Intraprofessional Fieldwork Education: Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapist Assistant Students Learning Together
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BACKGROUND: In the past 10 years, the use of support personnel in Canada has generated significant interest from occupational therapists, professional associations, regulatory bodies, employers, educational institutions, and government agencies. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of a combined collaborative fieldwork placement and weekly tutorial as a teaching strategy for intraprofessional education. METHODS: Seven pairs of student occupational therapists and occupational therapist assistants were assigned to fieldwork placements. Tutorials were scheduled during the placements to discuss intraprofessional issues and provision of occupational therapy services in the clinical setting. Journaling and focus groups were used to collect data from students, tutors, and preceptors. FINDINGS: Three key themes emerged from the data: (1) developing the relationship, (2) understanding roles, and (3) recognizing environmental influences on learning. IMPLICATIONS: Intraprofessional learning experiences prior to graduation can help prepare occupational therapy and occupational therapist assistant students for future collaborative practice.
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