Advising Students on Trauma-Informed Care
Dr. Tamerill Faison, a graduate of TU’s post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy program, advises occupational therapy fieldwork students in community mental health at Sheppard Pratt in the Rehab and Recovery Division.
Dr. Tamerill Faison has been an occupational therapy practitioner in the Baltimore region for many years. Prior to obtaining her doctoral degree, she used her clinical skills and master’s in health administration to develop programming and provide services for clients at Sheppard Pratt that enhance their well-being and quality of life, while fostering independence in their community engagements.
She decided to pursue the Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy under the guidance of Kendra Heatwole Shank, associate professor and graduate program director. During her coursework, Dr. Faison found that “the lively discussions from practitioners of varied backgrounds really made me excited to rush home to join class.” Obtaining the degree has enhanced her role as a clinical instructor and as a clinician, she says.
Dr. Faison was awarded one of the TU graduate school Terminal Degree Fellowships. “Receiving the fellowship affirmed for me that I had what it took to complete the program, even after a 22-year hiatus from school. It was the tune-up I didn’t know I needed in my career.” The fellowship allowed her to complete her capstone project, titled “Trauma-Informed Care and the Perceived Competence of the Fieldwork Student.” This project focused on student competence and their understanding of and use of a trauma-informed approach when providing care, particularly in the mental health setting.
Dr. Faison currently serves as director of occupational therapy at Sheppard Pratt, in the Rehab and Recovery Division, where she supervises fieldwork students from several different colleges and universities.
As part of her doctoral capstone project, Dr. Faison developed training modules designed for the occupational therapy student population, which include a segment on trauma-informed practices and how specific approaches can lead to better outcomes for the practitioner and the client. She continues to present the training modules to fieldwork students at Sheppard Pratt and at area colleges and universities.
“I repeatedly witnessed how students address some of the necessary nuances that are a part of our profession in a manner that often did not include a trauma-informed approach. This consistent observation led me to question how much trauma-informed education is presented to students prior to their level II fieldwork experience,” she says.
Dr. Faison is passionate about curating learning experiences and opportunities for students and helping to shape the minds of aspiring practitioners by embracing their diversity, by encouraging their curiosity and creativity, and by championing their ideas about what the future of occupational therapy looks like.