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Overview

Thank you for your interest in taking part of the education of Abilene Christian University’s Occupational Therapy students!  We value your role as a professional and how your expertise and experience adds to Occupational Therapy program. Fieldwork education is a crucial part of our students’ professional preparation and is integrated into our curriculum by design.

Our program implements and evaluates fieldwork experiences on their effectiveness. Fieldwork experiences in the program consist of two phases, fieldwork level 1 and fieldwork level 2.  Both levels of fieldwork should provide students with the opportunity to carry out professional responsibilities under the supervision of a qualified occupational therapy practitioner, who serves as a role model.

Read more about the phases of fieldwork.

Follow the links below to find out more about being a fieldwork educator with our program. For specific questions or concerns about fieldwork education, please contact Kari Williams, academic fieldwork coordinator, at kxw14d@acu.edu or 325-674-2789.

Training

As a fieldwork educator, some of the best knowledge and lessons to share with students are your own. In order to help equip you to be a fieldwork educator you may participate in the Preceptor Education Program (PEP) or participate in an AOTA’s Fieldwork Educators Certificate Program (FWECP). Read more about each below.

Preceptor Education Program (PEP)
This free online multi-media program offers quick tips and practical downloadable tools. Designed by a Canadian university, the eight 30-minute modules can be completed online or printed off and used at your convenience. The program will assist you in developing learning objectives, fostering clinical reasoning and reflective practice, developing or updating student programs and navigating through this three month collaborative relationship with your intern.

AOTA’s Fieldwork Educators Certificate Program (FWECP)
AOTA’s voluntary credentialing program for fieldwork educators, Fieldwork Educators Certificate Program (FWECP), is specifically designed for educators to advance their skills. To learn more about the workshop and find a workshop near you visit https://www.aota.org/education-careers/fieldwork/workshop.aspx.

For fieldwork educators who have actively participated in the supervision of a student or are currently scheduled to supervise an ACU OT student. We will be offering the AOTA Fieldwork Educator Certificate workshop May 28 and 29, 2016 on campus. Please email Kari Williams atkxw14d@acu.edu for more information.

Level 1 Fieldwork Experience

The Level 1 fieldwork experiences, in the occupational therapy department at Abilene Christian University, are integrated as a component of the curriculum design.  The student is required to successfully complete three Level 1 Fieldwork experiences in the first year of the professional phase.

The Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist adopted by the ACOTE of AOTA indicate that the goal of Level I Fieldwork is to introduce students to the fieldwork experience, to apply knowledge to practice, and to develop understanding of the needs of the clients. Level I fieldwork is integral to the program’s curriculum design and include experiences designed to enrich didactic coursework through directed observation and participation in selected aspects of the occupational therapy process (C.1.8).

View a “Building Our Professions Future: Level 1 Fieldwork Education” TOTA sponsored district workshop.

View objectives for Level 1 Fieldwork experiences.

View assignments for Level 1 Fieldwork experiences.

Level 2 Fieldwork Experience

The Level 2 fieldwork experiences, in the occupational therapy department at Abilene Christian University, are integrated as a component of the curriculum design. The student is required to successfully complete two Level 2 Fieldwork experiences in the second and third years of the professional phase.

The 2011 Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist adopted by the ACOTE of AOTA indicate the goal of Level II Fieldwork is to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists. Level II fieldwork must be integral to the program’s curriculum design and must include an in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and research, administration, and management of occupational therapy services. It is recommended that the student be exposed to a variety of clients across the life span and to a variety of settings.

The fieldwork experience is designed to promote clinical reasoning and reflective practice, to transmit the values and beliefs that enable ethical practice, and to develop professionalism and competence in career responsibilities (C.1.11).

Level II fieldwork takes place in traditional and/or emerging settings consistent with the curriculum design. In all settings, psychosocial factors influencing engagement in occupation must be understood and integrated for the development of client-centered, meaningful, occupational-based outcomes (C.1.12).

The student is required to perform Level II fieldwork during OCCT 790 and OCCT 795. Level II fieldwork can be completed in a minimum of one setting if it is reflective of more than one practice areas, or in a maximum of four different settings (C.1.12).

The Level II fieldwork experiences require a minimum of 24 weeks’ full-time. This may be completed on a part-time basis as defined by the fieldwork placement in accordance with the fieldwork placement’s usual and customary personnel policies, as long as it is at least 50% of a full-time equivalent (FTE) at that site. (C.1.13).

View objectives for Level 2 Fieldwork experience.

View AOTA Level 2 Fieldwork Evaluation.

View site specific examples.

Supervision and Medicare Requirements

Student Supervision and Medicare Requirements
Supervising an OT student does not have to affect your productivity or bottom line. Medicare requires appropriate supervision of students who come in contact with beneficiaries. Requirements vary by setting. AOTA has provided information on this subject as well as a link to Medicare regulations in this area. Learn more

Recent studies published by an AOTA report concluded that fieldwork educators do not experience lowered productivity when supervising a student. Read the article

Working with a Struggling Student
Due to a variety of circumstances, fieldwork experiences may be a difficult time for some students.  Personality differences, productivity requirements, and new learning situations can all lead to difficulties.  If you find yourself working with a student who is struggling professionally or academically while on fieldwork it is imperative to contact the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Kari Williams, at kxw14d@acu.edu ,as soon as a problem presents.

To help improve communication and set detailed guidelines with the struggling student you may consider implementing a learning contract.

Download Learning Contract 

Article: Approaches to Improving Student Performance

HIPPA Guidelines

Our students are provided with HIPAA training during their first semester of the OT program to ensure an understanding in this area. Any further training required per site can be communicated to the student or the academic fieldwork coordinator, and completed prior to the beginning of a fieldwork rotation when possible.

Looking for more information about HIPAA guidelines for fieldwork? Find out what students can and cannot report and get answers to our frequently asked questions about HIPAA for fieldwork. 

Learn more

Resources

AOTA Links and Information
AOTA provides guidance and support for fieldwork education through various resources, forms and articles on their website. You can find sample objectives, project ideas, and many other resources on their website.

NBCOT/CEU Information
Did you know that in the state of Texas, supervision of a fieldwork student could be applied to continuing education requirements for up to 10 hours of type 2 credit? Contact the academic fieldwork coordinator for a certificate or official letter with dates of fieldwork supervision fir you to have on file for your Texas Occupational Therapy License renewal. Learn more

NBCOT also recognizes fieldwork supervision as a professional development activity. Learn more

Articles
Supervision of an OT student should be a rewarding experience for all parties. Each student and supervisor brings a unique contribution to the relationship. The dynamic nature of our profession gives us the chance to continue to learn and deepen our understanding through teaching. View the articles below for more information on ensuring a successful student to educator relationship as well as problem solving tips.

About Fieldwork Education 

Improving a Student’s Performance

Increasing Productivity in a Student

Becoming a Fieldwork Educator