Fieldwork provides students with the opportunity to participate in professional responsibilities under the supervision of a qualified OT practitioner.
Level 1 Fieldwork
Level I FW experiences are woven throughout the curriculum for a total of four experiences. According to the the AOTA Standards, the goal of Level I Fieldwork is “to introduce students to the fieldwork experience, and develop a basic comfort level with an understanding of the needs of clients.” Level I Fieldwork is not intended to develop independent performance, but to “include experiences designed to enrich didactic coursework through directed observation and participation in selected aspects of the occupational therapy process.” Citation: http://www.aota.org/education-careers/fieldwork/leveli.aspx#sthash.PTf6R3T3.dpuf
Purposes of Level I Fieldwork experience
- Exposing the student to individuals with deficits in occupational performance and observing how these deficits affect their function and quality of life.
- To expose the student to a variety of settings and client populations and observe how the knowledge and skills they are developing in class is applied to our clients in the clinics.
- To provide the student with clinical models using a variety of frames of reference in the delivery of occupational therapy services
- (Department of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual, 2020, p. 10)
Supervision for Level 1 Fieldwork Experience
During the Level I FW experiences, the students will usually, but not always, have an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant as their supervisor. Qualified personnel for supervision of Level I Fieldwork may include, but are not limited to, academic or fieldwork educators, occupational therapy practitioners, psychologists, physician assistants, teachers, social workers, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, etc. The supervisors must be knowledgeable about occupational therapy and understand the goals and objectives of the Level I Fieldwork experience. (Department of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual, 2020, p. 10)
Level 2 Fieldwork
Level II FW experiences consist of at least two 12-week (full time or equivalent) experiences upon successful completion of the didactic portion of the program for a total of 24 weeks. The goal of Level II FW is to “develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists. These fieldwork experiences are integral to the program’s curriculum design and include in-depth experiences in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and research, administration and management of occupational therapy services. Citation: ACOTE 2012 & Department of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual 2019-2020
Purpose of Level II FW experiences:
- Level II fieldwork experience should include in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation.
- The student shall have the opportunity to develop increased knowledge and skills in administration, research and professional relationships
- The student shall be evaluated and informed of his/her performance status on an ongoing basis.
- (Department of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual, 2020, p.12)
Supervision for Level 2 Fieldwork Experience
All students will be supervised by a licensed Occupational therapist with a minimum of 1 year of experience. For Level II Fieldwork, the ratio of FWed to student will be 1:1. When necessary due to FWed work schedules a 2:1 can be worked out. Prior to accepting a student, the FW site facility and FWed will agree to the supervisory ratio based on their schedule and availability to supervise and give feedback to students. (Department of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual, 2020, p. 12)
Level 2 Fieldwork Placement
Student fieldwork assignments are chosen based on: (a) the quality of educational experience available at the site, (b) the educational needs of the occupational therapy student, and (c) availability of sites. Fieldwork sites are a valuable resource of the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions and the Occupational Therapy Program. The College has established fieldwork policies (i.e. Appeals, Assignment Process) designed to serve the largest good in the fairest possible manner. Students are reminded that they have been informed, since admission, that they are responsible for completing a minimum of six (6) months of Level II fieldwork. Students have been informed that they are responsible for the financial responsibility of this part of their training, that this training may take place anywhere in the United States and that the student is responsible for planning and preparing for this part of their education. (Department of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual, 2020, p. 13)
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC) and Fieldwork Educator (FWEd) Responsibilities: “The AFWC is an individual employed by educational institutions to implement the fieldwork education program. This individual is responsible for the program’s compliance with Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) standards related to fieldwork education. An FWEd is a practitioner who agrees to supervise students’ fieldwork experiences. AFWCs collaborate with FWEds to develop fieldwork education objectives and experiences and to make sure that student supervision is effective and ensures the safety and well-being of all stakeholders.”” Citation: The American Occupational Therapy Association An Advisory Opinion for the AOTA Ethics Commission Promoting Ethically Sound Practices in Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Education. AOTA 2014. & The Department of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual 2019-2020.
Fieldwork Educators are able to receive up to 4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and up to 12 Professional Development Units (PDUs).
The 2nd annual continuing education course for Fieldwork Educators, sponsored by Northside Hospital, will be held in May of this 2020. Dr. Finks will be speaking at the course about the Occupational Therapy component of fieldwork education.