A critical evaluation of role emerging placement opportunities offered by higher education institutions in the United Kingdom, in education of occupational therapists.
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This study critically evaluates the use of role emerging placements within occupational therapy education in Higher Education lnstitutions in the UK. There are 28 HEls offering occupational therapy education within the UK. Qualitative research methods in the form of semi-structured questionnaires and telephone interviews were used to explore the use of role emerging placements in 14 of these HEls, and the perspective of the professional body was also gained with a telephone interview. Documentary analysis was used to gain initial background information of the relevant HEls. Findings from this study indicated that there is a range of placements used within the UK ranging from whole cohort models, specific student selection and no role emerging placements. Where role emerging placements are used, supervision models include the use of long arm supervisors - both clinical and academic, on-site supervisors - from a range of professional backgrounds and peer supervision. Assessment tools used were the same as those used on traditional placements. Implications for occupational therapy practice included the development of the profession into new and innovative places that have not currently used occupational therapy within the service and the consequent creation of new posts. Learning experiences for students were reported as significant in encouraging skills of autonomy and confidence in professional identity. Reservations were reported from a number of professionals, namely some clinicians and managers, resulting in difficulties in finding sufficient long arm supervisors. The time and resources required in developing these placements were also acknowledged as a particular challenge. Recommendations included the need for a greater awareness of the value of role emerging placements with clinical staff and the development of new models of implementing them. More research is also required to gain a broader perspective of other stakeholders.
MA Pcet Education
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