Please join @LisaForrestOT for tonight’s #OTalk
In Occupational Therapy, practice education is a key and essential element of the Occupational Therapy curriculum (Kirke et al, 2007). Whilst on placement students develop the required practice skills, professional behavior and competencies required for clinical practice (Rodger et al, 2011). It is therefore essential that the placement experience is of a high quality that optimizes and facilitates learning which supports development which is individualised to meet the needs of the each student (Kirke et al, 2007).
It is therefore essential that we explore and ascertain the main factors that enhance the learning experience of our Occupational Therapy students whilst on a range of placement experiences. The focus of the discussion should therefore include the role of the Higher Education Institution, the placement provider/practice educator and the student and how each individually and collectively we can ensure and promote a positive learning environment and experience.
Occupational Therapy practice placements can and should be a positive and enlightening learning experience for both students and practice educators.
Questions for discussion
1. What makes good practice placements?
2. What is being done well in relation to enhancing the student learning experience on placements?
3. What makes a good practice educator?
4. What makes for good university/practice educator partnerships?
5. What do we feel is required in order to enhance the learning experience of occupational therapy students on placement?
a. What would the ideal look like?
b. What opportunities could be facilitated?
c. What support mechanisms would be required?
6. How do we sustain and maintain positive learning experiences on placement?
Kirke, P., Layton, N., Sim, J. (2007) Informing fieldwork design: Key elements to quality in fieldwork education for undergraduate occupational therapy students. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 54, S13-S22.
Rodger, S., Fitzgerald, C., Davila, W., Millar, F., Allison, H. (2011) What makes a quality occupational therapy practice placement? Students and practice educators perspectives. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58, P195-202.