Becky Crocker’s work in Haiti has earned her a trip to Vienna, Austria.
Crocker, director of the Ozarks Technical Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program, will co-present a poster to the Third European Congress on Physiotherapy Education next month.
Crocker has made two trips to the Caribbean country that was devastated by an earthquake in 2010. In Haiti, Crocker worked with a number of health professionals to provide medical assistance to the country’s victims.
Crocker will present a poster, entitled “Interprofessional Collaborative Practice During Disaster Relief Work in Haiti: An Ethnographic Study,” that focuses on how things were organized in the shaken country.
“It talks about how you take different health professionals from all over the world and put them together working in a small hospital as a high-performance health team,” Crocker said.
Crocker collaborated on the poster and presentation with Susan Klappa, associate professor, School of Physical Therapy at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Tex.
“An interprofessional collaborative practice in Haiti developed quickly as health care volunteers learned about from and with each other as they focused on contributing their talents to the greater task at hand. It shows how that happens when they check their egos at the door,” said Crocker, who has been working on the five-minute presentation for the past 2 years.
“I knew I couldn’t pass this opportunity up. I told myself, ‘I’ve got to go.’”
During her trips to Haiti, Crocker saw destruction and conditions that stunned the senses.
“There are rats as big as cats. Kids are walking around with rat bites. There are people with wounds from guns because of the violence. There is a lot of spousal abuse. There’s going to be a lot of typhoid with the waste water running everywhere,” Crocker said.
There is little permanent housing, Crocker said. Instead, a half-million 8-by-10 tents sit side by side for residents to use. Despite the devastation, the spirit of the Haitian people amazes Crocker.
“How they love, laugh and smile. How does that happen? I thought I had a good handle on life. They have something more. They can get through situations we can’t imagine. I don’t understand how they do it,” she said.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations for Ozarks Technical Community College.
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