Learn from the Best: Lyn Jansen teaches OTA students career and life skills

Lyn Jansen has been leveraging her 15 years of clinical experience to teach students at GRCC working to earn their two-year occupational therapy assistant degree.

Occupational therapy assistants help patients recover. Under the supervision of registered occupational therapists, they help patients with physical or mental challenges by developing and carrying out programs that include educational, vocational and recreational activities.

Jansen specializes in work hardening, hand therapy, adult disabilities and rehabilitation, kinesiology, functional capacity evaluation, upper extremity injury, job analysis and injury prevention, transitional living for traumatic brain injury and home health. 

And she teaches these skills as an adjunct faculty member and faculty advisor to the OTA club.

“I love being able to help students achieve their academic and career goals,” Jansen said.

“The GRCC OTA program is operated by an extremely connected, committed and supportive faculty. Support from GRCC administration also allows the program to flourish. We are able to be creative in ways that we see best to help students succeed. And they do!”

Jansen has noticed that through the pandemic, having more grace toward each other in difficult situations has also helped students succeed.

“This doesn’t mean that standards or expectations have changed, but rather there’s a slightly different perspective of patience and understanding going in both directions,” Jansen said.

This insight comes with the learning and practice that Jansen has done over her clinical and teaching career. 

“I’ve observed throughout my life people who display qualities that I appreciate and strive to manifest in myself,” Jansen said.

This skill has suited Jansen as her career evolved.

“I didn’t begin my OT career with an intention to teach,” Jansen said. “But as a clinician I accepted GRCC fieldwork students and eventually found a good fit in teaching these students within their academic college program as well as in my OT work setting.”

Now Jansen is focused on her journey as a practitioner and a teacher. She is certified by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and is licensed to practice in Michigan. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and a Master’s in Adult Education. 

“I maintain and enhance my treatment skills through continuing education in the areas of shoulder, wrist and hand injury treatment, injury prevention management, ergonomics, and treatment of traumatic brain injury, CVA, and handwriting dysfunction,” Jansen said.

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