Amy Mattila, PhD, OTR/L
Today’s health care system requires therapists to acquire a level of confidence, flexibility, and personal growth that enables them to treat a diverse and complex clientele. Occupational therapy programs need to ensure that clinical placements can best prepare students for these demands. Community engaged learning (CEL) offers a distinctive opportunity both to meet the curricular requirements of fieldwork and to afford students the chance to develop unique sets of skills. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine the experiences of graduate occupational therapy students participating in CEL fieldwork placements. The study explored the students’ self-efficacy before and after placements and the transformative learning process that occurred. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews, pre/post surveys, and reflective journals. The findings resulted in eight major themes that revealed growth in self-efficacy and personal and professional development. The results indicated the influential impression CEL leaves on the development of the student and provides a potential solution for programs to meet the demands of the current health care climate.
Mattila, A. (2019). Perceptions and Outcomes of Occupational Therapy Students Participating in Community Engaged Learning: A Mixed-Methods Approach. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 7(4), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1612