I love hearing the story of someone's life. I use each person's interests to guide my therapy interventions and make their OT sessions meaningful.
I always wanted to work in healthcare. I discovered the field of occupational therapy while I was an undergraduate student and realized it was a perfect fit for me. I love being an OT; I've worked in a variety of settings in pediatrics and geriatrics. I especially enjoy working with the elderly because of their rich life experiences.
As a Clinical Assistant Professor at D'Youville, I teach Pediatric Evaluation, Documentation I, Occupational Development II, and I'm a Fieldwork Coordinator. In my Occupational Development class, I have each of my seven labs run activity groups at the Richmond Summer Senior Center, West Side Community Center, and the Santa Maria Towers (home for the elderly). The seniors love the interaction with the students and the interesting groups we run.
I'm involved in IPEC (Interprofessional Education) and have participated in several simulation sessions. I'm an author in the IPEC manuscript that was accepted for publication in Medical Science Educator. Recently, I presented at the NYSOTA Conference 2013 for the IPEC simulation and a survey written with Dr. Amy Nwora and Dr. Theresa Vallone. The survey examines student perceptions of Level I fieldwork, it's called "Out of the Ivory Tower: Does Education Connect to the Clinical Experience?"
Students who do well in the Occupational Therapy Program are smart, compassionate, and like working with people. As an OT, you have to be able to develop a rapport with your patients so they will work with you toward their goals of improved independence with activities of daily living.
Donna Brzykcy, MS, OTR
Clinical Assistant Professor; Fieldwork Coordinator