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Abstract

ABSTRACT
Purpose: In many occupational therapy graduate programs, student experiences with actual patient evaluation and intervention typically occur following several semesters of didactic instruction. We explored the impact of an early immersive and reflective hands-on patient experience on student learning and clinical skill development. Method: Following participation in five task-specific occupational therapy clinical sessions that were embedded into an applied kinesiology course, students performed reflections on the experience. These reflections included thoughts on kinesiology course content and clinical skill development through patient sessions over the semester. Results: A qualitative thematic analysis of student reflections was conducted. Findings reflected themes of improvement in observation skills, intervention abilities and communication. Conclusion: Early reflective and immersive clinical experiences may be helpful in the reinforcement of course content and in the development of clinical skills of occupational therapy graduate students prior to full intervention content exposure.

Author Bio(s)

Mark Blanchard, OTD, LOTR, ATP, is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA

Barbara Doucet, PhD, LOTR, is an Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation for their 2015 grant funded support of the LSUHSC Post-Stroke Clinic.

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