A Propensity to Thrive: Occupational Therapy Students in Role-Emerging Placements through Understanding of Personality, Resilience and Entrepreneurship

Cade, Elizabeth E (2021) A Propensity to Thrive: Occupational Therapy Students in Role-Emerging Placements through Understanding of Personality, Resilience and Entrepreneurship. Other thesis, Glyndwr University / University of Wales.


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In addition to academic study, occupational therapy students require 1000 hours of practice-based learning to register as an allied health professional. Placements occur in traditional settings or in contemporary areas of practice. The third-sector with emerging and marginal settings is increasingly complimenting statutory services, shaping the profession through diversification and occupationally-focused practice. Unlike traditional placements, role-emerging settings do not have an on-site occupational therapist to supervise the student. This creates a more challenging experience, as students do not have a role-model to guide practice. This study explores the practice of one University, where a personal approach to placement allocation allows for selection of undergraduate students with a natural propensity for undertaking these more challenging experiences. The aim of the study, to elucidate if and how the constructs of resilience, entrepreneurship and personality determine a student’s propensity to thrive in role-emerging placements and how these impact on the experience and its outcome. A mixed-methods, convergent approach was adopted, using self-rating questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to gather data from two cohorts of students placed in either traditional or role-emerging placements.The qualitative data was analysed by employing an interpretative, inductive approach through a thematic analysis and the quantitative data underwent statistical analysis. Combining the qualitative and quantitative results generated in-depth understanding, with findings indicating the students placed in role-emerging placements scored more highly in resilience and developed greater resilience as a consequence of their placement. These students scored higher in personality trait of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion and agreeableness and were more emotionally stable compared to the students in traditional placements. Agreeableness was positively correlated with greater resilience in these students. This study concludes that role-emerging placements provide a platform to develop resilience and professional identity that all students should experience. With the diversification agenda these placements will become absorbed into the norm of placement opportunities typically experienced without the need to differentiate. Curricula design and personal development should embed opportunities for students to nurture an openness to new experiences, with positive risk taking and building an ability to thrive. Allocation processes need to consider alignment of students to all placements regardless of their nature, optimising the outcome for student and the setting.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Divisions: Social and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Hayley Dennis
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2023 11:51
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2023 11:51
URI: https://glyndwr.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/18004

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