Fieldwork is a critical element in occupational therapy education, intended to provide students opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in practical contexts. Students can further develop professional behaviors necessary for working life, such as clinical reasoning, independence and resourcefulness. To prepare students to respond to both existing health care and emerging social needs, fieldwork placements should include traditional and non-traditional settings. Traditional placements provide clinical experiences in client care, while non-traditional or role-emerging placements challenge students to explore potential roles of occupational therapists in new arenas.
To present student and teacher reflections on the content and organization of combined clinical and role-emerging international fieldwork placements under the Linnaeus-Palme student exchange program 2014-2015.
Description of Project
Two Filipino students participated in the Linnaeus-Palme student exchange program at Umeå University for 12 weeks. The students were assigned to clinical and role-emerging placements with an individualized study plan.
The placements were at the Hand and Plastic Surgery Unit at the University Hospital in Northern Sweden and the Department of Computing Sciences at Umeå University. Learning activities included occupational therapy assessment and intervention in direct client care and the development of assistive technology in collaboration with knowledge engineers. The placement periods overlapped, such that students could have assignments in both facilities under the same week. Coordination and consultation between the students and occupational therapy program‟s international coordinator at Umeå University ensured structure in learning activities and goal attainment. A reflective discussion on students‟ learning experiences increased their awareness on occupational therapists‟ roles and importance of collaboration in responding to existing health care and emerging social needs.
Integration of experiences in combined placements can broaden students‟ perspectives of occupational therapy practice.
Implications to Practice
Combining clinical and role-emerging placements may contribute to developing students‟ competencies to respond to the evolving health and social needs in society
The Philippine Academy of Occupational Therapists, Inc. 50th Anniversary Convention, November 25-27, Makati city, Philippines