Date Presented 04/21/2023

The purpose of this study was to determine Level II acute-care fieldwork educators’ professional and clinical experiences with students to determine the need for further educational intervention for students and fieldwork educators before fieldwork.

Primary Author and Speaker: Bailey Baucum

Occupational therapy curriculums address medical and professional skills differently across holistic-focused programs. However, there is limited insight into fieldwork educators’ perceptions of successful facilitation of Level II Fieldwork experiences within acute care. The purpose of the study is to determine fieldwork educators’ expectations and experiences preparing Level II acute care students for entry-level practice. Furthermore, the purpose is to unveil areas of growth for fieldwork educators, curriculum educators and students to foster improved fieldwork experiences, acute care knowledge, and professionalism respectively. A qualitative study was completed to establish themes within acute care fieldwork educators’ perceptions of Level II OT students from a professional and clinical standpoint. OT’s with varying experience participated in focus groups to explore barriers and facilitators to successful fieldwork experiences with utilization of coaching methods to foster revealing conversations. The study revealed that fieldwork educators experience high variability in their expectations for students’ professional and clinical skill development throughout their rotation. Differences in expectations resulted in themes related to the students’ prior acute care experiences, difficulty with professionalism, and inconsistent expectations of clinical instructors in a highly variable practice setting. Occupational therapy students, educators, and clinical instructors can utilize this study to address clinical and professional barriers and facilitators of engaging in successful Level II Fieldwork experiences in acute care. Further research would benefit knowledge of the effectiveness of increasing clinical and professional exposure prior to fieldwork experience versus the effectiveness of furthering acute care fieldwork educator training prior to or while supervising a Level II Fieldwork student in acute care.


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