Fieldwork provides an essential link between the academic program and occupational therapy clinical practice. Through fieldwork experiences, students learn to apply their knowledge in a clinical or community setting. In addition to Bay Area placements, the Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Coordinator can place students in out-of-state and international sites.
Fieldwork I occurs during academic studies and is associated with focused clinical courses. Students complete three level I fieldwork experiences, working with children, adults, and older adults in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, group homes, low income housing, assisted living, and community-based agencies.
Fieldwork II include a minimum of two 3-month experiences as a full time intern in a setting where occupational therapy is provided. Students are supervised by Registered Occupational Therapists (OTRs) who have completed all the academic and NBCOT requirements to be registered and have a minimum of one year of clinical experience beyond Fieldwork.
"Fieldwork was a great confidence builder as well as a powerful learning opportunity. I found that I have skills and knowledge to trust and to share with both clients and colleagues. Beyond client interaction, there were other great learning opportunities, like attending rounds in the neuroscience ICU, where we collaborated as an interdisciplinary team."
—Karen Whiloite, MSOT
The majority of Fieldwork sites working with Dominican University of California are in California. Dominican University OT students have completed internships throughout California as well as in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachussetts, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon.
The purpose of fieldwork education is to provide occupational therapy students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom to practice in the clinical setting. Fieldwork experiences are designed to enrich the coursework through observation and participation in the occupational therapy process. This serves to integrate academic knowledge with practical knowledge. (Costa and Burkhardt, 2003).