Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Julie D. Bass


Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Studies have shown that fieldwork coordinators are having a hard time finding enough fieldwork sites for their students. The shortage is due to the increasing number of occupational therapy students enrolled in programs and also because of increased productivity demands that have been established in response to healthcare changes in reimbursement. There have been studies done in which clinicians stated they would be more likely to accept students if the students were better prepared. As a result, one option academia has to increase the number of available sites would be to consider previously underutilized settings, such as hand therapy. Such a setting may require specialized training not normally covered in a general curriculum and, as a result, academia would need to insure that their students are prepared for those highly demanding settings by providing additional training for them.

ELearning may very well be something that could work to everyone's advantage. Training modules could be developed and used by both fieldwork sites and the universities to enhance students' performances and knowledge. They could be easily adapted for the different settings' caseloads and educational programs' strengths and weaknesses. They are cost effective and do not require classroom time be taken from the current demands that already exist. Also, the cost of hiring additional faculty could be avoided.

The primary purpose of this project was to develop training modules based on those areas of knowledge and specific skills that Level II fieldwork students were thought to be very weak in. In this way, if students received extra preparation for more challenging fieldwork experiences (i.e., hand therapy), it could result in more facilities accepting students as they began to realize the advantages of having students as opposed to focusing only on the demands and disadvantages. Secondarily, the project consisted of a survey to identify those skills and knowledge that therapists felt Level II students would benefit from if they were to receive additional training.