Document Type (Journals)
Occupational therapy students complete a period of clinical education, when they apply academic learning in clinical situations, supervised by a fieldwork educator. Fieldwork education supports the student in developing technical and clinical reasoning skills, engaging in evidence-based practice, and socialization to the profession. Despite the key role fieldwork educators play in occupational therapy student professional and skill development, evaluation of educator skills and the fieldwork experience are slight. This descriptive study explored occupational therapy fieldwork educator behaviors to determine those behaviors indicative of a quality experience from the student perspective, using the Clinical Teaching Effectiveness Inventory (CTEI). Student responses identified the quality and frequency of fieldwork educator behaviors experienced. A Spearman correlation showed frequency and quality of educator behaviors were positively associated, possibly indicating students perceive higher quality of the behavior when observed more frequently. Behaviors associated with a quality clinical experience included both educator characteristics and teaching skills pertinent to learning. Specifically, an approachable fieldwork educator who uses teaching strategies to develop clinical skills creates a positive learning environment. The results of this study can inform academic programs in providing professional development opportunities for fieldwork educators to enhance their teaching skills. Additionally, the results guide fieldwork educators in interpersonal and teaching skills to create a positive fieldwork experience. Through improvement of fieldwork experiences, both the profession and clients benefit.
Leah S. Dunn, EdD, OTR/L is an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She has 30 years of clinical and educator experience, with over 8 years in full-time academia.
Stephanie Arias, MOT, OTR/L received her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She now works at John H. Stroger Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL, as a pediatric occupational therapist.
Alexa Beyer, MOT, OTR/L received her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She now practices in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation at Ascension All Saints Hospital in Racine, WI.
Lizzie Hermes, MOT, OTR/L received her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She now works at University Hospitals in Cleveland, OH in the acute care setting.
Sydney Radcliff, MOT, OTR/L received her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She now works in Chicago, IL as an occupational therapist in an outpatient pediatric clinic, providing services to children in the Early Intervention and the clinical setting.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Dunn, L. S., Arias, S., Beyer, A., Hermes, E., & Radcliff, S. (2020). Student Perspectives of the Effective Behaviors of Occupational Therapy Level II Fieldwork Educators. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 4 (4). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2020.040408
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