text only

Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions
OT Home
Allied Health Home
USA Home
Department of Occupational Therapy Department of Occupational Therapy    

Fieldwork - Remediation Ideas - Professional Behaviors
Occupational Therapy
•  Profession
•  Faculty
•  Admission
•  Tuition/Fees/Residency
•  Core Performance Standards
•  Fieldwork
•  Site Specific Objectives
•  Self Assessments
•  Entry-Level Competencies
•  Remediation Ideas
•  Clinical Reasoning
•  Intervention
•  Professional Behaviors
•  Observation
•  Grading Activities
•  Therapeutic Handling
•  Accepting Feedback
•  Help When a Student is Failing
•  Forms
•  USA Curriculum
•  Evidence Based Practice
•  Performance Evaluation
•  Student Projects
•  Contact Fieldwork Supervisor
•  Pi Theta Epsilon
•  Links
•  Contact Us

Find us on Facebook

When a student is having difficulties with professional behaviors, they are having trouble with their interpersonal communication. This means they may be conveying an inappropriate attitude such as aggression, helplessness, intolerance, or stubbornness as examples. They may not be able to see it in themselves.

Most often, these deficits can be improved when the student becomes aware, makes a conscious effort to change, and deals with his/her stress or issues. Fieldwork supervisors may be uncomfortable with providing feedback about this component, but really it does need to be addressed. Often students are stressed when on clinical fieldwork and it may bring out the worst in them as the stress builds, rather than the best of them. Sometimes students get frustrated with themselves. Begin to write down observations of the student’s attitude in terms of objective behaviors and communication and what the student did that was not appropriate.

Make an appointment with the student and choose someplace that is quiet and distraction free. Try to provide some private space to have a frank conversation about these behaviors with the student. Be supportive but also be firm about what are acceptable and not acceptable behaviors in the clinic. Let them know you are interested in helping them change to show more acceptable communication. If you discover the student has problems that require professional counseling, contact the USA Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Tracy O'Connor, as soon as possible. Counseling services are available to USA students on campus.

Activities to help improve attitude include asking the student to:

  1. Read the book FISH by Stephen Lundin. ISBN 0-7868-6602-0-51995

  2. Write a list of professional behaviors (not skills) that are expected from therapists. Ask them to review the list and choose areas they feel they need to work on. Identify resources and develop strategies to help improve this area.

  3. Read an article on stress management and implement some strategies

  4. Make a one page list of positive affirmations and post them where they can see them

  5. Think of a role model they admire and list specific professional behaviors this person possesses. Think of a specific incident in which this person handled a difficult situation very well. Describe in writing how the role model handled the situation and what was most impressive. What did the student learn from this model?

  6. Request opportunities to see role models of positive attitude in action. Next, journal a reflection of this experience and what they learned from this observation.

  7. Describe typical behaviors of a student that takes responsibility for his/her own learning. What would the responsible student do to demonstrate a positive attitude about learning and improving themselves? Now examine this list. Have the student underline those that they have demonstrated. Place a star next to those they need to improve on.

  8. Make an outcomes list of what will happen if the student makes him/herself more positive in attitude and what would happen if the student continues to hold on to his/her old behaviors. Now place a star next to the outcome you want. Ask the student to reflect on the Who Moved My Cheese book and their current status.

  9. Write a personal objective that identifies the changes he/she wants to make that is measurable and includes timelines and resources to accomplish it. Now have him/her track their progress towards this goal.

  10. Make a list of feedback you have received over the last two-three weeks. Make a two-column sheet with positive feedback on the left and negative feedback on the right. This should include feedback from your fieldwork supervisor, other therapists, patients, peers, and your family. Now examine your sheet. What conclusions can you draw about this information? Are you ready to change yet?

  11. If he/she has difficulty accepting feedback, he/she probably goes quickly into one of our many defense mechanisms (denial, regression, rationalization, etc). Constructive criticism is an effort to help the student identify what needs to change. The speaker is trying to help. Ask the student to listen intently to the speaker and thank the speaker for providing this information. The student should paraphrase the issues presented to them about what others are telling them. Ask the student to check in with others about what others opinions are of them. Make every effort to learn from this situation, do not ignore it.

  12. Keep a feedback log (See Weekly Feedback log). Have the student track the feedback he/she receives and review it weekly with the supervisor to see if he/she is making progress.

  13. Keep a journal. Use the journal to express yourself and your response to a variety of situations.

Text Only Options

Top of page


Text Only Options

Open the original version of this page.

Usablenet Assistive is a UsableNet product. Usablenet Assistive Main Page.