Fieldwork is an opportunity for Occupational Therapy (OT) students to integrate occupational therapy theory and conceptual practice models with real client situations. Students are able to integrate the practice framework and occupational therapy skills that are acquired during the academic phase of the program into clinical practice in a structured and supervised environment. Students are also afforded the opportunity to practice and refine their interpersonal and communication skills with clients and colleagues, develop leadership skills, practice decision-making skills, problem-solve real client situations, and participate in evidence-based practice. Fieldwork is the transition or bridge from the academic environment to the world of practice as an occupational therapist.
Level I Fieldwork is integrated into the academic portion of the program. Students participate in four Level I experiences during the OT program with two of these experiences being in the on-campus Occupational Therapy Clinic. Students are encouraged to volunteer beyond the required fieldwork experiences to gain as much variety of experience as possible; either in the on-campus clinic or in the community. Students find that this allows them to expand their knowledge and practice skills and to develop a comfort level with clients from all practice areas.
Level II Fieldwork occurs when all academic requirements are met. Students are scheduled for two three-month experiences. This level of fieldwork allows the student, under the supervision of a Registered Occupational Therapist, to apply clinical reasoning, the Frames of Reference, the conceptual models, the Practice Framework and the academically acquired body of knowledge to the practice of occupational therapy. Students may complete their occupational therapy Level II Fieldwork in traditional, community-based, or emerging practice settings. They are expected to develop critical thinking and reflective practice, and to transition from the role of a student into the role of an entry-level OT practitioner.