Ukwanda RCS Occupational therapy
1. Overview of the program:
Eight final year occupational therapy students are placed in Worcester for a year where they do four 6 week clinical rotations or blocks, namely: OT in Health 1 at Worcester Provincial Hospital, OT in Health 2 at Toevlug Rehabilitation Centre for Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Learning and Development at the Roman Catholic Primary School and Community Interaction in the Avianpark community. They do their research project in Worcester, as well as writing tests and exams on Worcester campus. The students have the opportunity to join the Ukwanda-talks (U-talks) and Collaborative Care Home visit project with students from other programs, namely Human Nutrition, Medicine, Physiotherapy and Speech-Language and Hearing therapy. They also have the opportunity to work with elective occupational therapy students from Belgium and in this way expanding their clinical practice. Some of the other learning opportunities students have is to present and/or attend the annual Rural Research Day and Community Partnership Function that is both held on Worcester campus.
2. Local coordinator:
Mrs. Mia Duvenage is the coordinator for the RCS occupational therapy program and supervisor for the OT in Health 1 and Community Interaction block. She has been involved with the development of the program since 2012 and is passionate about working with communities to promote health and wellness. The supervisor for the OT in Health 2 block is Mrs. Ilze Duvenage. She is specialized in the treatment of patients with Substance disorders and an expert on Life skills training in group settings. Mrs. Mariette van Wyk is the supervisor for the Learning and Development block and has a pediatric private practice in Worcester and De Doorns. She has hands-on skills and experience in the management of children with developmental delays and to provide guidance to parents and teachers for supporting these children in the home and school environment.
3. Which communities are involved:
Worcester students work at the Worcester Provincial Hospital (OT in Health 1), Toevlug Alcohol and Drug Dependence (OT on Health 2), the Roman Catholic Primary School (Learning and Development) and in the Avianpark community (Community Interaction). Upington students work at the Dr Harry Surtie Hospital (OT in Health 1 and Learning and Development) and Oasis Center for Persons with Disabilities (Learning and Development), Ceres students work at the Ceres Hospital (OT in Health 1) and the Hermanus students at Lukhanyo Primary School (Community Interaction).
4. How do the clinical rotations work:
Two students do four 6 week clinical blocks during the year, rotating between OT in Health 1, OT in Health 2, Learning and Development, and Community Interaction.
5. What is the benefit of the program to student:
The students develop a good understanding of health systems and challenges faced by rural communities by living and working in Worcester for a longer period of time. They have the opportunity to do research that is of benefit to the Worcester community by addressing specific community identified needs. They have the opportunity to work with students from other programs, health professionals and community members, in this way gaining a better understanding of multi-disciplinary teams and the unique role and contribution of each team member.