Fieldwork I at VCU is designed to give the student hands-on experiences to practice the application of course materials under direct supervision. It builds on knowledge from the first full semester in school where foundational occupational therapy concepts are learned and students are exposed to community learning experiences in daycares and hospitals. Students engage and participate in the therapy process to the degree that the individual student and supervisor agree is optimal for learning.
Fieldwork I is taught as a separate course in the spring of the first year and fall of the second year while concurrently taking the following courses:
Design of Fieldwork I at VCU
Currently, students are placed in two designated FW I settings with occupational therapists; one in adult practice and one in pediatric practice. Placements are usually one day a week during the semester for 8-9 weeks for hands-on experiences. Students complete at least 42 hours of fieldwork per placement. Sometimes students or FW sites request placements during spring break (usually mid-March). Students are placed in settings located in the Greater Richmond area and may drive 1 to 1.5 hours to fieldwork settings for one of these placements. If a Spring Break placement is requested, Northern Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley or Tidewater area placements may be used.
Reflective logs, seminars with faculty, class discussions, and a list of assignments are completed during the Fieldwork I experience. Students are evaluated by the Fieldwork I supervisor and must pass Fieldwork I before beginning Fieldwork II.
Types of Fieldwork I Placements
Fieldwork I may occur in hospitals (acute care, rehabilitation, children´s, psychiatric), schools, early intervention, private practice, outpatient facilities, day rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health, group homes, or mental health facilities. Students request the types of FW I experiences they would like but final placements are decided by the Director of Fieldwork and the Fieldwork I Coordinator to assure a variety and balance between settings.
Most Frequently Asked Questions about Fieldwork
AOTA website has answered many questions about Fieldwork I and II.