Abstract

A study was conducted to determine the cost and benefits of the occupational therapy Level II fieldwork program at University of Michigan Hospitals in order to complete annual contractual agreements between academic and clinical education agencies. A tally sheet consisting of 34 tasks was used by all staff members (therapists, assistants, and clerical support personnel) to record time spent daily on the student program (cost). Students recorded independent treatment provided (benefit). The cost and benefit of the program was equated to a full-time equivalent staff position. Results showed the following: the time staff devoted to the student program was equivalent to 1.33 of a full-time employee’s workload and the treatments provided by students were equivalent to 1.35 of an employee’s production. The findings of this study support the accepted assumption that the cost of a clinical program for occupational therapy students is at least balanced by the benefits derived from student production. However, the quality of student efforts may be less than that of staff efforts.

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