Launch of AOTI Position Paper on Practice Education of Students
New AOTI member resource published
We are delighted to launch our latest publication: Position Paper on Practice Education of Occupational Therapy Students which presents AOTI’s position on Occupational Therapists in Ireland supporting the practice education of Occupational Therapy students. You can download the position paper here - please log in to access this member resource.
Universities providing Occupational Therapy educational programmes and Occupational Therapy Managers have identified the need for greater engagement and collaboration to address difficulties in securing practice education placements. In response to this, AOTI established the Practice Education Forum including these stakeholders. This provides a voice for these stakeholders to work collaboratively to ensure mechanisms to promote and support those involved in practice education. One of its first actions was to develop the Position Paper on Practice Education of Occupational Therapy Students. The Forum has also developed a comprehensive action plan which aims to increase the number of available placements; improve visibility and awareness of practice education within the profession; and build the culture of taking students on placement in all practice settings and regions. You can view this Action Plan here - please log in to access this member resource.
Speaking at the opening of the recent AOTI Conference, our Chairperson, Patricia Regan highlighted the practice education difficulties the Forum members are addressing. She stated, “The work of the AOTI Practice Education Forum has highlighted that it is increasingly difficult for Irish universities to source sufficient Practice Education Placements for students. As a full time clinician myself, I understand the work pressures that clinicians are under, and sometimes the thought of having a student can seem daunting, trying to balance your caseload, the ever increasing service development demands as well as being a Practice Educator. Please remember that none of us would be Occupational Therapists today without the generous offers of placements and the time Practice Educators gave to us when we were students, and I will always be very grateful for this. I see a Practice Educator or two here today that I was fortunate to have myself, and their knowledge and enthusiasm had a big effect on me. Their generosity and skill to encourage independent thinking and their love for the profession was infectious and energising. I have had the good fortune to work with former students of mine during my career and I feel that I can’t complain about the lack of Occupational Therapists in Ireland when adequate numbers of clinical placements aren’t available to students. Students are the future of our profession. I encourage everyone who is in a position to do so to make a special effort in the coming year to provide student placements. I have learned so much from my students and students bring new ideas, enthusiasm and energy to our practice.” She concluded by encouraging everyone who is in a position to do so to make a special effort in the coming year to provide student placements.
You can find the schedule of practice education placements for the remainder of the academic year 2023/2024 as well as the contact details for the Practice Education Coordinators in Trinity College Dublin, University of Galway, University of Limerick and University College Cork here.
We would like to thank the members of the Practice Education Forum for their work in developing the Position Paper on Practice Education of Occupational Therapy Students and their continued work on implementing the Action Plan.
1st November 2023