Occupational therapy students’ contribution to occasions of service during practice placements in health settings

Rodger, Sylvia, Martin, Elizabeth, Clark, Michele J., Ash, Susan, & Graves, Nicholas (2011) Occupational therapy students’ contribution to occasions of service during practice placements in health settings. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58(6), pp. 412-418.

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Currently in the Australian higher education sector, the productivity benefits of occupational therapy clinical education placements are a contested issue. This article will report results of a study that developed a methodology for documenting time use during placements and investigated the productivity changes associated with occupational therapy clinical education placements in Queensland, Australia. Supervisors’ and students’ time use during placements and how this changed for supervisors compared to pre- and post-placement is also presented.

Methods: Using a cohort survey design, participants were students from two Queensland universities, and their supervisors employed by Queensland Health. Time use was recorded in 30 minute blocks according to particular categories.


There was a significant increase in supervisors’ time spent in patient care activities (F = 94.0112,12.37 df, P < 0.001) between pre- and during placement (P < 0.001) and decrease between during and post-placement (P < 0.001). Supervisors’ time spent in all non-patient care activities was also significant (F = 4.5802,16 df, P = 0.027) increasing between pre- and during placement (P = 0.028). There was a significant decrease in supervisors’ time spent in placement activities (F = 5.1332,19.18 df, P = 0.016) from during to post-placement. Students spent more time than supervisors in patient care activities while on placement.


A novel method for reporting productivity and time-use changes during clinical education programs for occupational therapy has been applied. Supervisors spent considerable time in assessing and managing students and their clinical education role should be seen as core business in standard occupational therapy practice. This paper will contribute to future assessments of the economic.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 49672
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Organisational efficiency, Productivity, Health services research, HERN
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2011.00971.x
ISSN: 0045-0766
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: © 2011 The Authors. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal © 2011 Occupational Therapy Australia
Deposited On: 12 Apr 2012 22:08
Last Modified: 01 May 2017 05:45

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