Marie-Lyne Grenier; Facilitators and Barriers to Learning in Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Education: Student Perspectives. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(Supplement_2):6912185070. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.015180
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
PURPOSE. The purpose of this study was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the facilitators of and barriers to learning within occupational therapy fieldwork education from the perspective of both Canadian and American students.
METHOD. A qualitative study using an online open survey format was conducted to gather data from 29 occupational therapy students regarding their fieldwork experiences. An inductive grounded theory approach to content analysis was used.
RESULTS. Individual, environmental, educational, and institutional facilitators of and barriers to learning within occupational therapy fieldwork education were identified.
CONCLUSION. This study’s findings suggest that learning within fieldwork education is a highly individual and dynamic process that is influenced by numerous factors. The new information generated by this study has the potential to positively affect the future design and implementation of fieldwork education.
They had more of a “hands-off” approach and would kind of throw me into things. I think I would have learned so much more if they [had] stayed with me longer and taught me their ways of doing things.
I like having a “see one, do one, teach one” style of learning. For example, I would like to see an assessment done by my preceptor, then I would like the opportunity to get hands on and do the assessment myself. Though there is not an opportunity to “teach one” in placement (usually), I would like to talk through the assessment that I did and figure out what worked and what didn’t so I can make changes the next time I do one.
There was a Level I student assigned to my fieldwork educator during my Level II rotation, which gave me an opportunity to be the teacher. A majority of the time, the Level I student shadowed me, which allowed me to explain [the] reasoning behind certain treatments and answer any questions. Sometimes I even learned from the Level I student because of questions she may have asked that I also did not know the answer to, therefore referring us back to our fieldwork educator.
The inclusion of student perspectives in occupational therapy education reform is vital to future student learning outcomes.
Fieldwork experiences are a critical component of occupational therapy education and prepare students with the necessary skills and knowledge required to be competent and confident entry-level clinicians.
Student learning in fieldwork education is a highly individual and dynamic process, influenced by individual, environmental, educational, and institutional factors.
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