Denise Kendrick, Occupational Therapist
October is Occupational Therapy (OT) Month. In this profile we would like to recognize the contribution of student fieldwork educators to Vancouver Coastal Health and to the profession of occupational therapy.
Exposure to our clinical programs can be an effective recruitment strategy to attract graduating occupational therapists and rehabilitation assistants to come to work at VCH. However, fieldwork education requires a partnership between fieldwork educators and students to prepare for the demands of practice and to support graduation. By providing practical experience and exposure to our programs we are investing in our future colleagues.
Each year we make a call out for fieldwork placements, shadow opportunities, and clinic visits and each year occupational therapists generously extend offers to support student learning. Richelle Emery, OT Practice Coordinator for Vancouver Home Health, highlighted that even “though VC (Vancouver Community) is currently going through huge changes, is dealing with many staff shortages and has an increasing workload, the OTs automatically offer to preceptor OT and RA student placements. I believe that VC OT value student education and see the benefit of the unique practice setting they work in."
This year the University of British Columbia acknowledged the contribution of a VCH occupational therapist, Denise Kendrick, by awarding her the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Fieldwork Educator Award of Excellence. This award recognizes exceptional practice teaching and student mentoring in the workplace. The nominator wrote:
“Denise's ability to create a safe space for learning not only supports the development of clinical reasoning and practice skills, but fosters confidence and self-compassion as students move through the often-challenging journey of becoming occupational therapists…The profession of Occupational Therapy is richer due to her commitment to clinical education."
We are grateful for the passion and commitment to student learning and would like to acknowledge all the occupational therapists who provided a student placement this past year: