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Occupational Therapy Graduate Solidifies her Passion for Helping Others at USciences
During her time at USciences, Bridget Houghton DrOT’20 has been able to apply what she learned in the classroom to real-life situations in her field. As she moves forward with the graduating class of 2020, Dr. Houghton plans to continue to take her knowledge into the field and aspires to mentor other occupational therapy professionals.
Following graduation, she will take the national board certification exam and begin applying for jobs working with adult patients either in rehabilitation or community settings in the region.
During one of her fieldwork experiences, Dr. Houghton worked on the brain injury unit at Good Shepherd Penn Partners Specialty Hospital with a patient who was feeling unmotivated to participate due to the nature of their injury. Dr. Houghton took lessons learned in the OT classroom and put them to work. She contacted the patient’s family to get more information about the patient prior to their injury, learning that the patient used to work as a seamstress. Dr. Houghton brought sewing into their therapy sessions, and the patient began to flourish.
“It was during that session that I gained more confidence in myself to deliver the type of care that I had learned during my time at University of the Sciences.” Dr. Houghton explains. “From that experience, I learned the importance of family and client-centered care, motivational interviewing, and how I can incorporate a person’s occupations into the intervention process.”
In addition to fieldwork, Dr. Houghton attended conferences that allowed her to learn and network with other therapists. “One of my fondest accomplishments was presenting at the American Occupational Therapy Conference with one of my peers,” she said. ”We presented on OT’s role in the opioid epidemic.”
While at USciences, Dr. Houghton served as the representative for the Student Occupational Therapy Association on campus, which provided her the opportunity to work with other OT students, professors, and professionals. She hopes to present her recent doctoral capstone project, in which she developed and implemented a volunteer program for older adults in the community, at an upcoming conference.
Dr. Houghton was involved on campus in many ways during her time at USciences, including as an orientation leader and a student-athlete on the Women’s Cross Country team. “Both of these experiences gave me the opportunity to further promote the OT profession and allow me to give back to the University,” she said.
As she begins her career, Dr. Houghton plans to teach or mentor students using the knowledge she acquired in her time at USciences.
Dr. Houghton’s advice to prospective students is simple: “I challenge prospective students to believe in themselves and they can aspire to achieve their goals and pursue any degree they want” Dr. Houghton shares. “I think it’s important to be involved, at your own pace, in activities that interest you or something different you may want to try.”
Categories: News, Samson College of Health Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Students, Profile