Level I A & B: Each rotation is equivalent to 40 Hours, or one week, full time. Each student will have one Level I fieldwork experience in the first and second year of didactic coursework. These experiences can be in any area of practice and need to be varied. (They are a pass / fail course for 1 credit)
Level II A & B: Each rotation is equivalent to 12 weeks and is worth 12 credits. There are no restrictions as to the type of site but students must do one of the Level II rotations with an adult population. In the IL campus Program, the Level II rotations are placed in the summer and fall quarters of the third year. In the AZ Campus Program, the rotations are placed in the Spring-II and Fall-III quarters. Students complete level II rotations no later than the third week in December and graduate once all requirements are complete.
Prior to enrollment in the fieldwork courses, students must ensure they are current in the following requirements:
Adherence to the Essential Skills and Abilities noted in the Occupational Therapy Program Manual is also required for Fieldwork.
Students must know and adhere to regulations of the University and "The Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics" (see Appendix). This also includes regulations of the University, the College, the Program, and fieldwork facilities. Student conduct is expected to be exemplary and professional at all times. Refer to the Student Code of Conduct spelled out in the Student University Handbook. Utilization of a facility's personnel and/or other resources for personal use or gain is not commensurate with professional conduct. Any expenses incurred without prior approval of the Fieldwork Coordinator or the Fieldwork Supervisor(s) are the responsibility of the student. Failure to exhibit professional demeanor jeopardizes a student's continued participation in the Occupational Therapy Program. During fieldwork experiences, students work closely with other professionals and should make exceptional efforts to establish professional relationships. Poor behavior reflects poorly on the student, the Program, the University, and the occupational therapy profession.
Consideration for the dignity and integrity of each individual, patient, client, and family should govern all contacts. "Privileged information" (information concerning patients' or clients' diagnoses, care and treatment, prognosis, and/or psychosocial problems) should be guarded carefully and shared only with other professional people concerned with aiding the client/patient/family. Hallways, elevators, dining rooms, etc. are not appropriate places for discussions regarding clients. Client names should never be mentioned or used as identifying information on any assignments. Unethical and/or unprofessional behavior(s) can be grounds for immediate dismissal from a fieldwork assignment.
The therapist's appearance influences patient, client, family and staff reactions to her or him. Students on fieldwork assignments are expected to forego individual tastes and preferences that are not in keeping with professional standards. Identification (ID) badges are required for entrance to all fieldwork settings. Students are required to wear either their MWU ID badge or an ID badge provided by the fieldwork site during the time they are on a fieldwork assignment.
Students are required to wear the type of clothing suggested by the Fieldwork Educator / Supervisor. This should be discussed prior to starting. Students are expected to conform to the dress requirements established by the setting to which they are assigned. Dress requirements are designed with the client's and the therapist's safety and/or comfort in mind. Clothing and footwear should be clean, functional, and modest at all times. When uniforms, lab coats, or smocks are required, the insignia designating student status in the Occupational Therapy Program at MWU is to be worn. The insignia should be sewn securely on the left sleeve of the uniform just below the shoulder. For health and safety reasons, only a minimal amount of simple jewelry is recommended. Hair, if longer than shoulder length, should be held away from the face in some manner. This is necessary for the protection of the student when working with equipment and also as a courtesy to the client. Students are expected to present themselves in a manner that reflects the practice of good hygiene. Students are expected to avoid the use of perfumes and colognes. Failure to follow a designated dress code can be grounds for immediate dismissal from a fieldwork assignment.
The American Occupational Therapy Association's Code of Ethics is a public statement of the values and principles used in promoting and maintaining high standards of behavior in occupational therapy. The American Occupational Therapy Association and its members are committed to furthering people's ability to function within their total environment. To this end, occupational therapy personnel provide services for individuals in any stage of health and illness, to institutions, to other professionals and colleagues, to students, and to the general public. Please refer to the Appendix to review the set of principles that applies to occupational therapy personnel at all levels.
Students completing Level II Fieldwork are still enrolled as full-time students and are required to follow university policy. Therefore, if Fieldwork II rotations should fall outside of university timeframes, it is the students' responsibility to communicate with the Registrar's Office and the Financial Aid Department, as there may be financial ramifications.
Any student who is receiving financial assistance in the form of scholarships or other resources must inform the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator immediately upon signing a contract. A copy of the contract you sign with the facility should be given to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. Due to the conflict of interest, which may arise in this situation, students will not be allowed to do fieldwork in a center where they have made a commitment to work upon graduation in exchange for financial assistance.
All students are required to submit a current copy of their immunization and vaccination history as a part of the matriculation agreement. Each student is responsible for the appropriate maintenance of his or her health requirements. Failure to do so will result in a delay of entering fieldwork when scheduled and subsequently graduating on time. Each student should keep current copies of a "Health and Immunization Report" form in their personal fieldwork file.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requires all students to participate in an in-service on Universal Precautions and Bloodborne Pathogens. Each student will receive initial training during the fall - I Interdisciplinary Healthcare course required of all first year students. A review is required each year. All in-services will be documented, and the student retains copies of this information to provide the fieldwork site on request, and/or the documentation will be sent to the clinical affiliation site on request.
All students are required to maintain currency in CPR and to present evidence of current CPR Certification prior to each Level I and Level II Fieldwork rotation and when starting at a fieldwork site. CPR Classes may or may not be offered through MWU. Students must provide the Occupational Therapy Program with a copy of certification.
The students are required to ensure currency in first aid training at matriculation and prior to each Level II Fieldwork rotation. The University does not provide this training and students are required to make their own arrangements to complete this requirement and have documentation on request of the fieldwork site. Students must provide the Occupational Therapy Program with a copy of certification.
All students receive training annually on HIPAA and receive a certificate of successful completion which is available to fieldwork sites. The certificates are also maintained electronically in the University.
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities now requires that all healthcare workers have a criminal background check prior to working within the organization whether they are paid employees or not. This background check may or may not be provided by the university and included in their program fees. If the university does not require it or provide the background check, students will be required to comply with individual facility requirements and may be asked to pay for this background check and provide the necessary information to do so through the fieldwork site.
The university does provide evidence of liability coverage for each student assigned to a fieldwork rotation. This is submitted annually to the fieldwork sites as directed by the Occupational Therapy Program.
If a student is or becomes pregnant prior to beginning fieldwork or while on fieldwork, she must notify the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator immediately, as well as inform her clinical supervisor. This is extremely important so appropriate plans can be made for fieldwork. Any student who is pregnant will be required to have a letter from her physician stating that she is capable of assuming the normal clinical responsibilities of an OT student, and that the physician does not have any objection to the student's specific assignment for fieldwork. Unless otherwise stated by the physician, no pregnant student will be allowed to do fieldwork in a pediatric or school system setting, due to increased probability of exposure to contagious diseases. Please refer to the "Leave of Absence" section of the MWU Student Handbook.
Students should refer to the policy listed under "Disability Services" in the MWU Student Handbook for further information.
Ask questions! No question is a "silly" question! Students are not expected to "know everything" about Occupational Therapy. It is important, however, to think about the quality of your questions and to consider that formulating thoughtful questions and gathering data to answer questions independently demonstrates good problem-solving skills. Skill in problem solving constitutes a critical component of the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation. Fieldwork is a learning experience; get the information you require in order to facilitate your learning. If your supervisor asks if you have questions, and you do not have any questions at a particular time, refrain from saying, "I don't have any questions". Instead, mention that you would like some time to reflect and to formulate your questions/ideas; then follow up with your supervisor at a later time.
One of the most frequent concerns is poor and/or lack of communication between the student therapist and his/her supervising therapist(s). Despite planned meeting times with a supervisor, it is not always possible for a supervisor to know when the student has questions, concerns and/or difficulties that are not being addressed. Therefore, students must remember it is their responsibility to schedule meetings with their supervisor for the purpose of getting questions answered, as necessary.
Be willing to take initiative by seeking out and assuming additional duties/responsibilities! Fieldwork supervisors like and are impressed by students who take initiative. Taking initiative in and responsibility for one's own learning is a characteristic that is highly valued by supervisors. Demonstrating these characteristics adds significantly to a supervisor's positive perception of that student. Students are encouraged to explore what the facility/surrounding community has to offer that will enhance their learning experience without compromising their other obligations. Sometimes, these endeavors may require students to use their own time versus clinical time. The main thing to remember is to get involved!
This information is provided by The American Occupational Therapy Association (www.aota.org) and provides answers to students about fieldwork requirements, supervision, grading, difficulties with supervisors, failing, unfair treatment, accommodations for a disability, and international fieldwork.
Who sets fieldwork requirements?
The Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant are the official AOTA documents that govern the length and types of fieldwork required for all students. View the OT Standards or OTA Standards.
How many hours are required for Level l and Level II Fieldwork?
For Level I Fieldwork, AOTA does not require a minimum number of hours. Each program sets the time requirements for students on Level I Fieldwork. For Level II Fieldwork, the standards require a minimum of 24 weeks full-time for occupational therapy students and 16 weeks full-time for occupational therapy assistant students. This may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, but may not be less than half time, as defined by the fieldwork site. Your academic program determines the required time needed to complete both Level I and II fieldwork in your program. All students must complete the fieldwork required by their academic programs.
Are there mandatory types of Level II fieldwork required for all students?
The Standards recommend that the student be exposed to a variety of clients across the life span and to a variety of settings. While AOTA does not mandate specific types of fieldwork, such as pediatrics or physical disabilities, individual academic programs do have the right to require specific types of fieldwork placement for their students.
How many days off are allowed?
The fieldwork site and the academic program decide time off during fieldwork. You should direct any questions about taking time off to your academic fieldwork coordinator first and your fieldwork educator next. The university guidelines prevail since the student remains in the academic community during the fieldwork. These circumstances can be negotiated if the fieldwork supervisor and fieldwork instructor are in agreement pertaining to the specific requests.
How many times may a student repeat Level II Fieldwork?
Because fieldwork is considered a part of your academic program, your school sets the policy on repeating Level II fieldwork. Check your college catalog or student handbook for a statement of your program's policy. Also, discuss this issue with your academic fieldwork coordinator to be sure that you understand the policy at your institution.
How much time do you have to finish Level II Fieldwork?
The Standards do not specify time requirements for completion of Level II fieldwork. It should be completed in a reasonable amount of time. You should consult with your academic program if there are unusual circumstances that might make it difficult for you to complete fieldwork within their required time period.
Who is permitted to supervise students?
For Level l fieldwork, a student can be supervised by qualified personnel including, but not limited to, occupational therapy practitioners with initial national certification, psychologists, physician assistants, teachers, social workers, nurses, and physical therapists.
For Level II fieldwork, an occupational therapist can supervise an occupational therapy student as long as the therapist meets state regulations and has a minimum of 1 year of practice experience subsequent to the requisite initial certification. An occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who meets state regulations and has 1 year of practice experience subsequent to the requisite initial certification can supervise an occupational therapy assistant student.
What is a passing grade for Level II Fieldwork?
Each academic program is responsible for determining its grading criteria. The academic program has the responsibility to assign a letter grade or pass/fail grade, and to determine the number of credit hours to be awarded for fieldwork. What should you do if your fieldwork grade is lower than you believe you deserve? Because fieldwork is considered part of your academic program, you will need to follow whatever grade appeal process your program or college requires. The steps involved in that process should be outlined in your college catalog or student handbook. Your academic program makes the final decision on your fieldwork grade.
What should you do if you are asked to perform above or outside your level of practice?
First, discuss this with your fieldwork educator. You may wish to check with the licensure board in the state where you are doing fieldwork for information defining the scope of practice. If you are unable to resolve this issue with the fieldwork site, contact your academic fieldwork coordinator.
What should you do if you are experiencing difficulty during Level II Fieldwork?
The first step is to talk with your fieldwork educator. Before your meeting, try to write down what you perceive as the problems and develop a list of possible solutions. If you are still experiencing difficulty after meeting with your fieldwork educator, contact the academic fieldwork coordinator at your school for a different perspective and advice on other possible solutions. It is very important that the academic fieldwork coordinator hear from you if you are experiencing difficulty.
What happens if you fail fieldwork and you believe you should pass?
First, discuss the situation with your academic fieldwork coordinator. Should you wish to appeal your grade, you must follow the procedures required by your academic program or college. Check your student handbook or college catalog, or contact the Student Affairs office to learn about your school's procedure. Also, find out what your program's policy is on repeating a failed fieldwork. If repeating is a possibility, you should request another fieldwork placement to make up for the prior failure.
Can your school drop you from the program for failing fieldwork? What options would you have to get a degree?
Each academic program determines its own criteria for dropping a student from the program. You need to find out your school's policy. You may wish to appeal the decision according to the procedure for your school or program. Some possible options for students who have been dropped from occupational therapy education programs include transfer to another major that may have similar course requirements; career counseling; or application to another occupational therapy program. Should you decide to apply to another occupational therapy education program, be aware that the prospective school decides on whether or not your course credits will be accepted.
Are you required to tell the fieldwork site that you have a disability?
Under the Americans with Disability Act, occupational and occupational therapy assistant students with disabilities have the right to decide if and when they disclose their disability to the fieldwork site. Students with disabilities have the right to be seen as qualified capable students first, and secondly as a student who has a disability. Discuss your decision to disclose with your academic fieldwork coordinator. Determine if you will need accommodations to fulfill the essential job functions for a student in your fieldwork setting. After a student is accepted for the fieldwork placement, the student, academic fieldwork coordinator, and fieldwork educator should determine the appropriate and most effective accommodations.
How can you find a fieldwork site outside of your state or region?
First, you should talk with your academic fieldwork coordinator for suggestions. Generally speaking, it is not appropriate for students to contact fieldwork sites independently unless they are told to do so by their school. Another source of information is the state occupational therapy association in the state where you wish to find a fieldwork site. View a list of State OT Associations contacts. AOT A does not maintain a listing of current fieldwork sites.
Can you do a Level II Fieldwork outside of the U.S.?
Depending upon the policies of your academic program, you may be permitted to do fieldwork outside the U.S. The following criteria listed in the ACOTE Standards for fieldwork outside of the U.S. must be met: "Ensure that the student completing Level II fieldwork outside the U.S. is supervised by an occupational therapist who has graduated from a program approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and has 1 year of experience in practice. Such fieldwork shall not exceed 12 weeks."