Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Occupational Therapy -- education
There are few studies that focus on students’ experiences of fieldwork; specifically, investigating how students learn to use occupation. In addition, there is limited research regarding the students’ learning to use occupation-based interventions in medical settings. The purpose of this independent study was to explore students’ experience of learning to use occupation as intervention on fieldwork in medical settings and specific strategies used by students and fieldwork educators for learning to use occupation as intervention. A phenomenological, qualitative research design was used with this study. Participants were recruited through the use of the University of North Dakota occupational therapy department fieldwork listserv. Purposive sampling was used to obtain the study sample. A one-hour semi-structured focus group interview was completed for data collection. Data analysis consisted of initial coding performed by two researchers. Codes were separated into categories. From the categories, themes emerged and were confirmed by a third researcher. Throughout data analysis, triangulation was used to increase validity of the study. From the data analysis, researchers found four major themes including: (1) students’ understanding of occupation and the continuum of practice; (2) students identification of barriers to implementing occupation-based practice; (3) influence of the fieldwork educator; and (4) supports for students use of occupation as intervention. Four supports for students’ experience of learning to use occupation as intervention on fieldwork in medical settings developed including student initiative, hands-on experience/observation, the academic setting of the OT program, and the use of assessments and evaluations. Participants more readily identified barriers to implementing occupation-based practice as compared to identifying supports to learning to use occupation-based practice. In addition, students desired to have a more collaborative learning experience with their fieldwork educators for learning to use occupation as intervention while on fieldwork in medical settings.
Atkinson, Kelli and Knutson, Nicole, "Students' experience of learning to use occupation as intervention on fieldwork in medical settings" (2012). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 10.