Interprofessional clinical education for occupational therapy and psychology students: a social skills training program for children with autism spectrum disorders
An interprofessional clinical learning experience was developed for pre-licensure occupational therapy (OT) and psychology graduate students. Students worked in interprofessional teams to plan and implement a social skills training program for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The objectives were to provide a hands-on, student-led clinical experience; facilitate interprofessional collaborative learning through leadership partnerships and teach children with ASD to engage in appropriate social skill behaviors. Concurrently, faculty performed qualitative research to explore how the students worked together to provide intervention to the children. Data were collected via interview, direct observation of student planning sessions and student interprofessional interactions, and collection of posts from an online social network site used for session planning. There were six student participants and two faculty participants. Four themes emerged: learning who I am as a professional, learning to appreciate our professional differences, learning to communicate with each other and figuring it out, for the benefit of the kids. This interprofessional clinical learning experience and research helps ensure that students are adequately prepared to represent their profession as part of a diverse interprofessional health care team.
PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22233368