Occupational Therapy in Pediatric Oncology

My capstone project is about spreading awareness of OTs’ role in pediatric oncology to OT students.

Student name: Christal Williamson, OTD, OTR/L
Mentor: Jessica Sparrow, OTD, OTR/L
School: University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, St. Augustine, FL
Capstone setting: inpatient and outpatient pediatric oncology
In-person: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Capstone Objectives

The objectives of this project include educating OT students about occupational therapists’ role in pediatric oncology practice. While doing so, the capstone student completed a quality assurance data audit on a study for retinoblastoma, spread awareness of OTs’ role in pediatric oncology, and learned about the impact occupational therapy has on pediatric patients with cancer.


After completing a 14 week rotation at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the capstone student made a presentation and presented it in person to ~70 OT students in order to spread awareness of OTs’ role in pediatric oncology. The capstone student also presented the presentation online for OT students.


The capstone student had the participants at the presentation complete a survey to see how effective the presentation was and how likely they are to spread awareness of OTs’ role in pediatric oncology.


The overall results indicated that OT students are likely to spread awareness of OTs’ role in pediatric oncology. The capstone student would like to continue spreading awareness and educating others on this specialty area to enhance the number of OTs who pursue pediatric oncology.

Ideas to build on this future project

  1. Keep hosting online webinars that OT students and OTs can join to learn more about OTs’ role in pediatric oncology

  2. Create educational handouts for people to read about the benefits of OT in pediatric oncology and clinics/hospitals that support occupational therapy in pediatric oncology


This project has inspired me to pursue a career one day in pediatric oncology. I would love to work at St. Jude one day and continue educating students and other healthcare professionals about the benefits OT has in this setting.

1 Like

Wow, how incredible that you got to do this at St. Jude’s! What a learning experience. @melissa57 tagging you so you can see another oncology capstone!!