Credentials Display

Victoria G. Wilburn, DHSc, OTR; Kate E. DeCleene Huber, OTR, MS, OTD; Julie Gahimer, PT, HSD; Candace Beitman, EdD, OTR; Elizabeth S. Moore, PhD


This study investigated the perceptions of academic fieldwork coordinators (AFWCs) regarding emerging areas of practice as fieldwork experiences for entry-level occupational therapy (OT) students. Further, this study explored several aspects of fieldwork experiences in emerging areas of practice on student personal and professional development, academic curriculum, partnering community agencies, and the profession at large. A survey designed through Qualtrics®, an electronic survey system, was sent to 163 AFWCs of fully accredited master’s and doctoral entry-level OT programs. Forty-four participants (27%) completed the 16-question survey. Significance at p < .05 was found in higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy student performance when compared to traditional areas of practice. Common perceptions found among the AFWCs related to emerging areas of practice fieldwork experiences included: improved student professional and personal skills, increased connections and collaborations across and in health care disciplines, an enhanced ability to define and understand OT. Continued opportunities for fieldwork in emerging areas of practice are essential as the profession contemplates new markets and avenues in a changing health care environment.