Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: This capstone project focused on professional and technical skills of occupational therapy students beginning Level II Fieldwork. Fieldwork educators are essential personnel to the development of successful occupational therapy students. The education provided by the fieldwork educators is vital to the growth of each occupational therapy student in the profession.

Purpose: The purpose of this capstone project was to explore perceptions held by Level II Fieldwork educators of occupational therapy students’ professional and technical skills at the beginning of Level II Fieldwork. By identifying these perceptions, academic occupational therapy educators can assist students to develop these skills while they are still in the classroom setting.

Theoretical Framework. This capstone project utilized the theoretical framework of pragmatism. Using pragmatism, the researcher directs the research process by understanding the desired research outcome to be achieved.

Methods. For this capstone project a survey approach was used as the data collection method. The overall aim of the survey was to uncover clinical fieldwork educators’ specific perceptions and expectations associated with student technical and professional skills. The same survey was available as both an online survey and a mailed survey. The survey included 12 closed and three open-ended questions.

Results. When focusing on professional skills, communication was identified as the top professional skill essential for Level II Fieldwork and also the skill most lacking in students. Planning, implementing, and grading intervention were identified as both the top essential and lacking technical skill of students. The qualitative research within the capstone reinforced the application process is a weakness of students compared to possession of knowledge.

Conclusions: Survey participants expect students to possess a variety of professional and technical skills in a multitude of areas. Students must be able to translate and apply their knowledge from the educational classroom to the clinical setting.

Faculty Mentor

Cindy Hayden

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Renee Causey-Upton

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy