Practice placements are an integral part of the Occupational Therapy Curriculum. Each pre-registration student is expected to successfully complete a minimum of at least 1000 hours practice (WFOT 2002). The Occupational Therapy (OT) Department at the NRH is committed to setting a standard of excellence in the delivery and development of practice education, in keeping with principles of best practice as outlined by ‘Therapy Project Office (2008) Guidelines for Good Practice in Practice Education’ and ‘Practice Educator Competencies’, endorsed by the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI) and the Health Service Executive.
It is the ethos of the NRH Occupational Therapy Department that OTs contribute to the delivery of quality practice education. The Practice Tutor, in collaboration with the OT Manager is responsible for the strategic development of practice education in Occupational Therapy.
The OT Department is committed to providing 24 Practice Placements every year to three Irish universities including:-
- Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
- National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)
- University of Limerick (UL)
Based on the distribution of the 1.0 WTE (whole time equivalent) Practice Tutor Post between the three universities, 12 students are facilitated from TCD, six students from UL and six students from NUIG during the academic year.
Each Occupational Therapist is expected to facilitate student plaements each year (one student per Staff Grade Therapist, and two students per Senior Therapist. The Practice Tutor provides support in the following ways:-
- Unidisciplinary and interdisciplinary tutorials and practical sessions
- Support to the Practice Educator
- Additional supervision to students if necessary
- Liaison with the universities
Additionally, frequent requests are received from the following:
- Pupils in second level education
- Undergraduates aiming to study Occupational Therapy at Postgraduate level
- People seeking to gain experience through volunteering
Interdisciplinary Careers Evening : As the OT Department cannot facilitate all requests for work experience, an opportunity to learn about the career is offered in the form of attendance at the Interdisciplinary Careers Evening which is held bi-annually at NRH, hosted by tutors and clinicians from a range of disciplines including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech & Language Therapy.
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