Definition of Terms
Client: refers to the primary recipient of the occupational therapy service. With relation to private practice, the client can also refer to the referral source, and/or the third party payer (Potts, Babcock & McKee, 1998).
Clinical Education: refers to the practical integration and application of knowledge, skills and attitudes learned at university, to professional Occupational Therapy practice in the real world.
This process is facilitated with the provision of professional support, supervision, guidance, feedback and evaluation by a registered Occupational Therapy clinical educator.
Clinical education provides students with context-based learning that is gained through first-hand client and professional interactions and through opportunity to experience "the doing" in the clinical practice setting.
In this resource, the term 'Clinical Education' replaces the following synonymous terms : fieldwork, fieldwork education, clinical fieldwork, fieldwork practicum.
Clinical Educator (CE): A qualified Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Educator with at least one year's experience (WFOT, 2002).
In this resource, the term 'Clinical Educator' replaces the following synonymous or commonly utilised terms: Clinical Supervisor, Fieldwork Supervisor, Clinical Facilitator.
University Clinical Education Staff: Refers to the university-based staff members of the occupational therapy division whom are primarily responsible for coordinating occupational therapy student clinical placements, for liaising with clinical educators, supervisors and students regarding placement issues and for providing continuing advice and training on clinical education.
University of Queensland titles: Clinical Education Liaison Manager
James Cook University titles: Fieldwork Coordinator
University of the Sunshine Coast titles: Allied Health Clinical Coordinator (Occupational Therapy)
Clinical Placement: Refers to the course component of the placement subjects of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy or Graduate Entry Masters, and which is usually undertaken in a facility external to the University, and where the clinical education and supervision is undertaken by a member of University staff or, in accordance with guidelines agreed between the Universities and the placement facility.
It involves the integration and application of skills and knowledge by the student, relevant to the course subject/s for which the practical component is required in order for the student to complete that specific subject (The University of Queensland, 2005) .
Supervision: Refers to the provision of both formal and informal constructive feedback through observation, regular scheduled student supervision sessions, the facilitation of self-evaluation and reflective practices and provision of performance evaluation.
Supervisor: a staff member (not necessarily an occupational therapist) at a facility who is delegated to provide supervision, to monitor student performance and provide feedback both to the student and the clinical educator and/or University clinical education staff member.
Facility: Refers to the workplace, organisation, service, agency or practice that agrees to provide clinical education and supervision to the students, and to oversee their professional development and progress throughout the placement (The University of Queensland, 2005).
The term 'host facility' is used where the occupational therapy clinical educator is predominantly off-site, such as where the student undertakes a role-emerging or project focused placement.
Potts, H., Babcock, J & McKee (1998) Considerations for fieldwork education within a private practice. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 65(2):104-107.
The University of Queensland (2005) Eds. Handbook of University Policies and Procedures. 3.40.5 Placement Courses.
The University of Queensland (n.d) Clinical Educator Support and Recognition Program [Handbook]. School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Faculty of Health Sciences. Australia.