OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY MANAGERS’ ROLE IN AND PERCEPTIONS OF CLINICAL EDUCATION

Patricia De Witt, Alan Rothberg, Judith Bruce

Abstract


This study explored the role and perceptions of clinical education by the occupational therapy (OT) managers of clinical training sites.

A descriptive, quantitative survey design was used and a self-administered questionnaire was developed.  The questionnaire was developed from the literature and comprised of four sections: nature of the site; clinical training at that site; management of clinical education and perceptions of benefits and challenges.  The content validity of the questionnaire was established.

The questionnaires were sent to the heads of OT departments (n=22) that are utilised for the clinical education of occupational therapy students.  Fourteen questionnaires were returned (73.7%).

Only 45.5% (n=39) of the occupational therapists employed in these sites were involved in clinical education.  The most common criteria for being involved were clinical experience and where OTs qualified.  Most OT managers played a supportive (36%) or logistical role (43%) in clinical education; 22% were actively involved while 28% had no involvement.  The two most frequent benefits of providing clinical education were perceived to be assistance in managing the clinical load and keeping up to date, while time and staff issues were perceived to be the challenges.

The importance of involvement of all tiers of management in clinical education is not widely appreciated.

Keywords

Occupational therapy students, Clinical education, Occupational therapy manager


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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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