Fieldwork is an integral piece of occupational therapy education, as it provides the student with the opportunity to apply the principles learned in the academic program to actual clients. The student will be able to develop leadership and advocacy skills in a variety of practice settings, and, through the fieldwork process, will develop their professional identity as an occupational therapist (AOTA, 2012 ).
How does fieldwork progress?
- Fieldwork is divided into two stages, Level I and Level II.
- There are three Level I Fieldwork experiences that are of one week duration each. These are completed in Fall I, Spring II and Fall II semesters.
- There are two Level II Fieldwork experiences that are 12 weeks in duration each. These are completed in Summer II and Spring III semesters.
- The student should expect that at least one of these experiences will be out of town.
- An ‘in town’ location is defined as one that is in the following parishes: Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, and St. John.
Where can I do fieldwork?
- The majority of the school’s contracted sites are within the state of Louisiana. There are contracts with sites around the country, especially in the southeast.
- A contract for a desired site can be developed if the site has committed to accepting a student.
How are students assigned to fieldwork?
- Students are provided group and individual advising for fieldwork site selection.
- There are courses within the program that guide students through the selection process.
- The selection process is a combination of the students’ preferences, a computer software generated lottery, and the students’ faculty advisor and fieldwork coordinator input.
What are the financial aspects of fieldwork?
- Students are responsible for all of the financial aspects of fieldwork.
- These include, but are not limited to:
- Relocation expenses
- Commuting expenses
- Annual criminal background check
- Drug screening
- Student immunizations, including flu shot
- Professional liability insurance (student rate)
- Other prerequisites that may be required by the fieldwork site
References and Links
American Occupational Therapy Association. (2012). 2011 Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) Standards. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(Suppl.), S6–S74. doi:10.5014/ajot.2012.66S6