214-ot discussion group-2014General Information

Welcome to McMaster University Occupational Therapy Clinical Education. The School of Rehabilitation Science and the Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSc (OT) Clinical Education would like to acknowledge the facilities, clinical education coordinators and preceptors who support student occupational therapists. Learning opportunities and experiences in Clinical Education placement courses are essential components in the occupational therapy curriculum and allow students to gain the appropriate skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours required for professional practice. We hope that these web pages are helpful to students and preceptors alike. If you have any suggestions for content please let us know.

McMaster Catchment

Throughout the two-year program MSc (OT) program, students complete four (4) clinical placement courses and have the opportunity to complete placements in a variety of clinical education settings such as clinics, hospitals, private practices, community centres, schools, administrative and research settings and long term care facilities. Clinical placements are always organized by the Director of Clinical Education (DCE-OT).

McMaster University’s Occupational Therapy (OT) Program has rich community partnerships with sites and occupational therapists in the McMaster OT catchment area and in Northern Ontario through the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Our program also has access to some sites outside of the McMaster catchment area from which a placement can be requested through an inter-university system. Placement access in all Canadian OT Programs is based on a supply model: occupational therapists and sites will determine when and if they are able to accept student occupational therapists. The placements provided for each specific placement course form the resource pool or supply available. Filling the resource pool relies on placements in the McMaster in catchment stream, out of catchment stream, and Northern Ontario stream collectively. McMaster’s placement resource pool reflects the practice of OT in Canada.

The Director of Clinical Education of the MSc (OT) Program is responsible for arranging all practica/clinical education placements. You may be required to complete some practica/clinical education units in Northern Ontario or elsewhere outside of the McMaster catchment area.

McMaster’s OT in catchment area consists of sites in many geographical areas, all of which may form the resource pool for each placement course. Therefore, you are also expected to travel outside of Hamilton, Ontario, for mandatory teaching sessions and clinical placements. You are responsible for your own transportation and associated costs to complete program requirements.

As reflects the practice of OT in Canada, some placements may be located in rural, under‑serviced and remote areas. In certain placement streams, external funding may be available.

Becoming an OT Preceptor

Preceptor Education Program (PEP) for Health Professionals and Students

“This free online program contains self-directed modules designed for both preceptors (Clinical Instructors) and students. Each module is approximately 30 minutes in length and includes quick tips, learning activities and downloads. A certificate can be printed at the end of each module to record the education completed. Module topics: orientation, developing learning objectives, giving and receiving informal feedback, understanding and fostering clinical reasoning, fostering reflective practice, dealing with conflict, formal evaluation process.”

E-Tips for Practice Education

“E-Tips is a series of eight web-based, interactive education modules to help develop skills and confidence for health care preceptors, clinical educators, fieldwork supervisors and more. Module topics: Setting the stage for clinical teaching, Learning in the practice education setting, Teaching skills, Fostering clinical reasoning, Giving feedback, The evaluation process, Supporting the struggling student, Strategies for resolving conflict.”

Clinical Education Site Approval Process

The revised Canadian Guidelines for Fieldwork Education in Occupational Therapy (CGFEOT) (2005) are consensus-based and reflect current best practice in determining optimal conditions for fieldwork education. These guidelines are intended to ensure that each fieldwork experience provides excellent learning opportunities and resources and an optimum environment for learning. If you are interested in becoming an approved Fieldwork Site with the McMaster University MSc OT Program please review the attached documents and contact the Professional Practice Coordinator.

To ensure the highest levels of quality in fieldwork education, university fieldwork coordinators are mandated to review updated FS-PRO documents
every 5 years.

Canadian Guidelines for Fieldwork Education in Occupational Therapy

PRO 2011 CGFEOT Fieldwork Site Profile Form

Please electronically complete and submit this form to divince@mcmaster.ca

This will be reviewed and feedback provided about clarity and comprehensiveness of the information provided. Following approval, your facility will receive notification of approval, and a Certificate of Approval.

Addendum A

Please electronically complete and submit this supplementary form as part of the FS-PRO process.

McMaster MSc(OT) Placement Allocation Process

coming soon...

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a car?

Students are expected to travel outside of Hamilton, Ontario for mandatory teaching sessions and clinical placements. Students are responsible for their own transportation and associated costs in order to complete program requirements. Some placements maybe located in rural, under-serviced and remote areas. In certain placement streams, there may be some external funding available.

Are hours for clinical practica (placement) always 9am to 5pm?

During clinical practica, students may be required to attend evening and weekend hours. Whenever possible, students will know in advance if evening and/or weekend hours are required. It is students' responsibility to meet the requirements for clinical practica hours in order to meet the degree requirements of their respective programs.

Can a preceptor request a specific student?

No. Students may request a specific placement, however the final decision on practicum assignment is made by the Director of Clinical Education (DCE). Decisions regarding fieldwork assignment are based on a variety of factors such as the students’ previous experiences, learning needs, etc.

I would like to offer a clinical placement however but only work part-time. What are my options?

Preceptors may ask colleagues to share a student and/or to act as an alternate contact during absences. There are a variety of possibilities available and interested part-time clinicians are encouraged to contact the DCE to discuss your specific situation.

I would like to take a student this term however I have vacation booked during this time. What are my options?

Some terms offer some flexibility regarding dates and students are often willing to flex their dates– contact the DCE to discuss your specific situation.

General Information

Mailing Address:

School of Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Institute of Applied Health Sciences,
Room 403, 1400 Main St. W. Hamilton, ON L8S 1C7


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