Piecing Together the Jigsaw: How do Practice Educators define Occupational Therapy Student Competence?

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This study addressed how practice educators define occupational therapy student competence. A qualitative approach was used to gain the beliefs and viewpoints of five occupational therapy practice educators working in neurological rehabilitation through semi-structured interviews and group discussion. Verified thematic analysis was used to structure and describe the information collected.

The complexity of the concept of competence was highlighted by the participants, who felt that it was part of their professional responsibility to ascertain whether a student had achieved a sufficiently high level of competence to pass into the professional status. However, the participants found it difficult to articulate explicitly what it was that they searched for. Four main areas were highlighted - observable behaviour, clinical reasoning, continuing development and professional and personal attributes - but the importance of student self-awareness, risk assessment and reasoning skills over theoretical knowledge was identified as a major influencing factor on competence.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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