A review of non-traditional occupational therapy practice placement education: a focus on role-emerging and project placements

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Practice placement education has been recognised as an integral and critical component of the training of occupational therapy students. Although there is an extensive body of literature on clinical education and traditional practice placement education models, there has been limited research on alternative placements.

This paper reviews the literature on various practice placement education models and presents a contemporary view on how it is currently delivered. The literature is examined with a particular focus on the increasing range of practice placement education opportunities, such as project and role-emerging placements. The drivers for non-traditional practice placement education include shortages of traditional placement options, health reform and changing work practices, potential for role development and influence on practice choice. The benefits and challenges of non-traditional practice placement education are discussed, including supervision issues, student evaluation, professional and personal development and the opportunity to practise clinical skills.

Further research is recommended to investigate occupational therapy graduates' perceptions of role-emerging and project placements in order to identify the benefits or otherwise of these placements and to contribute to the limited body of knowledge of emerging education opportunities.


Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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