Caroline Hills MSc, GCTE, BSc (Hons), Dip.COT; Kobie Boshoff B Occ Thy, B Sc Psyc (Hons), MA, PhD.; Susan Gilbert-Hunt MAppSc (OT), DipCOT; Susan Ryan PhD, MSc, BAppSc (OT); Derek R. Smith PhD, MPH, Professor
Those born between 1982 and 2002 are termed “Generation Y”. This younger generation is thought to have unique characteristics, due to the societal and technological influences that they experienced in their formative years. In occupational therapy, this group has been found to have unique attributes that have impacted on practice education. This study replicated an earlier study to affirm or refute the existence of the Generation Y student in occupational therapy from practice educator perspectives. An Australian university previously developed and administered the survey tool. In this current study, the electronic survey was sent to all practice educators listed on the database of another Australian university. Of the 54 respondents, most considered that there is a Generation Y student. Using summative content analysis, categories were generated, which were collapsed into four main themes: (a) self-assured, go getters that are team players and easily bored; (b) demanding and motivated learners; (c) technologically savvy; and (d) no difference. Practice educators viewed Generation Y students as possessing unique attributes that may contribute significantly to the profession but that also present challenges in practice education. Acknowledgment of generational differences and the value of mentorship from older generations are indicated to maximize this generation’s potential.
Hills, C., Boshoff, K., Gilbert-Hunt, S., Ryan, S., & Smith, D. R. (2015). The Future in Their Hands: The Perceptions of Practice Educators on the Strengths and Challenges of “Generation Y” Occupational Therapy Students. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 3(4). https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1135