Document Type (Journals)
Fieldwork education is an essential component of occupational therapy (OT) curriculum; yet national shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic have affected fieldwork availability. To combat the shortage, some academic programs implemented simulation-based Level I fieldwork experiences. The objective of this research study was to compare the perceived knowledge, confidence, and attitude of OT students that completed a virtual simulation-based Level I fieldwork to those that completed a traditional Level I fieldwork. This study involved a sample of 26 doctorate of OT students that completed a traditional or virtual simulation-based Level I fieldwork. Students completed pre-and-post fieldwork surveys regarding their perceived knowledge, confidence, and attitude. Mann Whitney and Wilcoxin signed rank tests were used for comparative analysis. There was no statistically significant difference in knowledge or confidence between the two groups (p = .734, p = .303). Students that completed a virtual simulation-based fieldwork experienced increased attitude (p = .021) and both groups experienced an increase in perceived knowledge (p = .012, p = .003) following their fieldwork experience. This study adds to the growing body of knowledge regarding the utilization of simulations in OT curricula and proposes an alternative Level I fieldwork model to assist with the national shortage of fieldwork availability.
Rebecca Ozelie, DHS, OTR/L, is an Associate Professor and the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at Rush University in Chicago, IL. Dr. Ozelie is actively involved in research and teaching with a focus on physical disabilities, fieldwork outcomes and use of simulation in clinical education.
Shiori Domenighetti, BS; Amanda Sugar, BS; and Samantha Conrad, OTD, OTR/L were Doctorate Students at Rush University in Chicago, IL at the time of the study.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Ozelie, R., Domenighetti, S., Sugar, A., & Conrad, S. (2022). Evolution of Level I Fieldwork during an International Pandemic: Students’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Virtual Simulation-based Level I Fieldwork. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 6 (3). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2022.060310
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