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Being Prepared for Diversity in Practice: Occupational Therapy Students' Perceptions of Valuable Intercultural Learning Experiences

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Occupational therapists are increasingly working in diverse areas of practice, in diverse settings and with diverse client groups. Accordingly, understandings of the complexities of interactions between service providers and clients, relative to the environments and contexts in which they come together, are requisite to competent practice.

This article describes a phenomenological study undertaken with occupational therapy students in New Zealand, which focused on their experiences of learning to work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. In this article, a subset of the findings from the study is presented. This subset of findings was that client-centredness and hands-on experiences in fieldwork were perceived to be the most important features of the occupational therapy students' education as preparation for working with clients from different cultural backgrounds. A presentation of narrative extracts and interpretive commentary is followed by a discussion of the implications of the findings for occupational therapy education, especially fieldwork education.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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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