Being prepared for diversity in practice: Occupational therapy students' perceptions of valuable intercultural learning experiences

Gail Whiteford, Valerie Wright st clair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
1404 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Occupational therapists are increasingly working in diverse areas of practice, in diverse settings and with diverse client groups. Accordingly, understandings of the complexities of interactions between service providers and clients, relative to the environments and contexts in which they come together, are requisite to competent practice. This article describes a phenomenological study undertaken with occupational therapy students in New Zealand, which focused on their experiences of learning to work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. In this article, a subset of the findings from the study is presented. This subset of findings was that client-centredness and hands-on experiences in fieldwork were perceived to be the most important features of the occupational therapy students' education as preparation for working with clients from different cultural backgrounds. A presentation of narrative extracts and interpretive commentary is followed by a discussion of the implications of the findings for occupational therapy education, especially fieldwork education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume65
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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