Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Health Professions

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Student FAQs

At Jefferson, students begin Level I Fieldwork in their very first semester, and continue with fieldwork placements, or some type of client experience, every semester from then on. The scheduling varies from semester to semester, but typically students complete from 4-8 site visits on Thursdays during the semester. Summer placements occur over 2 weeks (10 days).

Each student is required to successfully complete a total of two, full time, 12-week Level II placements. You should probably think of it as working a 40-hour work week for 3 months in one setting, then another three months in a different setting. Schedules do vary, though. For example, days in hospitals can be longer, and days in school systems can be shorter. Some sites may have evening hours, others weekend hours. Some weekly schedules involve four 10-hour days. Part-time fieldwork may be available in special situations, and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

In both the Level I and Level II experiences, students work with individuals of different ages, with a variety of physical, cognitive, and psychosocial conditions, in a variety of practice settings. You will have at least one level I with children, one with individuals with cognitive or mental health issues, and one with individuals with physical disabilities. Level II Fieldwork is also required to provide you with a range of experiences in regards to age groups, diagnoses, and practice settings.

There are a variety of fieldwork placement sites available in and around the Philadelphia region. Many students take the opportunity to travel for their Summer Fieldwork Level I. Fieldwork Level II placement sites are available as well in other areas of the United States. Jefferson students have completed fieldwork placements in 24 states (including Hawaii and California) and 3 countries outside the US. Arrangements for placements outside of the Philadelphia region must be made earlier in the placement process. 

Depending on availability, it may be possible to do a Level II fieldwork placement outside of the United States. Specific standards set by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) are as follows:  “Ensure that the student completing Level II fieldwork outside the U.S. is supervised by an occupational therapist who has graduated from a program approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and has 1 year of experience in practice. Such fieldwork shall not exceed 12 weeks.”

 As part of your pre-matriculation requirements, you have to have a physical to complete your health forms and complete your immunizations. This will be important on your Fieldwork because most sites will be asking for proof of your health records and your updated immunizations. It is important that you complete these forms and keep updated on your immunizations and background checks to make your Fieldwork experiences go as smoothly as possible. Many sites will not recognize documents more than one year old.

The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) training is an important part of confidentiality not only for Fieldwork but for ethical clinical practice. As part of your pre-matriculation requirements, you must complete the online HIPAA training for admission to Thomas Jefferson University. Additionally, you may have to complete HIPAA orientation or training at your Fieldwork placements. For more information about HIPAA, visit http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/.