Level I fieldwork in occupational therapy is coming under close scrutiny by fieldwork sites and schools as accountability in health care becomes increasingly significant. The Wisconsin Council on Education (Wiscouncil) has been examining the problems encountered in implementing Level I fieldwork at both the technical and professional levels since fall 1982. A survey of 169 occupational therapy clinicians and educators was conducted in Wisconsin to address the following: objectives, assessment, scheduling, cost-effectiveness, and areas of responsibility. Results of this survey indicated that the concerns identified within the state may exist at a broader level. Two members of Wiscouncil expanded the project to look at Level I fieldwork issues nationwide.
The nationwide survey results indicate a strong concern among clinicians about the cost-effectiveness of implementing Level I fieldwork. There appear to be different beliefs about the overall objectives of Level I among clinicians, occupational therapy educators, and occupational therapy assistant educators. The majority of clinicians felt that uniform objectives and a uniform evaluation for Level I fieldwork would help facilitate the experience for them.