Kimberly Breeden, MS, OTR/L and Niccole Rowe, BA, COTA/L, Founding Partners of Aspire OT

Aspire OT Founding Partners Give 17th Annual Occupational Therapy Distinguish Lecture

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Niccole and Kim were honored to be invited by the University of Wisconsin La Crosse as the 17th Annual Occupational Therapy Distinguished Lecturers. Their presentation, "Occupational Therapy and Pain: Grow Your Confidence in Addressing Pain in Daily Practice and Advocating for OT's Value" was attended by students, faculty, and area clinicians on March 31, 2023.

Kim and Niccole wanted to share their thoughts about the experience.
Kim: When we received the email invitation, it included the previous lecturers over the years. I saw the list of names of researchers, thought leaders, and academics who have significantly contributed to the profession and our body of knowledge. I thought there had to be a mistake, surely they did not mean to invite us. Once the disbelief resolved, it was such an honor to have the opportunity to share our experiences and what we have learned with current and future OT practitioners.
Niccole: I had a similar reaction to Kim. There was definitely some disbelief when I read the e-mail. I was also really honored especially as the first occupational therapy assistant to be a speaker in this series. It shows the progress towards recognizing OTAs for our knowledge and the value that we bring to occupational therapy. It was amazing to be able to share my OTA perspective during the lecture and what a humbling experience to have that opportunity.

Kim: I really enjoyed meeting the University of Wisconsin faculty and students. It was exciting to hear about all of the hands-on opportunities the students have to learn and practice their skills. La Crosse did not disappoint! The food and shopping gave us the chance for much-needed rest and relaxation.
Niccole: The town of La Crosse was beautiful as it is situated right on the Mississippi River. The faculty and the students of the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse OT program made us feel so welcome and really showed their dedication to occupational therapy. The faculty has really created great educational opportunities for the students. You could tell that the students have been working so hard to become future OT practitioners. One of the things that I was most excited about, and was a surprise once we got there, was that students and faculty from a local OTA program were going to attend the lecture. I was able to stop at several of the tables where those students and faculty were sitting. I enjoyed so much getting to talk to them, to hear their excitement, and to just connect with them.

Kim: What was the most exciting to me was realizing that everyone who was attending understood pain from a biopsychosocial perspective. In 2019 the Department of Health and Human Services identified the widespread need for healthcare professionals to increase their understanding of pain from a biopsychosocial perspective. I remember just 8 short years ago when I began practicing in a chronic pain clinic it was difficult to find literature specific to OT and pain management. Niccole and I and many other OT practitioners all over the world have been working to increase the profession's awareness, and I can really see that we have come a long way. The University of Wisconsin students definitely had a solid understanding. It was great to be able to spend more time discussing assessment and treatment.
Niccole: Our profession definitely has come a long way. I was reminded of how important the connection is between all of us as OT practitioners. Our audience helped us realize how our profession has really shifted to considering the biopsychosocial approach related to pain and even just how many OT practitioners have shifted to addressing pain in their practice. Some of the attendees talked about how helpful it was to hear our perspective including how to integrate assessment and interventions together for treating pain. It seemed that while they were using some of the tools we discussed that hearing how the tools all came together to support the client as well as some additional handouts and talking points was very helpful. Much like in daily practice, we learned from each other.

Occupational Therapy CEUs for pain managment

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Aspire OT is a different kind of CEU company, owned by an OT & OTA. 

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Created by OT practitioners JUST for  OT practitioners, our occupational therapy continuing education CEU courses allow you to advance your skills and help your clients.

Choosing Aspire OT for your CEU needs means you are supporting other OT and OTA instructors as well as our partner occupational therapy state associations.  

Aspire OT was created to provide exceptional evidence-based CEs at reasonable prices designed to meet the needs of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in everyday practice.

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