Scholarship Finalist Essay #3 – Christina Immergluck
As a student entering the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, my education directly involves obtaining, analyzing, and applying research into my daily practice as a clinician. The profession of occupational therapy is becoming very data driven and the need for more research is critical to the profession. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I have learned there are few valid and reliable studies that have been completed to back up the different interventions that I am doing. I believe that Sponsored Research will not only advance society as a whole but it will also create compliance and accountability to occupational therapists.
In my sixteen years of practicing as an occupational therapist within the school system and hospital settings, I know firsthand how important and valuable having current research is. I must be able to explain to my patients and families that the interventions I am using are evidenced based and have proven results. In addition, creating and using progress monitoring tools to collect performance data is another piece to the research puzzle. I must have the evidence and data to support the interventions I am using.
Sponsored research will help contribute to the advancement of society. There are many clinicians who need funding in order to complete their research. Obtaining sponsorship is an avenue for their project to gain the necessary funding to allow the research to happen. Brilliant ideas, interventions, and technologies that could transform or change our society for the better are out there. Sponsored research can help build relationships and partnerships with organizations that have the same mission and values as the researchers needing assistance with their project. These relationships could lead to other projects and sponsorships allowing continued advancement of the profession as a whole.
Sponsored research will also create a culture of compliance and accountability for occupational therapists. In order to identify interventions, technologies, and other treatment approaches that are truly evidence based, it is critical for research to be done in to support the effectiveness of them. As insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid develop stricter laws and rules for payment of therapy services, compliance and accountability for therapists to perform effective and evidenced based treatment is of utmost importance. Many insurance companies will not pay for treatment that does not have clinical research and evidence to support it. Therefore Sponsored Research will not only allow therapists to be more accountable in their clinical practice but they will need to remain compliant with the strategies and approaches that have the most research and evidence to back it up.
As the profession of occupational therapy continues to evolve, the need for clinical research is critical. In order for the profession to grow and change to support the society in which we live, there needs to be research available to quantify and support the interventions that are being performed. Sponsored research is an avenue that will help create new opportunities for researchers to help bring their study to life. Sponsored research will help advance our society as a whole as it will help support or change the way that therapy is being rendered. It will also create a culture of compliance and accountability for occupational therapists. Therapists must remain accountable to the insurance companies, employers, and patients that they serve by providing proven and effective treatment.
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