During the first few weeks of fieldwork, OT and OTA students get exposed to the practice area, common diagnoses, treatment activities and modalities, as well as the team that they will be working with throughout their placement. Students start with observing their supervisors and other therapists at the site, then begin assisting in the treatment sessions and evaluations, and ultimately start taking the lead for their assigned caseload.
This is the second episode of the OTA student series where we follow two occupational therapy assistant students Ijeoma Ikpeze and Chantal Sendall throughout their last level 2 fieldwork placements. In this episode, the girls share how their experience is going in the first three weeks, including what their days and supervision looks like, as well as specific challenges that they have encountered. This episode is for any OT and OTA students or future students, practicing clinicians, and fieldwork educators.
EJ, Chantal, and Sarah discuss:
- How they feel after completing 3 weeks of fieldwork
- Shifting from observing to leading their own groups
- Distinguishing OTs unique value in mental health services
- What to do when your treatment plan backfires?
- Therapeutic use of self
- Learning to read the patients
- Daily and momentary goals
- How their days are structured
- Differences in supervision
- The emotional toll of working in mental health
- The role of our own biases
- Changes in responsibilities expected in the next few weeks of fieldwork
- Advice for students going into fieldwork