St. Elizabeth Healthcare invited students from Mt. St. Joseph University’s physical therapy (PT) program, Xavier University’s occupational therapy (OT) program, and the University of Cincinnati’s physical therapy (PT) program to duel in plastic at the sixth annual “Crosstown Splint Off.” The competition was held at Mt. St. Joseph University physical therapy department in Delhi.
The winner was the University of Cincinnati and its entry “Healthcare in Sync.” Xavier University was runner up with its entry “Occupations in a 3D Printed World.”
“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 University. “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 five-member teams that competed in the Splint Off built a sculpture that represented “technological advances in health care.” Each project had to include three different splint materials (Polyform™, Ezeform™ and Aquaplast™) and no more than four non-splint components. Projects demonstrated the draping, molding, and bonding ability of the materials, included a cylinder or curved structure, contained some square edges, and represented the Splint Off theme. The structures were judged on uniqueness and originality, aesthetic and professional quality (smoothness, neatness, craftsmanship), materials selection, complexity and intricacy. Judges included representatives from each school, St. Elizabeth Hand Therapy and two guest judges
Xavier had 36 students and nine teams. Mount Saint Joseph had 37 students and eight teams The University of Cincinnati had 23 students and six teams. This year featured a “hands on” splinting event, where five teams of three students (one member from each school) had 30 minutes to fabricate on the spot a sculpture with a specific theme in front of the audience. The “Skyline Chili” sculpture won the hands on competition with the theme Cincinnati food.
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.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare operates seven facilities throughout Northern Kentucky and more than 115 primary care and specialty office locations in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. St. Elizabeth is sponsored by the Diocese of Covington and is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. For more information, visit www.stelizabeth.com.