Level I Fieldwork

Level I Fieldwork is integral to our program's curriculum design, as it is a key learning experience within both Clinical Reasoning courses and Psychosocial course. These experiences let students combine their classroom learning with practical experience in the field of occupational therapy. In level I fieldwork, students have the opportunity to work with individuals and populations from array of age groups, with a variety of physical, cognitive and psychosocial conditions, in a variety of settings. Level I fieldwork includes experiences in traditional and role-emerging settings. Students are provided indepth opportunities to evaluate needs, plan and implement programs, delivery of services and explore management and administrative issues in community based settings which provides services for individuals experiencing various behavioral health, psychological and/or social challenges.

Level II Fieldwork

Level II Fieldwork is a natural continuation of our curriculum in the 5th year of the program. Its primary purpose is to provide students with the opportunities to integrate the theory and skills learned in the classroom within the clinical setting. The overall goal of Level II FW is to develop the skills, attitudes, values and professionalism that enable safe, ethical, occupation-based practice and ultimately prepare students to be competent, generalist's entry-level occupational therapist.

Graphic which shows the progression of each stage of fieldwork.

Fieldwork Placement Process

Students will complete a Fieldwork Planning Survey in the Fall of their 3rd year to identify their level of interest in each site setting and their geographic location preference for each fieldwork experience. The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC) will then use this information to begin placing students at their Level I Fieldwork sites. Once Level I Fieldwork sites have been assigned, students will then have the opportunity to complete a Wish List for their Level II Fieldwork placements where they will rank their specific site preferences. 
If a student is interested in completing fieldwork at a specific site for which we do not already have an affiliation agreement or in an area where we do not have any affiliation agreements, they will have the opportunity to discuss their interests with the AFWC, who will consider the quality of the site as a fieldwork placement. 
Every effort is made by the AFWC to place students at sites that align with their clinical interests, however, the quality and breadth of students’ learning is also key to our curriculum. Therefore, students will be placed within different settings for each of their fieldwork experiences. Below is an example of what a student’s fieldwork assignments may look like:

Fieldwork Site Setting
Fieldwork I UPMC Shadyside Inpatient Acute Care
Fieldwork II Sally and Howard Levin Clubhouse Day Programs for Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (IDD)
Fieldwork III The Children's Institute Early Intervention
Fieldwork IV Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sewickley Outpatient Rehabilitation
Fieldwork V Pittsburgh Public Schools School

Read what fieldwork educators have to say about our fieldwork students

[Student] has been nothing short of a wonderful level II student. She is confident, manages her time well, communicates to appropriate staff and patients/families, uses therapeutic use of self to engage her patients, and is always willing to learn. She takes initiative for her own learning and is flexible to work in all areas. I have nothing but confidence that she will make a wonderful OT.

For being her first level II rotation, [student] has exceeded my expectations. She is reliable, flexible and overall demonstrates strong interpersonal skills for her level of experience. Her passion for the profession and the clients she serves is apparent in her work ethic. Her ability to direct her own needs and learning requirements will be a strong asset for her as she continues to develop through school and her clinicals. She will be a strong asset to any clinical setting she takes part of.

[Student] has worked hard in her fieldwork. She has demonstrated beyond question her ability to function as an entry level therapist. She has demonstrated a knowledge of the models and theories of occupational therapy and their application in the treatment of our patients. She has been enthusiastic and open to learning opportunities, and has been very helpful in providing a high quality of care to our veterans. She has always demonstrated professional behavior, has always been on time, and has demonstrated without failure a deep respect for her clinical colleagues- and especially for our patients, the veterans who have serve our nation. She has been a joy to have as part of our team!

[Student] has been a very strong OT student here. She has learned a great deal and is now able to fully manage a full caseload of patients. She is highly creative in developing individualized and patient-centered treatment plans. Her verbal and written documentation skills are excellent. She made a treatment activity that will be utilized by many patients in the future on this rehab unit. She has worked well with all staff members and patients and has truly become a part of our department.

I was impressed with how well [student] prioritized goals and all the way down to small details she thought about while trying to achieve those goals. [She] was always willing to learn and interested in new types of treatments/types of goals. She created a wonderful calendar project which we got to use with a higher functioning resident that allowed them to orient to date and practice dynamic standing. Her treatments were functionally based and prepared our residents for discharge. The occupational therapy profession will be lucky to have her and so will her future residents.