Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) - Inherent Academic Requirements

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Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) - Inherent Academic Requirements

Breadcrumbs

Program SC440 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)     

Committed to equity and diversity
  • At USC, we are committed to facilitating the integration of all students into the University Community.
  • Reasonable adjustments in teaching and/or assessment methods can be made for students provided those adjustments do not compromise the inherent requirements of the program.
  • The inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) are the fundamental skills and abilities that the student must be able to achieve in order to demonstrate the essential learning outcomes of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons).
  • This Statement provides realistic information about the inherent academic requirements that you must meet in order to complete your course and graduate. Make sure you read and understand the requirements for the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) so you can make an informed judgement about your ability to fulfil them.
Externally accredited

The University of the Sunshine Coast offers Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) which meets external Occupational Therapy Australia and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists accreditation requirements and provides graduates with the necessary qualification to apply to be registered as an Occupational Therapist in Australia.

Key Occupational Therapy practice skills are embedded and assessed throughout the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons).

Skills you need

The Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) has inherent academic requirements in six categories

  • Observational Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Motor Skills
  • Intellectual, such as conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities
  • Behavioural and Social Skills
  • Sustained Performance 
Before you enrol

If you intend to enrol in a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) degree at the USC, look carefully at the inherent academic requirements listed in this statement and think about whether you might experience challenges in meeting them.

  • If you think you might experience challenges related to your disability, health condition or for any other reason, you should discuss your concerns with a University Disability Adviser or Faculty staff.
Reasonable adjustments

Students with disabilities or other special circumstances may be provided with reasonable adjustments to enable them to meet the inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) if the adjustment is:

  • logistically reasonable
  • likely to result in the student being able to perform the skills adequately and in a timely manner.
Observational Skills

 The core observational skills for this program are:

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Tactile
Visual

The capacity to demonstrate adequate visual acuity required to provide safe and effective occupational therapy practice. Students must demonstrate sufficient visual acuity to perform a range of skills.

Justification

This is an inherent requirement of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because visual acuity is needed to demonstrate the required range of skills, tasks and assessments to maintain consistent, accurate and safe care to self and others. Visual observations, examinations and assessment are fundamental to safe and effective occupational therapy practice.

Adjustments

Adjustments must address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice. Any strategies to address the effects of the vision impairment must be effective, consistent and not compromise treatment or safety.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • observe and detect subtle changes in posture, movement and the ability to perform functional activities during assessment and treatment
  • safely operate electronic equipment e.g. splinting equipment – heat guns and splinting pan 
Auditory

The capacity to demonstrate adequate auditory ability required to provide safe and effective occupational therapy management.

Justification

This is an inherent requirement of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because auditory ability is necessary to monitor, assess and manage individual health needs consistently and accurately.

Auditory assessments and observations are fundamental to safe and effective occupational therapy practice.

Adjustments

Any adjustment must address the need to perform the range of tasks involved in clinical practice. Any strategies to address the effects of a hearing impairment must be effective, consistent and not compromise treatment or safety.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • detect care requests by calls for help or activation of a call bell
  • engage appropriately to a client's responses during an assessment 
Tactile

The capacity to demonstrate sufficient tactile ability required to perform competent and safe occupational therapy management.

Justification

These are inherent requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because tactile ability is necessary to monitor, assess and detect clients' physical characteristics and act on any abnormalities detected to provide appropriate occupational therapy management.

Tactile assessments and observations are fundamental to safe and effective occupational therapy practice.

Adjustments

Any adjustments must have the capacity to make effective assessments of physical characteristics and abnormalities within safe time frames.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • Detect changes in circulation, e.g. temperature
  • Palpitate joints, muscles and soft tissues and detect anatomical or movement abnormalities.
Communication Skills 

The core communication skills for this program are: verbal communication and nonverbal communication; involving writing, listening, reading and numeracy 

Students must have the ability to comprehend a range of information. Communication skills are a core requirement of the program because effective interpretation, recording and transmission of information are essential for the safe and effective delivery of healthcare.

Verbal Communication

The capacity to demonstrate effective and efficient verbal communication in the English language includes the speed, accuracy and effectiveness of communication to ensure safe delivery of health services. Students will use these skills to:

  • elicit information
  • instruct and be understood by others
  • communicate sensitively and with cultural awareness with others
  • convey a spoken message accurately and effectively in a clinical setting
  • understand and respond to spoken instructions and respond in a timely manner
  • paraphrase a patient’s message to confirm understanding 
Non-verbal Communication

The capacity to demonstrate effective nonverbal communication includes the ability to read other’s non-verbal communication and be aware of one’s own nonverbal messages.

Students will use effective nonverbal communication to:

  • perceive and interpret non-verbal communication including distress, a change in mood, activity or posture
  • communicate in a respectful, clear, attentive, empathetic, honest and nonjudgmental manner
  • respond professionally to requests from patients, supervisors and other health professionals in the clinical setting
  • recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues
  • have appropriate awareness of own behaviours and modify these to suit the current situation
  • be sensitive to individual differences
  • maintain consistent and appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, posture and personal space
  • assess patient reactions to facilitate assessment and treatment
  • communicate in a noisy environment
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because effective verbal and nonverbal communication is fundamental to establishing a therapeutic relationship with a patient. This ability is the cornerstone to developing rapport with people and promoting trust and respect in academic and professional relationships.

Adjustments

Adjustments for impaired verbal communication skills must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy issues to ensure safety.

Adjustments for impaired non-verbal communication must enable the recognition, initiation of appropriate response to effective communication in a timely and appropriate manner to ensure safety of the patient and occupational therapist.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • demonstrate verbal and non-verbal communication skills during tutorial discussions, simulation and clinical practicum
  • establish rapport with patients during occupational therapy practice practice and respond appropriately to requests from patients, supervisors and other health professionals in the clinical setting 
Written communication

The capacity to demonstrate accurate written communication to:

  • write accurate patient care records that meet legal and professional standards
  • use grammatical structures and vocabulary that are appropriate to task
  • spell frequently used words, including relevant technical and medical terms
  • document ideas and information
  • compile reports that are required within industry from time to time
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because accurate written communication is fundamental to convey information and provide consistent and safe patient care.

Adjustments

Adjustments for impaired written communication must meet necessary standards of clarity, accuracy and accessibility to ensure effective recording and transmission of information in both academic and clinical environments.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • construct an essay to academic standards
  • construct client notes, reports and information sheets in a timely manner that meets legal and professional standards 
Reading

The capacity to demonstrate accurate understanding to:

  • gather background information, identification of specific facts or to understand a concept
  • interpret information in formats that include hand written, printed text, graphs and diagrams
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because accurate reading skills are fundamental to acquire information to ensure safe and effective assessment, treatment and delivery of healthcare. The ability to read is required to decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information for safe and effective delivery of occupational therapy care.

Adjustments

Adjustments for impaired reading skills must demonstrate a capacity to effectively acquire, comprehend, apply and communicate accurate information.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • interpret information in formats that include hand written, printed text, graphs and diagrams
  • paraphrase, summarise and reference in accordance with appropriate academic conventions 
Numeracy

The capacity to demonstrate competent and accurate numeracy skills that are essential for safe and effective care. Student must demonstrate the ability to interpret and correctly apply data, measurements and manipulate numerical criteria. Activities which rely on this skill are interpreting numerical data in specific formats and calculating scores on standardised assessments.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because competent and accurate numeracy skills are essential for safe and effective care. Students must be able to interpret and correctly apply data, measurements and manipulate numerical criteria.

Adjustments

Adjustments for impaired numeracy skills must address effectiveness, timeliness and accuracy issues to ensure safety.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • complete calculations involving fractions, decimals and percentages
Motor Skills 

The core motor skills for this program are:

  • fine motor
  • gross motor
Fine Motor

Be able to use fine motor skills to provide safe effective care.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because fine motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care. Tasks that involve fine motor skills include being able to grasp, press, push, turn, squeeze and manipulate various objects and individuals. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.

Adjustments

Adjustments must facilitate functional effectiveness, safety to self and others and a capacity to provide appropriate care.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • Perform assessment techniques e.g. evaluation of hand sensation and joint movement
  • Perform treatment techniques e.g. fabricating splints, demonstrating use of adaptive equipment, demonstrating fine motor tasks during activities of daily living 
Gross Motor

As a student you must be able to use gross motor skills to provide safe effective care.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because gross motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care. Tasks that involve gross motor skills include lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, standing, twisting and bending. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.

Adjustments

Adjustments must facilitate functional effectiveness, safety of self and others and a capacity to provide appropriate care.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • maintain own and client's balance, while providing client support, when transferring and mobilising individuals in a safe manner
  • evaluate clients, in a safe and effective manner, who have varying physical capacity, who are positioned on plinths and hospital beds, on mats on the floor, on chairs and when standing 
Behavioural and Social Skills 

The core behavioural and social skills for this program are:

  • ethical and safe behaviour
  • behavioural stability
Ethical and safe behaviour

The capacity to demonstrate adherence to codes of conduct and standards. Occupational therapy is a profession that is governed by codes of conduct and standards, where occupational therapists are both accountable and responsible for ensuring safe and professional behaviour in all contexts. Students must demonstrate knowledge of, and engage in ethical and safe behaviour in practice.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because compliance with the codes, guidelines and policies is essential to safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and/or the people they engage with. This ensures the physical, psychological, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of the individual is not placed at risk.

Adjustments

Any adjustments must not compromise codes and standards or result in unethical behaviour.

Exemplars

Comply with academic and non-academic misconduct policies in both academic and clinical settings.

Comply with medico-legal requirements relating to informed consent, privacy and confidentiality with client information in academic and clinical settings.

Behavioural stability 

The capacity to demonstrate behavioural stability in order to function and adapt effectively and sensitively in a demanding role.

Students will demonstrates behavioural stability to work constructively in a diverse and changing academic and clinical environment.

Justification

This is an inherent academic requirement of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because behavioural stability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Occupational therapy students will be exposed to health care and disability contexts in which they will encounter human suffering and injustice. They will be required to have behavioural stability to manage these situations in a professional manner.

Adjustments

Adjustments must support stable, effective and professional behaviour in both academic and clinical settings.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • reflect on practice and responding appropriately to constructive feedback
  • manage your own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with individuals in the clinical setting 
Intellectual – Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities 

The core intellectual skills for this program are:

  • Cognition
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy 
Cognition

Be able to

  • locate appropriate and relevant information
  • process information relevant to practice
  • integrate and implement knowledge into practice in a timely manner
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because safe and effective delivery of occupational therapy management is based on comprehensive knowledge that must be sourced, understood and applied appropriately.

Adjustments

Any adjustment must ensure that a clear demonstration of knowledge and cognitive skills is not compromised or impeded.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • Conceptualise and use appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessment items
  • Appropriately apply knowledge of theory, research evidence, policies and procedures in the clinical setting 
Literacy

Be able to

  • accurately acquire information and convey appropriate, effective messages
  • read and comprehend a range of literature and information
  • understand and implement academic conventions to construct written text in a scholarly manner
  • demonstrate competent literacy skills to provide safe and effective delivery of care 
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because the ability to acquire information and to accurately convey messages is fundamental to ensure safe and effective assessment, treatment and delivery of care.

The ability to read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for safe and effective delivery of care.

Adjustments

Adjustments must demonstrate a capacity to interpret and apply concepts and processes appropriately in a timely, accurate and effective manner.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • conceptualise and use appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessment items
  • appropriately apply knowledge of theory, research evidence, policies and procedures in the clinical setting 
Numeracy

The capacity to demonstrate competent and accurate numeracy skills is essential for safe and effective occupational therapy management.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because competent application of numeracy skills is essential in occupational therapy to facilitate the safe and effective delivery of occupational therapy care.

Adjustments

Adjustments must demonstrate a capacity to interpret and apply concepts and processes appropriately in a timely, accurate and effective manner.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • record accurate measurements in client notes
  • prescribe adaptive equipment that correctly meets client measurement requirements e.g. wheelchair prescription 
Sustained Performance 

Demonstrating occupational therapy practice requires both physical and mental performance at a consistent and sustained level to meet individual needs over time.

The student needs to demonstrate:

  • consistent and sustained level of physical energy to complete a specific task in a timely manner and over time
  • performance of  repetitive activities with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately
  • maintenance of  consistency and quality of performance throughout the designated period of duty 
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) because physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to perform multiple tasks in an assigned period to provide safe and effective care.

Adjustments

Adjustments must ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • participate in tutorials and lectures throughout the day
  • provide consistent occupational therapy management over a negotiated time frame while on clinical placement
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