Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

what do undergraduates need to know?


Here at Salford we are constantly reviewing our programme to ensure that we are enabling the students to gain the necessary skills that they will need in order to be more than capable clinicians and hopefully to further develop the profession in the future. We have thoughts and ideas about what's currently working and not working for us but I'd be interested to know what others think about what skills you think a band 5 'should' have. We are told fairly regularly by a small (I think) number of clinicians that our students don't have enough knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Is this important? Do we need this knowledge as OTs? I would also be interested to see what others think about theoretical frameworks that we teach students. They seem to be getting and understanding generic models (MOHO, CMOP, Kawa River) but getting confused about what we called intervention models (CBT, Neurodevelopmental, Psychodynamic, Biomechanical etc.) We're wondering whether this is because we're not teaching it in quite the right way and find that students talk about referring on to others regularly and don't seem to be able to articulate what they're doing as on OT....we want more on therapeutic activity rather than using a CBT approach for example. All thoughts and ideas greatfully recieved.

6 comments:

healthskills said...

I do think there are a plethora of 'models' that occupational therapists are exposed to, and this can be utterly confusing without an overarching structure to put the various models into.
I'm ambivalent about the need for anatomy and physiology - but at the same time, in my own field, without this knowledge (and I'm continually learning more neuroanatomy as the field develops) I'd be lost.
Perhaps it's more important to know how to access this information, and at some level, how this relates to human function/behaviour than knowing about specific anatomy or dysfunction. Pathology does need to be known at some level too - inflammatory processes, the relationship between stress and hormone production, normal physiologic arousal - these things have an enormous impact on what people do, which as I've said before, is what occupational therapists are trying to help people achieve!

Angela said...

Hello - just to let you know that this post has generated a lot of discussion on Facebook. We are seeing if we can link this in someway here - watch this space!

healthskills said...

Oooops, I haven't been on Facebook since I got back from annual leave! I do get distracted on Facebook with all those games though...!

Buckeyebrit said...

Hey Salford crew! Just wanted to check in with a reminder about the OT blog carnival I am trying to kick off. Would love to have one of your posts to include! http://e-nableot.blogspot.com/2009/02/occupational-therapy-carnival-call-for.html

Angela said...

@buckeyebrit - hello - have just submitted our post on Core Values vs Core Skills to the carnival. Hope this is the sort of thing you wanted? if not please let us know. Thanks for including us

Kirsty said...

Thanks Healthskills for your comments. As Angela has said we have had quite a good response to this post via Facebook and to summarise I think that there appears to be a slight divide in opinion. What was good to see is that most of the comments felt that OTs need to have a good understanding of Occupation, Occupational dysfunction etc together with the skills to research specific clinical information. Some colleagues from Malaysia felt it more important for students to have a good grounding in anatomy and physiology and one other colleague made the valid comment that students need to feel that they've 'learnt' something and A &P lends itself to this well. I think the debate will continue, it certainly does here at University and we have to hope that we get it right so our graduates can be successful in the job market.