We know that OT fieldwork educators are working so hard to manage challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic in their work environment. To add to this, navigating new ways of doing things while also having a student is no doubt challenging, to say the least!! Here is a glimpse of what one community-based OT had to say about taking a student during COVID-19:
Taking a student during the COVID pandemic was a little daunting; how could they work remotely? Would they get to see clients? Would the educator get redeployed?
We decided to offer a placement anyways and hoped for the best. We settled on sharing the student between 2 educators to help cover any sick time that may arise. And it’s actually gone much better than we expected!
We’re in the community and we’re all working from home as much as possible outside of client visits. The university was supportive of us using Microsoft Teams (or similar) so we could video conference with students. Programs like Microsoft Teams offer a “screen sharing” option where the student can see what I’m working on/typing on my computer in live time, so there’s no reason for us to have to sit closely together at the same computer or even be in the same room.This particular placement has been a great exercise in self-directed learning; there’s been many times where plans have had to change last minute where a client has become code orange/red, the student hasn’t been able to attend the visit, and they’ve needed to pivot to working on projects/research.
There are parts that aren’t perfect, for sure, but this is the reality of what’s going on in the real world right now and these students are getting a chance to see how we’re coping with the resources we have at our disposal.
At the end of the day, we are so grateful for the hard work and creativity of the OT fieldwork community in making fieldwork possible during these uncertain times- THANK YOU!! OT students are gaining unique experiences that will be invaluable for them to take forward into their OT student journey.
*Thanks to the OT educator who graciously offered to share her feedback 😊
Teresa & Margaret Anne