Fieldwork Manual Introduction
Fieldwork education is an exciting opportunity to consolidate academic learning with clinical learning and develop professional behaviours and competencies. It gives students an understanding of the nature of occupational therapy practice in a variety of settings. Throughout the fieldwork experience students will have a broad range of learning opportunities, working with clients across the lifespan and across the health care continuum in the areas of both psychosocial and physical health.
This Fieldwork Manual is designed for students and fieldwork partners and provides details about the structure of the fieldwork program, fieldwork policies and procedures, and university expectations for student behaviour while on fieldwork. The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OS&OT) at the University of Toronto follows the Canadian Guidelines for Fieldwork Education in Occupational Therapy. This document is included in this manual for easy reference. This manual also includes information regarding professional standards as outlined by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. Students are expected to know and follow these standards, in addition to student-specific guidelines developed by the University of Toronto. Also contained in this manual is fieldwork administrative information regarding health policies such as immunization requirements, contracts and insurance, fieldwork requirements and selection process, pre-placement communication, fieldwork objectives, and the fieldwork evaluation process.
Full-time placement will typically be conducted from Monday to Friday for a minimum of 37.5 hours a week. Some placements have evening or weekend hours. Students are expected to minimize other responsibilities and distractions, (e.g. outside jobs) during fieldwork in order to concentrate solely on fieldwork education and thus optimize the learning experience. It is important to note that students’ non-academic commitments may not be able to be accommodated during fieldwork placement blocks. While on fieldwork, students should expect to do preparatory work in the evenings in addition to regular fieldwork hours. Students should also be prepared to travel anywhere within the University of Toronto’s catchment area to attend their assigned placement site which may entail significant travel time.
All the best to each of you as you embark on the essential element of fieldwork education on your journey to become an Occupational Therapist!