Credentials Display

Emily Raphael-Greenfield, EdD, OTR/L; Ivettedari Miranda-Capella, MS, OTR/L; Myra Branch, MS, OTR/L


Two occupational therapy students were assigned to an inpatient psychiatric unit for their first Level 1 fieldwork. With limited on-site supervision provided, they looked to each other for peer support and collaboration in assisting one patient with severe depression who was considered the “sickest patient on the unit.” The students were able to work together and make a positive intervention with this patient despite their novice status. Understanding what each of them brought personally to this experience as well as the nature of their working relationship and their use of concepts taught in the classroom has important implications for occupational therapy education. One of the profession’s goals in acute psychiatric settings is to engage clients in meaningful occupations to facilitate rehabilitation and the recovery process. The two students skillfully employed the concepts of emotional intelligence, cultural competence, and therapeutic use of self and demonstrated their comfort with technology and spirituality to facilitate his occupational reengagement. By examining this case report through the lens of the literature on emotional intelligence, cultural competence, and therapeutic use of self, the ingredients of their clinical reasoning becomes more transparent and available to other occupational therapy educational programs.