Getting my First Student

March 16, 2008 at 8:36 pm 7 comments

In a few weeks, I’ll be getting my first student, guiding her through her Level I fieldwork.  I like to help others (isn’t that why I became an OT?), and I think that assisting other students going through school is a great way of helping them.  I’m looking forward to the experience and was also looking for guidance.

If you have had students or you are a student yourself, what kind of things are you looking for in your Level I experience?  What worked for you and what didn’t work for you?  What kind of supervision did you enjoy?  Let me know!


Entry filed under: acute care, occupational therapy, Open Questions, OT, school.

Spinal Precautions Celebrating Occupational Therapy month

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nadia  |  March 25, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Hi there
    I’m a 4th year OT student at Sydney so I’ve had 4 pracs already, some with AMAZING supervisors, others not so great.
    I think the best things you can do as a supervisor is to be open from day one, tell the student a bit about your history and where you have worked/done pracs, and where you went to uni/your experience of uni etc. We love to hear that our supervisor isn’t some God and has had some experiences we can relate to! Going into prac is like starting your first job, but you have no idea what to expect usually and don’t get told very much about the setting in advance. So ensuring that your students knows some idea of what they’re going to be doing is vital, because we’re quite in the dark otherwise!
    Also the other thing I have found most useful from my supervisors is seeing them as an ambassador for OT. It really inspires you to do the same when you graduate, and makes the world of difference when you can see how passionate your supervisor is. There’s nothing worse than having a supervisor that just seems bored all the time, doesn’t really care about their job or clients, and makes you feel like you’re just another student like it’s a bit of a drag!
    Hope that helps!! All the best.


  • 2. aishel  |  March 25, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you Nadia! Yes, that does certainly help! Another bit of advice a student currently with another therapist told me: Let the student participate as much as she feels comfortable!

  • 3. lilalia  |  April 15, 2008 at 1:57 am

    I am working with as an ESL teacher with OT students in Germany. It would be very interesting to me, and probably the students as well, to know the challenges and joys you face as a supervisor. Please do write more about this.

  • 4. theda  |  April 18, 2008 at 7:48 am

    I am a student as well, my school is placed in Germany. I already finished two three-month-apprenticeships.
    In my eyes they were very helpfull. Especially, if the supervisor makes you feel equal. He needs enough knowlege to be able to explain his action. Openness and directness are very helpfull as well.

    I want to know from my supervisors, which mistakes I make and how to improve my skills. I had a very good instructor, who made me explain everything I did during the treatments. That helped me a lot to achieve improvement and feel more secure, even though it took a lot of time.

  • 5. aishel  |  April 18, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Thank you for your comments and for linking me. I’m currently out of town and on holiday, but I’ll post responses to everyone when I return. Thank you again for your comments!

  • 6. Carolina  |  April 23, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I am OT but I am currenly workin at a Hospital runing the Patients Care department.
    WHen I was a trainee i liked that my supervisor gave me a patient, his chart and alow me to plan the treatment, everything under her control, of course. That was more useful than helping her performing treatments that i hadn´t planned.
    I hope this helps you.
    Sorry for my English, I am Spanish

  • 7. Ciaran O'Hagan  |  January 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve had about 5 practice placements and 4 of them have been such valuable experiences and the other was a great experienced marred by a rigid supervisor – it worked 8am -5pm (with half an hour break) four days a week which may seem normal but I was a first year student on my first placement and trying to stay focused and attend to all the information that was being bombarded at me was tough and I was refused a 5-minute break to go and stand outside in the fresh air to wake myself up. The office was small, dingy with a small window!! I sound so dramatic but I learnt one thing – that I would never treat my students like that , in fact I would encourage them to take a resonable amount of breaks throughout the day so that they have a chance to reflect upon events.
    So my advice would be to allow the student more breaks to get away from the environment, to clear their head and to reflect upon things.
    Get your students to write down reflections each week no matter how big or small
    Allow your student time to think things through and allow them time to feedback to you what they were thinking


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