course contains essential knowledge for clinical practice (and examinations).
Kinesiology: This course focuses on understanding the science of human movement, including the areas of functional anatomy, physiology, biophysics and biomechanics, motor learning and neural control, posture and gait, and fitness and lifestyle assessment. The scheduled lessons include the muscle activities and functions for each of the movements possible in each of the following areas of the body: elbow and forearm, wrist and hand, shoulder complex, hip and pelvis, knee, ankle and foot, and head, neck and trunk.
Technology of Occupational Therapy (I) and Practicum in Technology of Occupational Therapy (I): The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to therapeutic activities and techniques commonly used in occupational therapy. The content of this course addresses (1)the development of postural control, visual perception, and functional skills in children, (2) analysis and application of therapeutic activities – leather, wood and metal work, and (3) additional topics, applied behavior analysis and progressive resistance exercise are also included. The theoretical basis and clinical application of those techniques will be emphasized.
Neuroanatomy: The course serves as an introduction to neuroanatomy for students. The course aims to provide knowledge of basic neuroanatomy, including the normal structure and function of the nervous system. Information provided in this course will enable students in health-related fields to understand the anatomical basis of neurologic abnormalities in their patients. The general architecture of the nervous system and its functional systems are presented in a series of lectures. Plastic models and atlas will be used to facilitate the understanding of course materials.
Introduction to Public Health: Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health and efficiency. Public health is also an integrated science involving health policy and management, environmental sanitation, industrial hygiene, epidemiology, the control of vectors and communicable infections, health promotion and behavior change, health education, the organization of medical and nursing services and so on. The goals of this lecture are to introduce the contents of public health and to educate students on how to have a healthy lifestyle to realize their birthright of health and longevity.
Application of Ergonomics in Occupational Therapy: Introduction to applying knowledge of ergonomics to occupational therapy. Focus on the sensory, cognitive and physical stress in activities of daily living. Principles of assistive devices design, environmental adaptation, lift analysis & postural evaluation are included.
Introduction to Pediatrics: This course offers basic knowledge of diseases related to patients under the age of 18. It includes the introduction to medical problems in fetuses, newborns, babies, school children, and teenagers. The field involves the nervous system (brain, spinal cord), respiratory system, cardiovascular, gastroenterologic, urinary and skeletal systems and more emphasis on immunology and neoplasm of children.
Introduction to Surgery: The goal of this course is to allow the students to understand the etiology, occurrence, development, diagnosis and treatment of the surgical disease. The students should selectively gain the basic knowledge and basic theories and have the capability for analyzing the ways to solve problems. The content includes basic surgical principles, principles of accident surgery, symptoms/diagnosis and management problems of surgical inpatients. By means of teaching with teaching slides, including case discussion, the process of operation, specimen harvested, photographic recording and x-ray films, the students should be trained to have the common knowledge of general surgery.
Introduction to Internal Medicine: We strive to help our students develop clinical knowledge about internal medicine (Cardiovascular medicine, including the following areas: endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, general internal medicine, hematology and oncology, immunology and rheumatology, infection disease, nephrology, pulmonary, allergy, critical care and sleep medicine. Lecture content includes: 1. General: origins of disease; 2. Signs and symptoms of a disease; 3. The basis of diagnosing a disease; 4. Rational diagnosis; and 5. Treatment.)
Students will be taught to know the diagnosis and treatment of most acute medical illnesses, as well as knowledge about chronic medical problems, such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia and asthma. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of clinical subjects, mainly in the field of internal medicine.
Pathology: The goals of this course are to develop an understanding of the causes and mechanisms of disease and the associated alterations of structure and function. The course also provides the skills of observation, interpretation, and integration needed to analyze human disease. The main topics covered are cellular degeneration, inflammation, tissue repair, circulatory disturbance, chemical and physical injury, development and a brief introduction to neoplasia. In addition, neuropathology lectures are also presented for students majoring in occupational therapy.
Pediatric Occupational Therapy: This course is designed to offer students knowledge related to theory and clinical techniques applied to children with developmental delay. The key points of this course are focused on clients with CP (Cerebral Palsy), DD (Developmental Delay), SID (Sensory Integration Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), LD (Learning Disabilities) and autism.
Practicum in Pediatric Occupational Therapy: This is a practical course for the course in “Pediatric Occupational Therapy.” The main objective of this course is to offer students a real practice opportunity. All practicum contents are related to the course “Pediatric Occupational Therapy.” So the key points of this course are focused on offering techniques which will be used for clients with CP, DD, SID, ADHD, LD and autism.
Technology of Occupational Therapy (III): This is a basic course for occupational therapy. Students should understand the relationship between therapeutic theories and therapeutic activities by learning therapeutic theories and activities. The main topics include Roods, Brunnstrom, Bobath, PNF approaches and related theories.
Practicum in Technology of Occupational Therapy (III): This is a practical course for the course in “Technology of Occupational Therapy (III).” The main objective of this course is to offer students a real practice opportunity. All practicum contents are related to the course in “Technology of Occupational Therapy (III).” So the key points of this course are focused on offering the opportunity to practice the techniques related to Roods, Brunnstrom, Bobath, PNF approaches and related theories.
Occupational Therapy for Physical Disorders: Provide professional knowledge about evaluation, intervention planning and treatment process for clients with physical dysfunctions. Most seen diagnoses and disease symptoms are included. Using remedial, compensatory and environmental adaptation to achieve satisfaction and competence in clients' life roles is emphasized. Knowledge of basic anatomy and neurology is a prerequisite for taking this course. Students are expected to complete midterm and final exams, as well as quizzes and home projects.
Practicum in Occupational Therapy Disorders: Provide professional knowledge about evaluation, intervention planning and treatment process for clients with physical dysfunctions. Most seen diagnoses and disease symptoms are included. Using remedial, compensatory and environmental adaptation to achieve satisfaction and competence in clients' life roles is emphasized. Knowledge of basic anatomy and neurology is a prerequisite for taking this course.
Work Assessment and Treatment: A vocational evaluation is a comprehensive, systematic process in which the staff should identify and assess the student’s vocational interests, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, aptitudes, and functional limitations relative to the client’s preferred rehabilitation goal or employment outcome. A vocational evaluation is also an educational process in which people obtain greater self and work knowledge. They learn about the functional impact of their disability on career options and identify barriers to employment. However, they also identify transferable skills, vocational potential, and reasonable accommodations or assistive technology to remove barriers to employment. The evaluation process encourages the individual to become more personally involved in the planning and development of their occupational careers. The acquisition of knowledge regarding themselves and the requirements involved in occupational areas of interest empowers the individual and establishes a greater degree of confidence in career decision-making.
Apprentice of Occupational Therapy (I): The students are divided into groups of 3 or 4 persons and are assigned to visit various OT clinical sites for clerkship once a week for 12 weeks. The sites for clerkship include the medical and social contexts. The students are required to make observations and report orally and in writing regarding the administration organization, care delivery paths, categories of clients, charts or records, and the contents of occupational therapy services at all sites. Discussions among the instructor and the students regarding their clinical observation will be held in the 7th, 12th, 17th and 18th weeks.
Group Dynamics: The objective of this course is to provide training with the basic theoretical foundation and technical skills necessary to ethically employ the modality of group counseling and/or group psychotherapy as an intervention with clients. This includes knowledge of the mechanics of starting and conducting groups. Special emphasis is placed on the distinguishing factors of group counseling and group psychotherapy and knowing the differences between them. This also entails a special focus on the techniques utilized in each approach. The goal is for each trainee to select a co-facilitator with whom they will conduct their respective group and to successfully run a short-term group to its contractual date of termination. An observation group is a group of students, which follows the academic calendar. Each member is screened and invited to voluntarily participate, with written permission, in this group for observation. Each participant from each group provides written documentation of this and is introduced to one another at the beginning of the first group session.
Occupational Therapy for Geriatrics: The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to normal aging and important issues impacting the elderly's life. In addition to self-care, we might address their quality of life, leisure activity, and social life. In particular, the elderly who co-occur with other serious mental illnesses, most noticeable are dementia and depressive mood even other psychotic disorders, and their family faces these illnesses as well as various social and economic difficulties. Occupational therapists should master the consequence of those problems and learn how to help them.
Hand Rehabilitation: This course will provide students with fundamental concepts about functional anatomy of the hand, basic hand rehabilitation theory and its applications. The major topics are: introduction, evaluation and therapy of the hand problems (wound management, tendon, nerve, bone, crush injuries, etc.) The goal is to provide students with a clear and detailed introduction and a valuable reference for the practice of hand injury therapy.
Clinical Practicum in Occupational Therapy for Psychology: This course is designed for students to understand the heritage of occupational therapy theoretical information, frames of reference and models of practice in a mental health facility. The students will learn the application of evaluation, intervention methods in psychosocial occupational therapy practice. They will also know the therapeutic techniques such as therapeutic use of self activity-based treatment, and clinical application of occupational therapy frames of reference. Students will become familiar with a variety of therapeutic activities to design and conduct treatment plans and activities, as well as, understand the application of theoretical information on occupational therapy in clients with different psychiatric disorders.
Clinical Practicum in Occupational Therapy for Physical: Clinical internship to qualify for national professional certification. Aims to require skills in collecting clients’ medical information and writing treatment notes. Focus on clinical reasoning and application of treatment principles and techniques to promote clients’ functions in life roles. Students are expected to attend book reading sessions, present research literature and complete a case study in fieldwork. Prerequisite: completion of all OT major academic requirements.
Clinical Practicum in Occupational Therapy for Pediatrics (I): This course provides students with the opportunities to practice occupational therapy for pediatric clients, including children with various diagnoses, dysfunctions and developmental disabilities. In this course, students will practice interview skills, evaluation methods, and treatment techniques taught in the class.
Seminar in Occupational Therapy (I): This course provides an opportunity for OT students to review, study and organize basic knowledge and applied theories regarding the occupational therapy profession. Each student is required to present a selected topic on various dimensions and write a synthesized paper on it. The in-class discussion is also required for all students.