Level I A: Is a full time two-week rotation in the spring of the first academic year. This experience can be in any area of practice. (This is a pass/fail course for 2 credits)
Level I B: Is a fieldwork experience scheduled in the student's second academic year that focuses on the psychosocial aspects of occupational performance and participation.
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. The Level II rotations are placed in the summer and fall quarters of the third year. Students complete Level II rotations no later than the third week in December and graduate once all requirements are complete.
All immunizations and requirements must be updated or completed at least 2 weeks prior to expiration to prevent any difficulties with documentation and compliance. These include:
Essential Skills and Abilities noted in the Occupational Therapy Program Manual are also required for fieldwork.
Students must know and adhere to regulations of the University and "The Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics" (see Appendix). Students must also comply with regulations of the College, the Program, and Fieldwork facilities.
The therapist's appearance influences patient, client, family and staff reactions to her or him. Fieldwork students are expected to maintain professional standards of dress and grooming. 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 expected to conform to the dress code requirements established by the setting to which they are assigned. Clothing and footwear should be clean, functional, and modest at all times. When uniforms, lab coats, or scrubs 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.
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 Resources section for the AOTA Code Ethics.
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 student's 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 from a hospital or clinic must inform the Academic Fieldwork Coordinators immediately upon signing a contract. A copy of the contract you sign with the facility should be given to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinators. Due to the potential conflict of interest which may arise in this situation, students may not be allowed to do fieldwork in a facility where they have made a commitment to work upon graduation in exchange for financial assistance. Each situation will be examined on a case by case basis.
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. Requirements need to be updated at least 2 weeks prior to expiration to ensure consistency of documentation and compliance. Failure to do so will result in a delay of entering fieldwork when scheduled and subsequent delays in timely graduation. Each student should keep current copies of a "Health and Immunization Report" form in their personal portfolio or fieldwork file.
All students are required to maintain currency in American Heart Association Basic Life Support Certification (adult/child) for Healthcare Providers and to present evidence of current Certification at least two weeks prior to each Level I and Level II Fieldwork rotation, and when starting at a Fieldwork site. Students must provide the Occupational Therapy Program with a copy of current 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 current 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 by the University.
The 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 or not they are paid employees. This background check may or may not be provided by the University and included in their program fees. Students will be required to comply with additional facility requirements and may be asked to pay for a background check and/or fingerprinting and provide the necessary information to do so through the fieldwork site. A prior misdemeanor or felony conviction may affect completion of fieldwork requirements for graduation.
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.
Please refer to the University Student Handbook for its policy on student pregnancy. 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 Fieldwork Educator. 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. Communication and careful planning during fieldwork experiences will contribute to the health and safety of the student and fetus.
Students should refer to the policy listed under "Disability Services" in the MWU Student Handbook for further information.
The following information is adapted from content provided by The American Occupational Therapy Association (www.aota.org) about fieldwork. (These are general answers and not necessarily specific to the Midwestern University OT Program).
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.
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. Each academic program determines the required time needed to complete both Level I and II fieldwork. 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 Coordinators 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 the College catalog 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.
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.