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Occupational Therapy Overview and Initiatives: Meeting the challenge. Assoc Professor Sylvia Rodger Dr Jodie Copley Ms Cate Fitzgerald October 31 2007 Placement Showcase T and L Week UQ. Overview. The CRISIS OUR RESPONSES Strategic initiatives – Queensland OT Fieldwork Collaborative

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Occupational Therapy Overview and Initiatives: Meeting the challenge

Assoc Professor Sylvia Rodger

Dr Jodie Copley

Ms Cate Fitzgerald

October 31 2007

Placement Showcase T and L Week UQ

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  • The CRISIS


    • Strategic initiatives – Queensland OT Fieldwork Collaborative

    • Expansion of internal clinics

    • Fieldwork Placement Flexibility, Support and Resourcing

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  • Recognition of heading towards crisis

  • Increased student numbers in UG program

  • Introduction of GEMS program

  • Increased competition - OT program at JCU, USC program planned for 2008.

  • Feedback from the profession and placement providers – loss of clinical tutor positions

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Ongoing Challenges

  • Provide sufficient fieldwork placements for all occupational therapy students

  • To ensure placement quality

  • To prepare students for the realities of changing practice

  • To ensure fieldwork opportunities reflect the growth areas and current and future needs of OT profession

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Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative (QOTFC)

Sylvia Rodger, Yvonne Thomas, David Dickson, Jacqui Broadbridge, Linda Hopper, Ann Edwards, Cathy McBryde, Rachel Hawkins.

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Historical Overview of QOTFC

  • Working group of stakeholders established 2003

  • First Qld Fieldwork Symposium held November 2003.

  • QOTFC formed early 2004

  • QOTFC met for past three years monthly

  • Terms of Reference

  • Projects completed and ongoing

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QOTFC Established 2004

  • The University of Queensland - Sylvia Rodger

  • James Cook University – Yvonne Thomas

  • OT AUSTRALIA – Qld - Rachel Kipping

  • Occupational Therapists’ Board Of Qld – Cathy McBryde

  • CRS Australia- Jacqueline Broadbridge

  • Qld Government Service Managers – Ann Edwards

  • University of Sunshine Coast – Craig Greber

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QOTFC Position Paper 2004

Vision Statement

~ to integrate professional ownership between universities, professional bodies, major employers of occupational therapists and individual occupational therapists to meet fieldwork placement needs

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  • promote shared vision

  • identify & promote issues

  • promote options for supporting supervisors

  • lead discussion & evaluation

  • identify & promote strategies to  placements

  • promote state-wide discussion

  • promote discussion with major stakeholders

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Key Outcomes

  • Position Paper August 2004 to promote discussion and ownership

  • All students placed March 2005

  • Few placements withdrawn during industrial action 2005-2007

  • Funded projects

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QOTFC Funded Projects

  • Clinical Education in Private Practice - 2005 joint funding UQ, JCU, OT Reg Board, OT A Qld.

  • Engaging the Clinicians – Queensland Health funding $68,000 to support hub champions and regional and special interest hubs to increase and improve fieldwork opportunities 2006-2007.

  • Invigorating Mental Health Fieldwork – Queensland health $89,000 to investigate lackof MH placements, pilot innovative MH placements and support MH clinical educators 2007-2008.

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UQ OT Clinics

  • OT Children’s Life Skills Clinic

  • UQ OT Work Service

  • OT Upper Limb Hypertonicity Clinic

  • Full time student placements are offered in all clinics throughout the year

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OT Children’s Life Skills Clinic

  • OTCLSC provides pre-placement paediatric fieldwork for 100% of undergraduate and Graduate Entry Masters students

  • OTCLSC provides 50% of paediatric full time fieldwork placements for undergraduate and Graduate Entry Masters Students

  • Referrals from teachers, guidance officers, parents and health professionals

Provides services for children 0-18 years

with developmental, learning,

coordination or

social/behavioural issues

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Student involvement in

  • Students are involved in both onsite and offsite clinics

  • Innovative clinics such as

    • Murri School (ATSI Independent school)

    • Catholic Education Rural Outreach Trips 4 x/year

    • Occtypus therapy (therapy in the pool)

  • Inter-professional clinics with speech pathology and music therapy

    • SPOT (early intervention)

    • Seton College (secondary school for students with specific needs)

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Some benefits of university clinics

  • Multiple mentoring model of student supervision

    • Promotes peer learning and independent problem solving/development of personal/professional skills

  • High standard of clinical education processes

    • Processes used for explicit treatment planning, observation, interpretation and documentation

    • Theory to practice tools

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For occupational therapy students on practicum to achieve experience in occupational health and safety consultancy (to industry and other organisations) with the support, education, training and supervision of experienced graduate therapists.


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Model of Operation and Service Types

Law et al.,CJOT.,Vol 63.No.1.

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Service locations

  • UQ St Lucia and Ipswich campuses

  • But mainly on site:

    • Factories

    • Offices

    • Mines

    • Government departments

    • In vehicles

    • Laboratories

      ……Wherever the client requires our service.

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Why is the Work Service Successful?

We have “The ability to integrate psychology, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathology with movement principles. This positions therapists to be important contributors to healthy workers and work environments”

Larsen. & Miller, M. Rehabilitation Ergonomics, Work (2005)

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UQ Work Service Clients

  • Gold Coast City Council

  • Chubb Security

  • Amcor Packaging and Recycling

  • Visy Industries

  • Australian Hardboards

  • Queensland Police

  • Logan Beaudesert Oral Health District

  • Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland

  • Sinclair Knight Merz

  • Campbell Brothers Chemicals (Clean Tec)

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Opportunity for Change

  • Revision of the WFOT clinical placement guidelines

    - enabled greater variation of placement types

    - enabled changes to length of placements

    - enabled use of alternative models of placements

    - enabled a proportion of the required placement hours to be integrated with students academic program

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Key responses –Program changes

  • 3 block placements instead of 4 – changes to placement length.

  • Development of FW activities within majority of courses and tracking of student FW hours across whole program.

  • Review of placement assessment tool – SPEF and development of electronic version - eSPEF to ease assessment process for CE’s.

  • SPEF on-line training – T&L Grant.

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Key Responses – Supports to CE’s

  • Creation of Clinical Education Liaison Manager positions – increased from .5 FTE to

    2 FTE equivalent in last 12 months.

  • SHRS Interprofessional Introductory CE Workshops and Newsletters.

  • OT specific CE training (Brisbane and Regional QLD) – placement establishment, managing challenging students, facilitating clinical reasoning, conflict resolution.

  • SHRS Rewards and Recognition Program.

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Key Responses – Supports to CE’s

  • On-site inservice training and support to CE’s.

  • Development of resources for CE’s.

  • Support to the use of alternative models of placement provision e.g. role emerging and collaborative models

  • On-time responses to queries and concerns.

  • Forums to address concerns and to review new ideas and initiatives in collaboration with the profession.

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  • Increased collaboration with the profession to manage clinical education issues.

  • Greater placement offers – more than we need!

  • Collaborative support to students with a disability and those experiencing challenges on placements.

  • Creation of opportunities to increase the quality of placements for students.

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