SSU students learning at Compass Community Health

By Ryan Ottney

November 23, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

Classroom learning can only take a student so far. That’s why students from the Occupational Therapy program at Shawnee State University took a field trip to Compass Community Health on Thursday to watch their instructor in action.

Barbara Warnock is both the occupational therapy instructor at SSU and the director of occupational therapy at Compass Community Health, on 11th Street in Portsmouth. Warnock brought 22 students from her Occupational Therapy program at Shawnee State University to her facility at Compass on Thursday to observe a pediatric evaluation.

“This is the end of the semester, and they’ve already went through what it’s like to have a referral, what’s it look like to actually do an evaluation and make a treatment plan, and do a treatment. They practiced that in our area school systems this semester, so today they’ll come in and just watch me go through the OT process. They’ll do an observation. I think I’m going to have one student actually do a couple pieces of it with me, then they’ll fill out a form and do an observation while I do that,” Warnock said.

In the case presented to students, a kindergarten student is struggling in school and has poor coordination and handwriting.

“Today I’m actually going to look at her sensory processing. The ability to screen-out sound. The ability to know her body in space. How well she gets on and off equipment. Then I will test her (fine motor skills),” Warnock said.

She said it’s an excellent resource for students to have an occupational therapy facility in Portsmouth, where before they had to travel all the way to Piketon for field-work.

“What’s really nice is, the collaboration with TCC (The Counseling Center) and Compass, is in 2010 the students wrote a grant and that started providing equipment and doing intervention for some kids in the home at Stepping Stones. We just finished with a one-day-a-week level-two MOT (masters of occupational therapy) student who came to the clinic to get her hands-on skills. Then in January through the first of May, we’re going to have two OT students do their level two here,” Warnock said.

Gina Collinsworth, of The Counseling Center and Compass Community Health, said the collaboration between SSU and Compass has been valuable to the entire community.

“Just having those resources, like a world-class university and the health care that we’re trying to provide at Compass, which is improving access to care and helping remove barriers. There are a lot of people in our area that haven’t gotten routine medical care at any kind of facility like this, or any kind help in their daily life with all the struggles that they have. That’s why Compass is here, and that’s what’s so exciting about being able to work with all the organizations in our community,” Collinsworth said.

The OT program has also been supported locally, through grants and funding provided by Second Presbyterian Church, the Scioto Foundation, and The United Way.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.