Document Type (Journals)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of an international fieldwork placement on occupational therapy doctoral (OTD) students’ cultural competence, community engagement, and ethical leadership. This study used a mixed methods approach. The Public Affairs Scale (PAS) was used to gather pre and post placement data on cultural competence, community engagement, and ethical leadership. Qualitative data was themed from a reflection paper along with researcher field notes from a fieldwork placement to Ibarra, Ecuador. Eleven OTD students participated in the study. The study demonstrated a convergence of the data in the area of cultural competence and responsiveness. Qualitative data additionally identified themes of personal and professional transformation as well as an increased connectedness among participants. No changes were identified on the PAS questions related to community engagement and ethical leadership. As a result of the placement, students gained skills and awareness in the area of cultural competence, improved critical thinking, gratitude, and a willingness to learn about others’ differences. An international fieldwork placement may be beneficial in developing cultural humility and transforming students professionally and personally.
Dianna Lunsford, OTD, M.Ed., OTR/L, CHT is an associate professor and program director for Gannon University, Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program. She has been an occupational therapist for 25 years, certified hand therapist for 14 years and in academia for almost 10 years.
Kristin A. Valdes, OTD, OT, CHT is an associate professor for Gannon University Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program. She has been an occupational therapist for over 30 years, a certified hand therapist for almost 20 years and is a past president of the American Society of Hand Therapy.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Lunsford, D., & Valdes, K. A. (2020). An International Fieldwork Placement: A Mixed Methods Study. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 4 (3). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2020.040310
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