Fieldwork quality of life: addressing the Occupational Therapy Level II fieldwork student/supervisor relationship
Myers, Edwin J
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Occupational therapy Level II fieldwork (FW) students face contemporary stressors that may interfere with the learning process. Academic programs have a greater number of non-traditional students who must find a balance between academic, family and financial obligations. FW environments have become more stressful as increased productivity levels, shorter treatment durations, and budget cuts control clinic operations. These stressors may result in the FW student expressing higher degrees of anxiety and decreased confidence in performing entry-level skills at graduation. While physician and nursing professions have addressed best practices to manage clinical student stressors and training strategies for supervisors, a review of the occupational therapy (OT) literature reveals no study focusing on FW student well-being. This is surprising given the value that OT places on quality of life and establishing therapeutic relationships with our clients. This doctoral project describes a program directed to OT practitioners who have little or no experience in supervising OT Level II FW students. The program, given as a continuing education course, will provide the participants with training and tools to establish therapeutic relationships with their FW students. The program will use elements of the Intentional Relationship Model (Taylor, 2008) to educate the OT supervisor to use the therapeutic use of self (TUOS) to improve the quality of the student/supervisor relationship. The participants will also be introduced to the Fieldwork Quality of Life (FWQoL), a theoretical framework developed for this doctoral project, which will provide guidelines to assist the OT supervisor in determining if the FW student is having a positive FW experience. The program will use a small group format incorporating lecture, group discussions, video simulations, and provision of standardized questionnaires to assist the FW supervisor in monitoring the student's confidence and anxiety levels. A follow-up program, composed of volunteers from the program, will track their supervision of a FW student to determine program effectiveness.
Thesis (O.T.D.)--Boston University