• Perceptions of International Fieldwork Experiences on Professional and Personal Development for Occupational Therapy Students

      Bauknight, Rebekah; Cutcliff, Kelley; Ford, Emma; Lenz, Kendall; Long, Cassidy; Swift, Sharon; Department of Occupational Therapy (Augusta University, 2021-09)
      The Augusta University Occupational Therapy Program offers two Level I international fieldwork experiences (IFEs) to Jamaica each year. One IFE is offered early in the curriculum, while the other is offered later. •Existing research demonstrates that International Educational Experiences (IEEs) allow students to develop: •Valuable personal and professional skills.1 •Improved communication, patient care, and adaptability.2 •Autonomy and lifelong learning.3 •Previous work from students at Augusta University evaluated differences between domestic and international occupational therapy students’ perceptions on Level I international fieldwork.4,5 •Images 1-3 demonstrate student engagement with clients during the IFE, and demonstrate previous findings that overall, the IFE was found to more greatly impact student’s perceived personal and professional development than domestic FW. •Further research is needed to determine if the amount of credit hours obtained prior to the IFE has an impact on students’ perceived development. The purpose of this studywas to compare Early Program Participants’ (EPPs) perceptions versus Later Program Participants’ (LPPs) perceptions of the Level I IFE on their personal and professional development. •EPPs: 14 credit hours obtained prior to the trip. •LPPs: 32+ credit hours obtained prior to the trip. Hypothesis: LPPs’ average scores pertaining to perceived personal and professional development would be greater than EPPs’ due to advancement in the curriculum, allowing for increased opportunities to gain confidence and apply OT knowledge.