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News Room: Physical and Occupational Therapy Students Compete in “Crosstown Splint Off”

To download a pdf of this news release, please click here.

Edgewood, KY –
St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Patterson Medical and Advanced Technologies have invited students from the College of Mt. St. Joseph’s physical therapy, Xavier University’s occupational therapy programs, and new in 2014 the University of Cincinnati’s physical therapy to duel in plastic at the Cincinnati area’s third annual “Crosstown Splint Off” on Thursday, February 20.

“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 friendly competition will give them a chance to feel comfortable with the material before having to put it on a person.”

Occupational therapists use activity and exercise to help patients restore ability to return to work or job duties and improve self-care skills following an injury or illness. Recovery often includes splinting. Physical therapists also may have to splint a patient.

“It’s tricky to use thermoplastic because it hardens quickly. You have to form the splint material to conform to a particular body part 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 a sculpture that represents a current or emerging area of therapy practice in some way. 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 occur in the main lobby at Commonwealth Orthopaedic Center on 560 S. Loop Rd. in Edgewood. Teams will present their creations to a panel of judges from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on February 20. Judges will include representatives from each school, St. Elizabeth Rehab Services 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 and the University of Cincinnati’s PT program. Most OT and PT graduates are quite likely to land a job after graduation. U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts 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 23 teams to take part in the contest with the addition of the University of Cincinnati. The College of Mt. St. Joseph has won two years in a row and hopes to defend its title in 2014. For more information or to arrange photos or video, contact Guy Karrick, Manager of Public Relations or (859) 301-6300.

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