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Staff Supervision for Occupational Therapists

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In the literature, supervision is described as a process to ensure accountability in the workplace and also to facilitate clinicians to reflect upon their practice. Within occupational therapy the process of supervision is not new, but little has been published on what supervision involves for the occupational therapist. This article is a practice-based paper, intended to be of particular use to occupational therapists who wish to establish supervision systems. The paper is based on 10 years' experience of the first author in evolving a supervision structure for occupational therapists.

The central themes of effective supervision, as highlighted in the literature, are presented. The benefits and potential difficulties are described, with an emphasis on the need to understand the aims of supervision. The article suggests that supervision should be supportive but challenging in order to be effective. The essential components of quality supervision are presented; for example, written supervision contracts. training in supervision, reviews and feedback for both supervisor and supervisee.

A brief overview of a supervision package is provided as one way to implement supervision for occupational therapists. The package offers a practical guide to the process of supervision, with an emphasis on a supportive and enabling approach. Occupational therapists need to debate the merits and pitfalls of supervision to ensure that the supervision offered is effective and of a high quality.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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