Well done. After all that worthwhile preparation, you are ready and awaiting the arrival of the student.

Now the fun begins!

1. Introductions

Part of orientation is about knowing where to begin and how to pitch your information delivery. It is important that you make some time with the student to find out about their prior levels of experience and learning, their interests, and the expectations they have when they arrive at your centre.

A student will bring to the placement:

  • expectations – of you, the clients, the organisation and what they hope to learn
  • a level of cognitive development – problem-solving ability
  • knowledge of occupational therapy frames of reference/models
  • their personal learning goals
  • an idea of what constitutes fair and reasonable assessment
  • developing clinical reasoning skills

(Fitzgerald, 2007, March)

The student will also undoubtedly be nervous and bring with them a level of anxiety, so it is a good idea to take some time on the first day to sit down with the student and informally get to know a bit about them, and also to tell them about yourself, your experiences and practice areas, so as to set them at ease with you.

You don’t have to launch into information giving and heavy orientation straight away!

Once a level of rapport and ease with one another has begun building you can get stuck into the orientation program. Here are some steps to walk you through student orientation.