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Supervising role-emerging placements : creating opportunities for innovation in practice
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by A Warren, K Dancza, E McKay, A Taylor, Monica Moran, S Rodger, J Copley
Introduction: Supervision of occupational therapy students on placements is a challenging, but rewarding experience. There is a paucity of literature on supervisors’ experiences in role emerging settings, where there is no defined occupationaltherapy role. The ‘long arm’ professional supervisor is an offsite occupational therapists who provides sessional supervision.Objectives: This study explored the supervisory experiences of ‘long-arm’ occupational therapist supervisors to understand the enablers and barriers to this role and develop practical guidance for those interested in this role.Method: These research findings arose from two larger projects in Ireland and the United Kingdom that explored the utility of role emerging placements. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six occupational therapistsregarding their experience of providing long-arm supervision for a range of role emerging placements. The anonymised transcripts were analysed and themes developed by both researchers. Relevant ethical approval was obtained.Results: Preliminary findings highlight the importance of building a relationship with the on-site supervisor and students in order to be effective in supporting contemporary and innovative ways of working. Key roles include facilitatingreflection and containing some of the emotional extremes felt by the students. Long-arm supervisors also sought support from peers.Conclusion: This study adds to a growing base of role emerging placement research. It is time to hear the voice of the long-arm supervisors who are also pioneers in taking on this role. It is hoped that this will encourage more occupationaltherapists to pursue the challenge of supervision in emerging areas of professional practice.