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Student Blog

Carly Smith – Student Blog 3/20/24

Hi everyone!

This week at IIOP we made our first solid ankle Ankle-Foot-Orthoses (AFO). We made much use of all of the equipment here at IIOP during the fabrication process. We practiced patient interactions, gait assessments, and completed checkouts with our instructors. Looking forward to diving deeper into various styles of AFO’s.


– Carly Smith

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Megan Merryman – Student Blog 3/19/24

Hi everyone!

I am writing the first post ever for Spring ’24 cohort, the Zen Ten!  Despite our name, we are full of energy and eager to be in our first semester.  It is crazy to say that we have already reached the halfway point of semester one and have survived almost all of our midterms, with the clinical gait analysis midterm still looming ahead of us this week.  

The Zen Ten will complete their individual presentations this week in our pathology and neuroanatomy classes, with many interesting disorders and case studies being covered.  Lots of time, effort, and creativity were put into these presentations, which can be seen in the pictures!  

I look forward to sharing more with you all as we continue on our journey this year!

Megan Merryman

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Laurel Harrington – Student Blog 1/30/24

Core 34 is moving right along! Fresh in their white coats, in the past few weeks they’ve learned all about tools and how to use them safely. From the bandsaw to the drill press, from bending metal to riveting, they have gotten comfortable quickly in the lab and have moved into clinical evaluations such as range of motion testing and manual muscle testing. They are looking forward to putting all their new learned skills together!

Thanks for reading!

-Laurel Harrington

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Laurel Harrington – Student Blog 11/30/23

What an amazing couple of weeks for Core 34! From the Special Olympics in Orlando to a festive Thanksgiving gathering, from gait outcome measures to touring the RCAI facility in St Pete, Core 34 is sailing through the last bit of this semester. Preparing to wrap up finals while reflecting upon all of their experiences so far. Grateful, and ready for winter break to refuel ourselves for next semester!

– Laurel Harrington

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Laurel Harrington – Student Blog 10/10/23

Hi everyone!

Midterms are underway, and core 34 has created some great study games, study groups, and some pretty funny acronyms to help them comprehend the material provided up until this point.  Nonetheless, to throw some fun in they’ve gotten their hands into some plaster, attended a Tampa Bay Lightning game, and visited an elementary school to promote and provide education about the O&P field. Keep cheering them on & stay tuned for some insight into the volunteer events coming up such as Fit Feet, Pig Jig, and the Special Olympics.

Thanks for reading!

Laurel Harrington

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Laurel Harrington – 10/02/23

Hi everyone!

This week at IIOP, we performed palpation and measurements of the lower limbs to identify bony landmarks. We also familiarized ourselves with measuring tools such as a goniometer and ML gauges. Each of us performed a comprehensive gait analysis and examined both our steps and strides. To end the week, Grace Prosthetics hosted a BBQ for Core34!

Thanks for reading,

Laurel Harrington

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Laurel Harrington – Student Blog 9/25/23

Hi Everyone!

Core 34 update!  This week Core 34 received some hands-on interactive training in casting, postural analysis, and real-life application.  So far, this crew has been deep into the books of human anatomy and physiology, pathology, and neuroanatomy.  They are excited to be applying their cumulative studies out of their seats!  Check back in soon, we have more hands-on applications coming up as well as several volunteer events and cohort get-togethers.

– Laurel Harrington

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 8/18/23

Hi everyone! 

I can’t believe I’m writing the last blog for the Divine 29’s time here on campus. We finished Contemporary Practice this week which has been a very busy class for us! Two socket laminations, a heat-moldable wrist-hand-finger-orthosis, two mock written exams, a mock CPM, and multiple patient interactions have made up these last couple of weeks at IIOP. Each topic in Contemporary Practice prepared us for our mock exams and allowed us to practice more patient interaction and fabrication skills before heading into clinical rotations at the end of this month. Reflecting on the last year at IIOP, we have truly had a great experience and have grown so much as a class. We are all so proud of the projects that we have completed as well as all of the coursework that we have balanced with our lab time as well. I am so excited to see where our clinical rotations and residencies take us in just a few short months. Look out for more blogs this fall from the freshmen class, as well as a few blogs from me updating everyone on our rotations! 

As always, thank you for reading! 

Sam Bousman

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 7/31/23

Hi everyone!

It has been a busy summer for the Fall’22 Cohort! Last week we finished our 4th class of the semester, Orthotic Management of The Upper Limb. This class went by so fast, but we completed two custom projects and two prefabricated fittings. Our first project was a custom thermoplastic wrist hand orthosis (WHO), and the second project was a custom thermoplastic elbow orthosis (EO). Both of these projects were so fun to make, and they were great projects to practice more fabrication and patient interaction skills. Everyone got really creative with transfer paper and designs on these projects as well which is always fun to see! Our prefabricated fittings included a humeral fracture orthosis and a shoulder elbow wrist hand orthosis (SEWHO). At the end of the week, we took our final exam and are now getting ready to start our last official class on campus, Contemporary Practice and Synthesis. It is so hard to believe that we have made it to this point in the summer, but everyone is getting excited to get started with our clinical rotation sites this fall. That’s all for now but check back soon for more updates!

Thanks for reading,

Sam Bousman

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 7/17/23

Hi everyone! 

We have finished Prosthetic Management of the Upper Limb! We accomplished a lot during this course and had a great experience. Our first project was a mock transradial prosthesis. This was a really cool project because we had the opportunity to cast our partner and then fabricate the device for ourselves! Creating a device for ourselves taught us a lot about the comfort of a device, making proper modifications, and learning how to use a terminal device for grasping objects! We had a lot of fun learning how to operate a hook, and this will be great knowledge to share with our future patients. We also had the opportunity to cast a limb sim and fabricate two check sockets, one for a transradial limb and the other for a transhumeral limb. These projects gave us the opportunity to prescribe a socket style based on the length of the limb we were casting and fabricate the device accordingly. 

Last week we were excited to have COAPT come to IIOP to do a myoelectric hand presentation! There was a didactic portion of the session and then we had the opportunity to try out the technology for ourselves! It was so cool to learn how this technology works and the benefits it has for the patients that use it! Thank you to COAPT for taking the time to teach us what their company is all about! This week we are starting Orthotic Management of the Upper Limb, so check back soon for more updates!

Thanks for reading, 

Sam Bousman 

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