Occupational Therapy students reflect on school clinical experience

13 July 2012

At the end of Term 2, eight 3rd year Occupational Therapy (OT) students from the Faculty of Health Sciences completed eight weeks of clinical placement at four Compass primary schools. Using a prescribed screening assessment and classroom observation, students helped classroom teachers identify children who needed assistance, leading to the development of a group treatment program.

The OT program would not be possible without the continuous support from the schools and the OT coordinators. OT students have expressed that they're well supported by the school and that the clinical experience gained has added new dimension to their university study. Compass asked the students to reflect on their experience at schools in Term 2:

"[It's a] really good program. [I] feel that I have learnt a lot about pediatric OT and have skills which I can use both in my degree and outside of OT. The teachers were very accommodating especially in setting up meeting times to discuss kids and from that I think we both got a lot out of it." - Jaslyn

"This placement has provided me with a great opportunity to develop my skills in a school setting. Working with referred children on a range of issues, which affected their function in a classroom setting, enabled me to learn an expansive range of specific and generic skills. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to conduct a case conference with a parent, the school counselor and OT supervisor, which gave me practice in using language that the parent could understand." - Caitlin

"The teachers [also gained] a different perspective about their students. They may have increased ideas on how to support children with fine motor [skills], core strength etc. in the classroom." - Kate

"A lot of the children recognised us as 'Compass people'! And we were able to tell them we were university students." - Annette

The 4th year and Master of Occupational Therapy students will continue this initial work. In Term 3 the focus will be on small group treatment activities and developing materials to assist teachers in the classroom.

For more information on the Occupational Therapy/Compass partnership, contact Compass Administration.