Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Fieldwork education is a critical piece to professional development and competency in occupational therapy. As part of their core curriculum, all students enrolled in accredited occupational therapy programs must complete full-time fieldwork experiences under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapy practitioner. This component of the student’s education relies on the skills and training of the fieldwork educator. Academic programs are expected to support occupational therapy practitioners in their role as fieldwork educators in the form of resource provisions to enhance supervisory skills. However, there are no clear standards that describe how to vet, effectively disseminate, or implement the use of fieldwork educator resources. This study sought to identify and explore how occupational therapy practitioners prepare for the role of fieldwork educator, and how they maintain professional competence in that role through the use and effectiveness of available support tools for fieldwork educators. Results of the study highlight underutilization of readily available materials, effective programs that may not be readily accessed due to cost, and the need to establish more structured educational experiences that would serve to support the role of the fieldwork educator. These findings point to potential areas of fieldwork educator development that may be designed and addressed by Academic Fieldwork Coordinators through both continued research and program development. Future research examining pre and post tool use assessment would provide further insight on effectiveness and progression of growth in the fieldwork educator role.


Pamela Karp, Ed.D, OTR/L, CHT is an Assistant Professor and master’s program director at New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, NY. Dr. Karp is a certified hand therapist. Her research interests are in the scholarship of teaching and learning as it pertains to occupational therapy education.

Kelly A. Lavin, OTD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Occupational Therapy Program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, NY. Her research interests are in the areas of fieldwork education and pediatric sensory dysfunction.

Tara Collins, DHS, OTR/L is a full-time faculty member, senior academic fieldwork coordinator, and community engagement coordinator at Touro College in Bay Shore, NY. Her research interests are in clinical fieldwork and community-based wellness programs.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.