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Fieldwork Program Components and Requirements

Fieldwork placements provide an opportunity to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge and to develop professional behaviours and clinical skills. MScOT students are required to complete a minimum of 1000 hours of fieldwork according to the requirements of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

Fieldwork Course Integration

Fieldwork courses have been strategically placed within the MScOT programme amidst the academic courses. In year 1, the students have the Introductory Fieldwork Experience to further introduce and socialize them into the occupational therapy profession and to aid in the understanding of important concepts and development of key competencies. In the spring of year 1, after two terms of academic work, students have Fieldwork 1. The remaining fieldwork placements occur within the second year of the programme. Fieldwork 2 takes place in the fall after a condensed fall term of academic courses. Fieldwork 3 occurs in term 5 and Fieldwork 4 occurs in term 6, at the end of year 2. Please see the 2022/2023 Fieldwork Calendar and the  MScOT calendar of courses for a fuller understanding of the integration of academic and fieldwork courses.

Variety of Fieldwork Experiences Utilizing Placement Coding System

Students must ensure that their placements provide a variety of experiences (i.e. with respect to practice setting, age group, diagnostic group, etc). Within the requirement of 1000 hours of fieldwork, students must complete a minimum of one placement in physical health (coded P) and one placement in psychosocial health (coded M). Alternatively, two combination placements of physical health and psychosocial health (coded B) will also meet these criteria. Further information about the coding system is found within the Placement Offers Coding Sheet.

Completing the Introductory Fieldwork Experience placement counts towards the required 1000 hours; however, it does not count toward the criteria for the psychosocial health or physical health requirements.

To ensure a variety of placement types, students should independently track their fieldwork experiences on the Fieldwork Learning Experience Record (see Fieldwork Forms). The template can be also be found on the Fieldwork Quercus site.

LEAP Placements

Students must complete at least one ‘LEAP’ placement during Year 2. LEAP stands for:

  • Leadership

  • Emerging/Enhancing

  • Advocacy

  • Program Planning and Evaluation

Fieldwork learning opportunities in Fieldwork 3 will primarily consist of LEAP placements, however, students may also have opportunity to complete a LEAP placement during Fieldwork 2 or Fieldwork 4. See definitions below.

• Role-emerging Placements: Students are placed in an organization where there is no established occupational therapy program or role. Students on these placements have two preceptors: an on-site non-OT professional and an off-site OT practitioner. Most role-emerging placements are developed by the university but there is opportunity for students to develop their own role-emerging placement in partnership with the OS&OT Role-emerging Fieldwork Coordinator if desired.

• Role-enhancing Placements: Students are placed in an organization where there is an established occupational therapy program or role but occupational therapy services could be enhanced to better serve clientele. Students on these placements have an on-site OT preceptor that is on staff at the organization.

• Leadership and Unique Role-established Placements: Students are placed in an organization where there is an established or newly established unique occupational therapy role and/or with an OT Professional Practice Leader. Role-established placements occur in ‘traditional’ fieldwork settings, international settings, private practice, and in OT associations/organizations. These placements provide learning opportunities for students to observe, demonstrate, and develop unique leadership and advocacy skills in addition to other core practice competencies. Preceptors are leaders within the profession, practice setting, or organization.

LEAP placements allow students to continue with their development of the same professional competencies as required in all fieldwork learning experiences but with increased opportunities for the development of leadership and advocacy skills.

Interprofessional Education (IPE) in Fieldwork

Interprofessional education (IPE) for students occurs when individuals from at least two different roles or professions learn about, from and with each other to collaborate effectively as team members in working towards best outcomes. As part of the U of T IPE curriculum, MScOT students develop competencies for IPE through participation in specific learning activities in clinical settings. In order to fulfill their clinical education IPE requirements, students must complete at minimum during the total span of their fieldwork courses, either:

  1. One Structured IPE Placement (includes interprofessional student group project / presentation)

  2. OR Three Flexible IPE Learning Activities (including reflection papers).

If a student is completing the Flexible IPE Activities (in lieu of a Structured IPE placement), the schedule for completion is described below. Students may participate in a Structured IPE placement during any fieldwork course, which automatically includes a project/presentation component. No additional project is required in these cases:

Structured IPE Placement Option:

  • Can complete during any fieldwork course (project/presentation is built into it)

Flexible IPE Activities Option (alternative to a Structured IPE placement):

  • Fieldwork 1 or 2: Complete IPE activity #1

  • Fieldwork 3 and/or 4: Complete IPE activities #2 and #3

Note: This is a recommended timeline for completion, but you can complete the Flexible IPE activities at any point during your fieldwork courses, depending on the context of each.

Fieldwork Project / Presentation:

  • You may be asked to complete a small project (at the discretion of your preceptor/site)

  • Note that a project component is typically already built into both a Structured IPE placement and LEAP placement.

Structured IPE Placement

Structured IPE placements have these primary elements:

  • A group of students from different professions come together in a student team while on placement,

  • Students participate in a series of weekly patient-themed tutorials, and

  • Students prepare and share the delivery of a joint presentation or project.

Structured IPE placements are offered by various fieldwork sites. The placement description may indicate if the placement is a structured IPE placement, or if a structured IPE placement is open for registration, based on availability.

Flexible IPE Activities

Flexible IPE activities can be done at almost any fieldwork site. The activity descriptions and requirements are provided here.

IPE Reflection papers are reviewed with the preceptor and then submitted through Quercus within the Mentorship Course.

Note: Any modifications to the IPE component of fieldwork will be communicated to students via Quercus by the fieldwork team.

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