College of Allied Health Sciences alumni and Navy Occupational Therapist Lieutenant Junior Grade Trey Elam is sharing his passion for occupational therapy through a new video developed for medical officers and prospective occupational therapists interested in a career in Navy Medicine.
Produced by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the video features actual occupational therapy patients acting out occupational therapy treatments, showing the capabilities and services of the Navy Occupational Therapy Program and illustrating the unique role and benefits that Navy Occupational Therapists provide to patients recovering from life altering injuries or illnesses.
“Some Medical Officers that are assigned to Marine Corps units do not have much experience with OT and aren’t aware of all we can offer,” said Trey, “ Having the video to train new residents is a valuable tool so when they get out to their respective units, they will know just how much OT can offer.”
Through the video, potential occupational therapists and medical officer learn about how occupational therapists help restore mental and motor function to improve the lives of their patients. The video also focuses on how Navy Occupational Therapists strive to evaluate patients and their routines, determining the restorative potential of the skills necessary to continue their daily activities.
Using actual patients treated by Navy Occupational Therapists, the video shows demonstrations of standard occupational therapy treatment plans that help patients not only return to everyday tasks such as brushing their teeth or bathing on their own, but to also return to active duty.
Trey, a 2012 graduate from the Department of Occupational Therapy and now an occupational therapy division officer at naval hospital Camp Pendleton, decided to pursue a career in occupational therapy after volunteering with the physical therapy and occupational therapy departments at the Caswell Center for the Developmentally Disabled in Kinston.
“Both are valued services, but I was more drawn to the functionality of what OT provides to patients and how innovative the OTs were to create just right challenges and adaptive equipment for my brother who is autistic and a resident at the Caswell Center,” he said.
After dedicating 100 more volunteer hours at the Womack Army Medical Hospital for Physical and Occupational Therapy, Trey found his niche in the outpatient Orthopedic setting.
“I fell in love with splint fabrication and post-operative upper extremity rehabilitation.”
Trey says his love for the field was nurtured by Dr. Leonard Trujillo, current OT department chair and retired Air Force Major. Serving under Dr. Trujillo’s supervision during his graduate research project and seeking his advice regarding military OT was instrumental in developing Trey’s passion for OT according to Trey.
You can learn more about occupational therapy in the Navy visit this site: https://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/clinical-care/occupational-therapy.html#ft-key-responsibilities