Purpose: Transitioning into occupational therapy practice is a complex process in which new graduates develop their skills and professional identity. Evidence suggests this process requires guidance and support through supervision. This study investigated final year students’ and newly graduated occupational therapists’ perceptions and expectations of the role and efficacy of supervision as they transition into practice. Methods: A cross sectional online survey was sent to final year students and newly graduated occupational therapists within Australia and New Zealand, to explore experiences, perceptions, and the content of supervision received in practice. Results: Of 151 participants, 96% received supervision from an experienced occupational therapist and reported it facilitated skill development and enhanced quality of service to clients; however 4% reported they do not receive supervision in practice. The frequency of supervision decreased between students (63% weekly) and new graduates (41% monthly) and perceptions of supervision effectiveness changed over time. Conclusions: The transition to occupational therapy practice is complex and perceptions of the effectiveness of supervision change. Provision of education regarding supervision within undergraduate curriculum, and training for supervisors may alleviate associated stressors. Increasing the frequency of supervision and understanding the supervisory role may support transitioning into practice.
The authors thank the academics from Australian and New Zealand universities for their assistance with the recruitment of participants. Authors also thank the participants for completing this survey.
Melman S, Ashby SE, James C. Supervision in Practice Education and Transition to Practice: Student and New Graduate Perceptions. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2016 Jul 01;14(3), Article 1.