Monday, September 28, 2009

“From Creighton to Cairo”

By: Angela Schroeder

Although six weeks have managed to disappear from my student planner since
my arrival in Egypt, and my Arabic is still deficient (if not nonexistent
altogether), everyday I am obtaining the occupational therapy skills never
available in my numerous textbooks; and that is exactly why I am here.
However, I do hope to broaden my language skills, at least beyond *'shokrun'

Who: My name is Angela Schroeder and I am currently enrolled at
Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, completing my final course
requirements for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree. Creighton
's OTD curriculum involves an Entry-Level Professional Rotation

course which offers students the opportunity to combine didactic coursework
with a personal concentration, my own being an interest in international OT
delivery and curriculum development.

What: The purpose of my professional mission statement is to express
knowledge, creativity and clinical skills while continually evolve
academically and apply innovative techniques at an international site, in
order to achieve my highest potential as a future occupational therapy
practitioner. The learning objectives constructed for this rotation are
specific to my site and areas of interest, and evidenced through designated
learning activities. My learning activities focus on the implementation of
OT services

In addition to my clinical experience, I am also involved in a research
course aimed to highlight the gaps in the body of OT knowledge. The
critically appraised topic I have selected focuses on the preparedness of
students in the health field to administer care to a diverse caseload. By
broadening the scope beyond OT, I hope to illuminate the necessity of
cultural awareness in all practices of health. My question is as follows:
What is the effectiveness of inclusion of a culture course in health
professions education in preparing graduates to treat patients from a
variety of nationalities and/or cultures?

Where: I am completing my professional rotation at the Learning Resource
under the direction of Dr. Safy Zein, PT and Dr. Eman El-Sayed,

Paediatric Psychiatrist. I work with Farah Sabra, an OT from Lebanon, and am
awaiting the return of my intended supervisor, Moffat Makomo from Zimbabwe,
who should be my direct OT supervisor but was stalled coming back because of
issues with his work visa.

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) is a diagnostic and therapeutic center
that caters services to children and adolescents who may have learning
difficulties and/or behavior problems. LRC started operation in 1996 and
since fall 1997, they have maintained an OT program. The program was started
by a British OT, Susannah Barnes, and when she repatriated to England, it
was headed by Laura Efinger, OT from the USA, from 2003 to 2009. Since
then, LRC have merged the Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Vision
Therapy Departments into one Sensory & Motor Department headed by Dr. Safy
Zein, PT, and with coordinators for each section. Actually, in 1997, LRC
hosted 2 OTs from Connecticut, USA for 6 weeks to train staff on recognizing
OT needs for children referred for diagnosis and therapy.

Why: Why Egypt? Many of you readers know better than I that Egypt needs
OT(s)! As OT continues to advance in countries around the world, so also
should the profession be developed in Egypt- which I chose for the reality
that Egypt occupies only a handful of registered OT(s) and does not
currently offer an accredited OT education. To be able to progress in areas
of occupation, professional practice and leadership, Egypt must also keep
pace by providing both the occasion for learning opportunities and OT
employment. Permeating the boundaries to allow access for both practicing
therapists and students can create a future of global resources to protect
our profession while also addressing the need for therapy in this country.

When: The required sixteen week rotation that I am currently fulfilling
started August 16, 2009 and will conclude on December 5, 2009. Upon
returning to the states, the details of my rotation and research will be
presented in a plenary session, under the direction of occupational therapy
faculty, prior to graduation on December 18 and 19, 2009.

And if the following ten weeks prove to vanish as quickly as the first, and
even if I never have the chance to drink from the Nile, I certainly hope to
return someday.

Angela M Schroeder
Creighton University School
of Pharmacy and Health Professions
Doctor of Occupational Therapy 2009


أم ترافيس said...

hello laura. i remember talking to you once on a forum here in egypt about special needs children. you mentioned to me about a centre for autism in maadi at the time, as I was once a teacher for autism. anyhow, i remembered your name, when a friend of my husband's heard that i know about special needs, he wants to bring his children (twins) to me as they know that the children have something wrong, but they do not know what. the only thing i was told is that they have speech issues, and my husband said they acted different.

i will meet the mother and twins today, but i am not certified or experienced enough to make any kind of diagnosis. what i would like to do is offer them a place where this will be possible, if the parents can identify the problem, then perhaps they can seek the correct path for helping their children.

please email me at ummtravis at live dot com with any helpful resources. i am sure you know how unreliable doctors and facilities can be in this country and time is slipping away for the progress of these children. they already spent a year at a doctor with zero success.

thanks for your help in advance

Laura Efinger said...

Hi, I emailed you last week with contact information, but you did not reply that you received it. Please email, again, if there was a problem with your mail.


Student said...

Hi Angela,

Have you came back after completing your final term ?

How's your experience ? Share something with us we are very eager to hear you

community college is my learning destination.

Anonymous said...

Hi Angela/Laura
We really apprieciate what you are doing in Egypt,I need your help or any body else see this message in your field OT where my son Omar he is 3 years old USA citizen born in MI and receiving PT,OT and speech therapy in U OF M ,They told me in U of M he will need a long time to eat or to speak,So please advise me if I have to go to Egypt my home country,next year,We will be able to get the same care he get here.My name Mohamed abdel-maguid