Benefits of Project Focused Placements

Benefits for the Clinical Educator
  • Gain research based evidence of community needs in areas where occupational therapy services don’t already exist or are under-serviced, in order to propose a role for occupational therapy
  • Monitor and support the set-up and evaluation of a role for occupational therapy services or programs in an area of identified need.
  • Provides opportunity to put ideas into practice
  • Provides opportunity to strengthen relationships within community and build
  • Partnerships with community-based services
  • Student can develop valuable resources and contribute to quality assurance activities and processes
  • Can be created as part of a role-emerging placement or an inter-agency model with clinical educator/s from related settings which would benefit part- time clinical educators or those with very heavy work and time demands
  • Suited to clinicians working in less traditional non-government and/or community-based roles such as in private practice, health promotion services, case management and consultant roles.

(Fortune, Farnworth & McKinstry, 2006; Thomas, Penman & Williamson, 2005)

Benefits for the student
  • Broadens the range of services students experience
  • Exposes students to new and potential areas of practice such as health
  • Promotion or preventative living skills programs
  • Provides opportunity to develop and/or evaluate a new or existing program
  • Provides opportunity to develop project development and management skills including:
    • Benchmarking
    • Scoping and developing a project brief including projected outcomes Conducting needs assessment/analysis
    • Submission and proposal writing
    • Engaging with communities
    • Managing tight task completion deadlines
    • Selecting appropriate outcome measures
    • Performing project evaluations
    • Writing literature reviews
    • Team work and delegation
  • Provides opportunity to contribute to the establishment of new practice roles and settings for the occupational therapy profession
  • Increases students’ awareness of how facilities operate and also of the political and financial influences affecting their services
  • Promotes development of skills in team work and communication as the student is required to work directly with multi-disciplinary staff, volunteers, and community members.
  • When two or more students work together on a role emerging placement, they are likely to feel more supported.

(S. Bartholomai, personal communication, May 31, 2007; Fortune et al. 2006, Thomas, Penman & Williamson, 2005)

Benefits for the host facility
  • Gains first hand experience and insight into what Occupational Therapy can offer.
  • The outcome of the project is beneficial for the agency/organisation
  • Project outcomes may assist with success in future funding submissions for related programs and services (Queensland Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative [QOTFC], 2007).
Project Placement Videos

Project Placement – Practice Educator Perspective

Helen from Autism Gold Coast joins us to discuss a recent project-based OT placement with students from Southern Cross University. Helen details how the placements were negotiated, facilitated, and the wonderful outcomes for the service and it's clients.

Project Placement – Student Perspective

Laura and Sarah from Southern Cross University discuss the above poject placement experience from their own perspectives. They provide insight into the unique learning opportunities available from such novel and innovative placement models.

 

References

Fortune, T. Farnworth, L. McKinstry, C. 2006. Project-focused fieldwork: Core business or fieldwork fillers? Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 53 (3) pp.233 – 236

Queensland Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative [QOTFC] (2007) Fact Sheet. How to develop and manage project-focused placements. Clinical Supervisor’s Toolkit. Available from http://www.otqld.org.au/ot_links/clinical_supervisors_tool_kit/index.aspx

Thomas, Y. Penman, M. Williamson, P. (2005) Australian and New Zealand fieldwork: Charting the territory for future practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 52 pp. 78- 81.