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Unconventional OT

Unconventional OT

By Jessica Morgan & Kate Kowalyshen
Hosted by two OTD students, Unconventional OT is a podcast dedicated to discussing non-traditional practice areas within occupational therapy. This podcast, in conjunction with the website "," aims to advocate with a focus on education, information sharing, and capacity building.
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Episode 4: OT Practice in Acute Behavioral Health with Melanie Higgins
Jess and Kate discuss OT practice in an acute behavioral health setting with occupational therapist, Melanie Higgins. She provides insight regarding the environment, her interpersonal team, and the population's needs. She also shares the challenges and the rewards of working in this non-traditional setting. Melanie Higgins has been an occupational therapist for over 20 years and has practiced in a variety of settings with a diverse range of populations. 
July 29, 2020
Episode 3: OT's Role in Eating Disorder Recovery with Dr. Thais Petrocelli
Jess and Kate discuss OT's role in eating disorder recovery with Dr. Thais Petrocelli. Dr. Thais Petrocelli has been an OT for over 16 years.  She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in OT from Elizabethtown College. She holds a Master of Health Administration from the University of Phoenix and a post-professional OTD degree from Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Petrocelli has a varied clinical background, including inpatient psychiatrics (general and eating disorders), acute care, sub-acute rehabilitation, early intervention, and school-based care.  Dr. Petrocelli has served as a full-time professor, an adjunct professor, and a full-time academic fieldwork coordinator. Her areas of interest include intergenerational learning and understanding, young adults transitioning to adulthood, mental health, and community-based care
July 22, 2020
Episode 2: Drumming Up Skills with Jorge Ochoa
This episode features Jorge Ochoa OTR, a group drumming specialist. Jess, Kate, and Jorge discuss how group drumming can be an effective therapeutic tool for multiple populations. Jorge explains how he got started with his group drumming business, “Tambo Rhythms”, and how OTs can get started with drumming, even with no musical experience. Jorge Ochoa, OTR is an OT and group drumming facilitator in San Antonio, TX. His company, TamboRhythms, is dedicated to promoting functional living through rhythmic expression throughout the lifespan. Jorge has facilitated groups at many locations including schools, learning centers, and community centers, and has even started training OTs in group drumming facilitation.
July 10, 2020
Episode 1: Unconventional OT 101 with Dr. Kayla Collins
This episode is an introduction to traditional vs. non-traditional OT while exploring additional factors such as occupational justice and doctoral projects. Dr. Kayla Collins has been an OT for eight years and has primarily practiced in inpatient geriatrics and outpatient pediatrics. She has a passion for working with older adults with cognitive disorders and has a certification in Dementia Caregiver Training and Dementia Care. She is also a certified LSVT BIG practitioner and serves as lead of the St. John’s County Falls Coalition. She currently works with older adults in home health and outpatient settings. Her research interests include online education, simulation, higher education, and cross-cultural learning. She has presented at state and national conferences. She is also the OTD Doctoral Coordinator for the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences at the St. Augustine campus.
June 11, 2020