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Placement levels - OT: Home

Placement levels

It is expected that professional competence will develop in practice placements along a continuum which includes the stages: Novice, Advanced beginner and Competent student as outlined in the Dreyfus and Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition (Benner, 1984; Dreyfus & Dreyfus, 1986; Cohn & Czycholl, 1992, cited in Alsop and Ryan, 2000).


How placements are integrated into the curriculum and the aims and outcomes of each placement is set out in the practice placement handbook.


A hard copy of the handbook can be requested from: hsc-otadmin@lsbu.ac.uk


Or available electronically (please note this document is up to 100 pgs):

Download practice placement handbook


Practice Placement One


This is the first six week practice placement and will foster an overall appreciation of occupational perspectives of health and wellbeing, and the occupational therapy process. This placement gives the student an opportunity to observe and engage with occupational therapy practice. It aims to facilitate the student’s understanding of the principles and processes of occupational therapy through experiential learning and engagement with service users in practice placement settings. Students are expected to gain an appreciation of the impact of occupational disruption and occupational dysfunction on occupational performance, as well as have an opportunity to observe the potential of well-planned intervention to ameliorate these effects, in the context of patient-centred care. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on the impact of different aspects of the environment on occupational performance. Students will be required to attend university for 6 taught days during practice placement 1.


The aims of Practice Placement 1 are as follows:


 1. To experience and develop an understanding of occupation and perspectives of health and wellbeing within the context of the placement setting.
 2. To experience and develop an understanding of the health and social care environment, and the role of the occupational therapist within this.
 3. To develop an understanding of professional identity and behaviour as an occupational therapy student.
 4. To develop appreciation of service users' experiences and their perspectives of health, wellbeing and the role of meaningful occupation in their life
 


Educator’s role in facilitating learning for a novice:

• Provide student with clear guidelines and feedback to link experiences on placement to knowledge base.
• Provide student with a clear direction on the knowledge and skills he/she will need to develop to understand the experiences whilst on placement
• Where possible provide student with repetition of routine tasks to aid learning
• As much as possible and when educator judges that student has gained the appropriate understanding and skills provide the student with ‘hands on’ experience

Table of placement aims and outcomes


Setting a learning contract


Assessment of student in placement


Practice Placement Two


This seven week placement will support students to begin developing skills in implementing person centred, occupation focused occupational therapy practice. This is facilitated through the provision of guidelines and policies that govern practice. Students will be required to attend university for taught sessions on 5 days during practice placement 2.

The aims of Practice Placement 2 are as follows:


 1. To identify and appraise the influence of models, theories and approaches on the practice of occupational therapy in the given practice setting
 2. To engage in delivery of elements of the occupational therapy process with individuals/groups as relevant to the context of the placement setting.
 3. To develop skills in personal and professional responsibility and decision-making.
 4. To demonstrate understanding of person centred, occupation focused practice.
 


Students on practice placement 2 would be expected at this stage in their training to:


• Be able to consider additional cues and broaden their views
• Be able to start to relate to the client as an individual
• Be able to recognize behaviour but not attach meaning to it
• Still not see the entire picture as an experienced therapist would

(adapted from Alsop and Ryan, 2000)

Practice placement 2 is designed to encourage the transition from novice student to advanced beginner student practitioner, developing the depth of students’ understanding and increasing competence in the application of the occupational therapy process. There is an increasing emphasis placed on intervention planning, interventions and evaluation of interventions, and the use of available evidence to guide clinical reasoning. It is envisaged that, at this level, students will demonstrate skills in problem solving, decision-making, use of theory in practice and an increasing awareness of the ethical considerations of professional practice. It is also expected that, at this level, students will begin to develop a tolerance of ambiguity in theory/practice issues.

Educator’s role in facilitating learning for practice placement 2:

• Drawing on students previous experience provide guidance to students on identifying problems / issues
• Provide support in the placement setting e.g. setting priorities, noting significance of findings etc
• Provide students with the opportunity to work with clients under supervision/direction

Table of placement aims and outcomes


Setting a learning contract


Assessment of student in placement


Practice Placement Three


Building on the learning outcomes from practice placements 1 and 2, this 10 week practice placement 3 has an increasing emphasis of developing the depth of students’ understanding of and increasing competence in the application of the occupational therapy process during this third practice placement. It is envisaged that students will demonstrate skills in problem-solving, decision-making, use of theory in practice, professional reasoning and an increasing awareness of the need for evidence-informed practice and ethical considerations of professional practice. Students will be required to attend university for one taught day during practice placement 3.

The aims of Practice Placement 3 are as follows:


 1. To demonstrate increasing competence in the application of the occupational therapy process with individuals/groups as relevant to the context of the placement setting.
 2. To evaluate and critically discuss the influence of models, theories, approaches and evidence on occupation focused practice within the given practice setting.
 3. To demonstrate personal and professional responsibility, professional reasoning and decision-making skills.
 4. To evaluate the role of the occupational therapist with consideration of wider sociopolitical and economic environments including the delivery of health and social care provision.
 

Educator’s role in facilitating learning for practice placement 3:

• Drawing on students previous experience provide guidance to students on identifying problems / issues
• Provide support in the placement setting e.g. setting priorities, noting significance of findings etc
• Provide students with the opportunity to work with clients under supervision/direction


Practice Placement Four


This final 10 week placement prepares students to be competent to practice, by providing opportunity to make the transition from student to independent practitioner in occupational therapy and facilitating them to meet the HCPC standards of proficiency (HCPC, 2013), COT (2016) graduate competencies and COT (2015) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. This placement will require students to demonstrate competence in implementing the occupational therapy process with a limited caseload. They will demonstrate skills in professional reasoning and problem solving and will be independent in professional judgement, whilst being committed to team endeavours. They will be able to explore service quality, innovation and provision from a 'service' perspective as well as from the service user and professional perspectives. Students will be required to attend university for one taught day during practice placement 4.

The aims of Practice Placement 4 are as follows:


 1. To independently engage in and critically appraise and justify occupational therapy practice, and the specific occupational therapy role in the practice setting
 2. To consolidate and apply professional reasoning skills to facilitate occupational engagement with individuals/groups/communities in the context of the practice setting.
 3. To develop, apply and consolidate skills of self-management, self-awareness and evaluation of self along with knowledge of personal potential as an OT
 4.To identify opportunities for innovative practice that addresses occupational needs, through critical consideration of service provision.
 


As students are expected to be working as a competent student they would be expected at this stage in their training to -
• See actions at least partially in terms of longer-term goals
• Plan consciously and deliberately
• Still follow routine and standardized procedures
• Know which actions are more important than others
• Still lack flexibility and creativity
 (adapted from Alsop and Ryan, 2000)

Educator’s role in facilitating learning for practice placement 4 student:


• Student still requires adequate time to think and complete tasks, ensure students do take time to consciously plan and reflect on sessions
• Students need to take responsibly for a small caseload and related administrative tasks, take into consideration students prior experience and grade their taking up of these responsibilities
• student will still need support to help identify and prioritise more complex issues


Table of placement aims and outcomes

Setting a learning contract

Assessment of student in placement
 

Explore practice learning:

Back to OT practice learning home

Rationale for practice placements

Roles and responsibilities

Standards for practice education

Making an offer

Placement dates

Placement levels

Setting a learning contract

Supervision and tutorials

DBS and Occupational Health clearance

University based student preparation and DDS

Information to provide your student before their placement

Student attendance requirements and absence reporting

Travel expenses

Inter-professional learning in practice tasks