Field access to world-class healthcare facilities and leading practitioners
Full- and part-time fieldwork experiences are integrated at every stage of the curriculum, allowing you to continually connect theory with practice. Through the Institute’s affiliation with Mass General Brigham, you will enjoy access to leading practitioners in the Metropolitan Boston area who serve as faculty and mentors.
Fieldwork is completed in varied clinical and practice settings (e.g., acute care, rehab, school-based practice, community) with exposure to clients across the lifespan. Institute Entry-Level OTD students must complete the following fieldwork experiences, each described below:
- Five part-time fieldwork experiences (Level I Fieldwork)
- Two full-time 12-week fieldwork experiences (Level II Fieldwork)
- An Advanced Doctoral Experience (ADE) (Doctoral Experiential Component)
Level I Fieldwork
Level I fieldwork introduces you to the fieldwork experience, applying knowledge to practice and developing an understanding of the needs of clients. Level I fieldwork experiences enrich your didactic coursework through directed observation and participation in selected aspects of the OT process. In Level I fieldwork your supervisors are qualified occupational therapists, psychologists, physician assistants, teachers, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers – contributing to the interprofessional education model.
Placements are assigned off-campus at affiliated fieldwork facilities throughout the Greater Boston/New England geography, or, within the IHP Clinical Centers, including in-person and telehealth experiences.
- Demonstrate professional behaviors commensurate with the role of an emerging occupational therapist for time management, flexibility, adherence to fieldwork facility’s policies and procedures, ethics, and responsible participation in the supervisory relationship.
- Acknowledge and adhere to safety precautions and practices related to client care and facility policies and procedures.
- Identify the impact of client factors (body functions/structures), performance skills (motor, process, social interaction) and patterns (habits, routines, rituals, roles), and psychological and social influences (values, beliefs and spirituality) on occupational performance.
- Identify the roles of the interprofessional care team and recognize various disciplines value in delivery of care.
- Develop comfort and skill in communicating with clients, caregivers and members of the care team.
- Demonstrate respect and appreciation for clients and populations with diverse backgrounds, including psychological and social factors that influence engagement in occupation.
- Identify the contribution of client-centered and occupation-based perspectives in assigned settings.
- Communicate relevant observations through oral and written means, incorporating professional terminology.
- Obtain or identify pertinent data from the practice setting to complete an occupational profile (of a selected client, group/population, or agency/organization).
- Demonstrate application of professional reasoning and reflection through occupational analysis of a selected case (client/patient, group/population, or agency/organization) to understand the influence of research evidence and delivery systems.
Level II Fieldwork
Level II fieldwork develops you to be a competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapist. Level II fieldwork requires a minimum of 24 weeks of occupational therapy fieldwork, which are typically completed in two 12-week full time placements. Full-time fieldwork for a majority of Level II Fieldwork entails students being on-site for a minimum of 35-40 hours per week for 12 weeks duration (per the fieldwork site’s definition of “full-time”). This fieldwork also provides you the opportunity to develop competency in safety and ethics, evaluation, intervention, and documentation of client-centered, occupation-based outcomes, management/administration, communication and teaching, and professionalism.
Level II Fieldwork occurs with students participating in full-time placements at affiliated fieldwork facilities across the U.S.
The Level II Fieldwork Coordinator will meet with individual students upon starting the program in the first Summer Session to begin the fieldwork advising and planning process.
Please note that the Program cannot guarantee placements at specific facilities or during specific time frames. Fieldwork placements are subject to site availability at locations that have contracts with the Program, in accordance with relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The availability of any particular fieldwork facility varies from semester to semester.
- Demonstrate entry-level competence in the fundamentals of occupational therapy practice, including ethics and safety.
- Demonstrate entry-level competence in the correlation and application of occupational therapy theoretical perspectives to the therapeutic evaluation and intervention process in all aspects of the occupational therapy practice domain.
- Use professional reasoning and theoretical perspectives to critically observe, analyze, describe/document, and interpret human occupational performance, including the impact of client factors (body functions/structures), performance skills (motor, process, social interaction), and patterns (habits, routines, rituals, roles), and psychological and social influences (values, beliefs, and spirituality) on occupational performance.
- Demonstrate professional interactions through written, oral, and nonverbal communication with clients, colleagues, families, and other health care providers to promote occupational therapy.
- Engage responsibly in the supervisory process and deliberative reflection for personal and professional formation.
- Demonstrate entry-level competence in the selection and administration of assessment tools/outcome measures in evaluating, interpreting, and documenting the occupational performance needs of individuals and groups.
- Plan, implement, and justify (verbally and in writing) occupational therapy intervention in the professional practice setting.
- Demonstrate competency in all interprofessional collaborative practice domains (values/ethics, teamwork, roles and responsibilities, communication).
- Use ethical reasoning as a guide for clinical decision-making and professional interactions in client treatment and employment settings in accordance with the AOTA code of ethics.
- Achieve an effective transition from the role of a student to the role of an entry-level occupational therapist.
Advanced Doctoral Experience
Once you successfully complete all coursework and Level II fieldwork and pass a program competency requirement, you begin your Advance Doctoral Experience (ADE).
The goal of the doctoral experiential component is to develop you as an occupational therapist with advanced skills (those that are beyond a generalist level). This doctoral experiential component provides you with an in-depth experience in one or more of the following student-selected areas: clinical practice, research, leadership (including program and policy development, and advocacy), or education.
This experience to develop advanced skills is a minimum of 14 full-time weeks (540 hours). Evaluation of your individualized objectives occurs under the supervision of a mentor with expertise in your chosen area. These advanced doctoral experiences are distinct components of accredited entry-level OTD programs. They are linked to your scholarly study and doctoral capstone – connecting research and practice.
Students begin to identify interests for doctoral work during the second year of the program in conjunction with the research course sequence. Project design evolves through collaboration with a faculty advisor and a doctoral site mentor with expertise in the selected area(s) of focus.
- Develop specialized skills in a chosen area of interest that meets the student’s OTD research /learning trajectory.
- Interact with interprofessional leaders, organizations, and populations to address the occupational needs of persons with or at risk of developing chronic disease and disability.
- Relate theory and current evidence to practice and demonstrate synthesis of advanced knowledge in the designated specialized practice area.
- Design, implement, and evaluate an individualized doctoral learning plan with a faculty mentor and supervisor.
- Demonstrate competence in evaluation, assessment, analysis and/or research procedures utilized at the site.
- Understand funding sources and funding mechanisms associated with the doctoral site program.
- Explore research that furthers occupational performance models as related to the site.
- Achieve an effective transition from the role of student to the role of a doctorally prepared occupational therapist.
- Learn how to function as scholars to advance the practice of occupational therapy through dissemination of work.
Fieldwork Placements for Sites & Supervisors
If your facility or you are interested in working with occupational therapy students from the MGH Institute, OTFW [at] MGHIHP.edu (contact our fieldwork office) to discuss the process for setting up a contract.
A contract between your facility and the Institute covers all types of fieldwork experiences.
Learn specifics for the preceptor/fieldwork relationship.
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Resources
New England Occupational Therapy Education Council (NEOTEC) Resources