Student Clinical Placements
Clinical placements can be an exciting yet challenging environment for you as a student.
The University clinical education staff and occupational therapists in the community collaborate to provide you with clinical placements that support your learning in your occupational therapy program.
There are a range of benefits for the occupational therapy student and the clinical educator when they engage in a fieldwork placement together.
Some of the benefits to you as students include the potential for you to:
- integrate your skills and knowledge from your occupational therapy studies in a real world context;
- gain skills in professional communication, networking, consultation, information gathering, occupational therapy service provision, documentation and evaluation;
- develop your professional clinical reasoning skills;
- develop professional relationships;
- get to know what it is like to be an occupational therapist in a range of workplaces; and
- develop an identity as an occupational therapist.
Desirable student characteristics for undertaking a clinical placement
It is preferable that the student engaging in a clinical placement:
(K,Adam, personal communication, May 10, 2007)
- Demonstrate enthusiasm
- Be interested in gaining the experience the clinical placement can offer.
- Be 'self-starting', with a balanced degree of initiative, self-directed learning and willingness to take on responsibility quickly.
"I expect that as the placement develops, so too does the students ability to find the structure and put it in place." (K.Adam, personal communication, May 10, 2007)
- Utilises open communication skills - able to communicate explicitly and openly your clinical reasoning, as well as any issues of concern, so that service delivery systems can keep running.
- Is comfortable working with a reasonable level of independence and autonomy.
- Be accepting that the degree of hands-on experience may fluctuate, however be able to appreciate the unique clinical and professional benefits that can be gained through participation in valuable activities such as project work, work-shadowing, networking or quality assurance.