Occupational Therapy Skills Training Course for Health Professionals
Occupational Therapy Training Program
Despite the vision of The World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) that “all the countries of the world will have their own occupational therapy education programmes, which meet the WFOT minimum standards”, there are of course, several countries around the world where this has not been possible to date. One of these countries is Ukraine.
The need for world class, evidence based rehabilitation techniques to be utilised by Ukrainian health care professionals has existed for many years, however it has never been more needed than now when many returning injured soldiers from the war in the east of the county have not been receiving adequate rehabilitation. Following the development of the Ukrainian Society of Ergotherapists and the first Training for OT Educators with WFOT in 2018, several universities are working towards the development of masters and bachelor level occupational therapy courses. However, it will take several years before qualified practitioners are available to implement these techniques and even then, most will remain in cities where jobs may have been created. There will be an additional need to scaffold this approach with occupational therapy skills and training for local health workers who can implement techniques quickly and in regional as well as metropolitan areas.
This project will be jointly run between Curtin University and the Ukrainian Ergotherapy (OT) Society and hosted by in country partner the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) Lviv. It will deliver an 8 week course to up to 40 health care workers in practical occupational therapy based rehabilitation skills. It has been developed and piloted over a 3 year period in Vietnam by Curtin University staff with over 150 combined years of occupational therapy experience. The course has been delivered effectively to both doctors and rehabilitation workers from two rural provinces with follow up practical work in situ being supervised by Curtin staff. The training includes two, three week blocks of classes, (half delivered on line and half in person workshops) including rigorous assessments and two weeks of supervised practicum/fieldwork. In addition, the project aims to identify and train 2 local trainers who would be mentored to be able to train the next cohort of trainees.
This project will facilitate sustainable skills training in evidence based occupational therapy techniques which can be accessed by health professionals across the country. Occupational therapy is critical to the rehabilitation process enabling people to participate in all the activities of life they need and want to do. In short, given this program also trains trainers, it will equip hundreds of people to provide world class care to thousands of Ukrainians.
To run this course, we need to raise $105,000 to help teach Ukrainians how to bring a better quality of life to the disabled and injured.