The Perceptions of Four Novice Occupational Therapists' Preparedness and Ability to Perform Occupation-Based Practice in Pediatric Practice
Document Type (Journals)
Although occupation-based practice (OBP) is considered best practice within the occupational therapy profession, practitioners continue to have a difficult time actively implementing OBP into treatment. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) standards necessitate the implementation of OBP. Within the literature, there are gaps in the research investigating novice therapists’ perceptions of incorporating OBP in practice, especially in the United States. Since children and youth is a rapidly growing area of practice, this study focused on investigating how novice therapists are implementing OBP in pediatric settings. This qualitative study therefore investigated the perceptions of four novice pediatric occupational therapists’ preparedness and ability to perform OBP in practice. By following a qualitative methodology, the following four themes emerged from the data: My academic program introduced me to the principles of OBP, but specific types of learning activities solidified my understanding; I generally know what OBP is, and it is important; but can be difficult to describe succinctly to others; The type of setting where I work influences how occupation-based I can be during intervention; and While I have every intention of providing OBP, the cultural environment of the workplace influences my progress. These findings can add an in-depth understanding of the four participants’ experiences as they relate to this profession-wide call to action.
Laurie Knis-Matthews, PhD, OTR has been an occupational therapist for over twenty-five years. She earned a doctorate degree from New York University in 2005. She has been teaching at Kean University since 1996 and served as the chairperson of the department for 10 years. She has published numerous articles in the area of mental health such as addiction, pediatrics, and clinical reasoning. She is currently writing a textbook highlighting the Matthews Model of Clinical Reasoning.
Meagan Koch, MS, OTR/L earned a masters of science degree in occupational therapy from Kean University in 2019. She was a graduate student at Kean University at the time this study was conducted. She earned a bachelor's degree from The College of New Jersey in 2015. She is an occupational therapist currently working within adult rehabilitation at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.
Alivia Nufrio, MS, OTR/L is a novice occupational therapist, currently employed with Fox Rehabilitation in Somerset County, New Jersey. She is a graduate of Kean University, where she received both her B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Occupational Therapy. Since March of 2019, she has been treating the older adult population at an Adult Day center as well as within the home.
Melissa Neustein Gorman, MS, OTR/L earned a masters of science degree in occupational therapy from Kean University in 2019. She was a graduate student at Kean University at the time this study was conducted. She previously earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Muhlenberg College. She is the founder of a private practice providing independent contracting for schools, early intervention and sensory gyms.
Feby Zaki, MS, OTR/L earned a masters of science degree in occupational therapy from Kean University in 2019. She was a graduate student at Kean University at the time this study was conducted. She currently works in school based practice in New York.
Katheryne Wall, MS, OTR/L is an occupational therapist specializing in pediatric practice. She has experience in school-based practice and currently works at a pediatric outpatient clinic. She assists in collecting data for sensory processing research studies. She graduated with her masters of science in occupational therapy from Kean University in 2017.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Knis-Matthews, L., Koch, M., Nufrio, A., Neustein Gorman, M., Zaki, F., & Wall, K. H. (2021). The Perceptions of Four Novice Occupational Therapists' Preparedness and Ability to Perform Occupation-Based Practice in Pediatric Practice. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 5 (4). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2021.050416
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