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Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2021

Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

Moses Ikiugu

Second Advisor

Joy Person


occupational therapy, critical care, early mobility protocol, well-being, passive range

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


The purpose of this capstone experience was to gain advanced clinical knowledge about the role occupational therapy has in increasing the well-being of individuals in critical care. Fourteen weeks were spent at a level-two trauma hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota. This hospital serves a wide rural community including many Native tribe members. This experience was spent completing direct patient care, participating as a part of the existing liberation committee, establishing competency as a critical care occupational therapy provider, and observing the multiple interdisciplinary professionals. The four objectives established to demonstrate competency were met utilizing an eclectic theoretical framework with Toglia’s DIA as the organizing model. The Model of Human Performance and Person-Environment-Occupation Performance models were complementary to guide intervention implementation as well as establish proper education to early mobility aides. Interventions incorporated meaningful tasks while being mindful of the physical healing and extenuating environmental factors of critical care as exemplified with a case study. Early mobility protocol requires an interdisciplinary approach following established five levels. Occupational therapists have a platform which allows them a voice in the interdisciplinary team to advocate for the patient’s well-being during their stay and even a year from discharge. Utilizing their education in mental health and allowing proper theories to guide intervention implantation, occupational therapists are in a great position to advocate for the holistic practice of early mobility.