What makes a quality occupational therapy practice placement? Students' and practice educators' perspectives

Rodger, Sylvia, Fitzgerald, Cate, Davila, Wendy, Millar, Frances and Allison, Heather (2011) What makes a quality occupational therapy practice placement? Students' and practice educators' perspectives. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58 3: 195-202. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1630.2010.00903.x

Author Rodger, Sylvia
Fitzgerald, Cate
Davila, Wendy
Millar, Frances
Allison, Heather
Title What makes a quality occupational therapy practice placement? Students' and practice educators' perspectives
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-0766
Publication date 2011-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2010.00903.x
Volume 58
Issue 3
Start page 195
End page 202
Total pages 8
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Practice placement experiences are crucial to enable students to integrate theory with practice, demonstrate professional and interpersonal skills and build confidence in their practice skills. This study addressed practice educators' and students' perspectives regarding quality practice placement experiences.


In total 29 students, 41 practice educators and eight practice education staff members across three Queensland universities participated in focus groups or individual interviews (N=78) focusing on their views about quality learning experiences on placements.

Key themes described university preparation and processes, a welcoming learning environment, detailed orientation and clear expectations, graded program of learning experiences, quality modelling and practice, consistent approach and expectations, quality feedback, open and honest relationships and supervisor experience and skills. These findings were consistent with research previously undertaken in Australia and Canada that had investigated either student or practice educator perspectives.


This article synthesises the perspectives of these stakeholder groups and has led to the development of quality indicators across the phases of placement establishment, preparation, maintenance and review. Although having sufficient placements can be challenging for university programmes, ensuring that the experiences provided are of high quality is also important and requires significant attention by university academics and practice education staff, practice educators, managers and practice organisations alike.
Keyword Clinical education
Focus groups
Multiple stakeholders
Practice education
Quality improvement
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 20 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 03 Oct 2011, 12:21:14 EST by Professor Sylvia Rodger on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences