Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

JCU Inherent Requirements for Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (70509, 70510, 70510E, 100310)

Persons wishing to enrol in the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy should read these requirements in conjunction with the course handbook.

Students should carefully consider the inherent requirements statement below as a guide to their learning during the course, and as a way to identify early possible challenges they may have in meeting these requirements.

Prospective students who remain interested or engaged in the course should discuss their concerns with College staff, such as the Course Coordinator, as soon as possible. If the challenges are related to a disability or health condition, students should contact AccessAbility Services to discuss possible strategies and reasonable adjustments.

If the inherent requirements cannot be met with reasonable adjustments, JCU staff may provide guidance regarding other study options.

Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments must:

  • Be consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements, and not compromise codes, guidelines and policies
  • Not result in unethical or unprofessional behaviour
  • Meet the necessary standards of timeliness, accuracy and functional effectiveness to ensure that self and patient care, treatment or safety is not compromised
  • Address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice, including undertaking learning activities in mixed gender environments, which reflect the Australian context, and
  • Ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period.

Legal

Inherent Requirement

Compliance with Australian Law and professional regulations.

Rationale

Knowledge, understanding, and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements are necessary pre-requisites to clinical/professional placements in order to identify, manage and reduce the risk of harm to self and others; compliance with these professional regulations and the Australian Law ensures students are both responsible and accountable for their practice.

Examples

  • Respond to the requirements for student registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • Comply with relevant child protection and safety, health and safety, and anti-discrimination legislation

Ethical and professional behaviour

Inherent Requirement

Ethical and professional behaviour in academic and clinical/professional environments

Rationale

Compliance with standards, codes, guidelines and policies that facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and the people they engage with in the many environments of practice is required for the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of all.

Examples

  • Comply with academic and non-academic conduct codes and policies and professional standards
  • Identify and enact relevant applications of these codes and standards, including those relating to plagiarism, informed consent, privacy, confidentiality, and equitable and respectful behaviour in academic and clinical settings

Safe practice

Inherent Requirement

Compliance with safe practice sufficient to meet patient care needs, including considerations of current scope of practice, workplace health and safety and infection control.

Rationale

Compliance with current scope of practice, workplace health and safety, infection control considerations and effective and timely response to alarm systems are required to provide safe environments for students, staff and others.

Examples

  • Limit task performance to current scope of practice
  • Comply with relevant workplace health and safety policies for equipment use and storage
  • Remain up to date with first-aid and CPR knowledge and practice
  • Work safely with clients with infectious diseases and with reduced immunity
  • Be able to identify and respond to alarm systems to maintain safety and/or effective health management for self and patients

Cognition

Knowledge and cognitive skills

Inherent Requirement

Knowledge acquisition, utilisation and retention spanning and drawing together all coursework subjects. Cognitive skills for focus, memory, attention to detail, theoretical deliberation, and practical functioning sufficient to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

Understanding and retention of coursework information and the effective processing of this information is required for appropriate, safe and effective delivery of care.

Examples

  • Make safe and appropriate patient care decisions from retained knowledge
  • Assess the application of policy and procedures in the context of clinical situations
  • Research and use an evidence based framework to make sound decisions between clinical management options
  • Analyse and find solutions for causes of equipment malfunction or patient discomfort
  • Notice and respond effectively to critical changes in instructions, measurements or observable behaviour

Metacognition

Inherent Requirement

Awareness of own thinking, and skills to reflect, evaluate, adapt and implement new cognitive strategies for improved learning and patient care.

Rationale

Understanding and ongoing learning about oneself as an instrument in patient care is required for safe and effective delivery of practice.

Examples

  • Review a hand splint for a complex injury and then adapt your knowledge and clinical decisions in the future
  • Monitor and reflect on personal responses and cultural paradigms around patient care, and develop safe, effective and professional care approaches
  • Manage and proactively learn from academic and clinical set-backs through self-evaluation
  • Reflect on the options, ethical implications, and impact for all stakeholders of patient care decisions
  • Be aware of and take responsibility for personal role in the patient care process

Literacy

Inherent Requirement

English literacy skills that allow the creation and interpretation of clear meaning for patient care through a range of symbols and English language text.

Rationale

Patient care information can be delivered by many different modes and competent literacy skills for these are essential to provide appropriate, safe and effective delivery of care/practice.

Examples

  • Comprehend, summarise and reference a range of literature in accordance with appropriate academic conventions in written assignments
  • Interpret clinical pictographs, diagrams and graphs accurately
  • Produce accurate, concise and clear documentation which meets professional-level standards

Numeracy

Inherent Requirement

Accurate processing and reasoning with numbers and numerical concepts for patient care decisions.

Rationale

Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts are essential for safe and effective care/practice.

Examples

  • Calculate or measure accurate assessment results
  • Take accurate measurements for joint range of motion, compression garment sizes, wheelchair prescription and home modifications

Communication

Verbal communication

Inherent Requirement

Verbal communication in English to a standard that allows fluid, clear, and comprehensible two-way discussions for patient care, tailored to the local English-speaking audiences.

Rationale

Effective verbal communication, in English, with patients, university and clinical staff is required for effective learning and to provide safe and effective delivery of care/practice.

Examples

  • Understand and respond to verbal communication accurately and appropriately in a time-constrained environment when a patient provides vital bedside information
  • Build rapport with a patient awaiting a procedure
  • Present information more formally to, and engage in developing discussions with, a wider audience, including clinical presentations, case conferences and handovers

Non-verbal communication

Inherent Requirement

Non-verbal communication skills that enable respectful communication with others to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

The ability to recognise, interpret and respond to non-verbal cues, to communicate with congruent and respectful non-verbal behaviour, and to be sensitive to individual and/or cultural variations in non-verbal communication is essential for safe and effective care.

Examples

  • Recognise patient cues in facial expression, appearance, behaviour, posture, and/or movement
  • Deliver information to a distressed patient/client incorporating non-verbal behaviour that matches the nature of the information
  • Recognise and adjust to differing physical contact preferences of patients

Written communication

Inherent Requirement

Ability to produce English text to a standard that provides clear and professional-level communication for patient care, with language usage and style tailored to the targeted recipients.

Rationale

Effective communication in English text is required to demonstrate applied skills in academic writing conventions and in sustained and organised academic argument and provide safe and effective delivery of care/practice.

Examples

  • Communicate complex academic and clinical perspectives in writing
  • Summarise and appropriately reference a range of literature  in written assignments
  • Use precise and appropriate language and formatting to construct a shower assessment or paediatric assessment report in a timely manner
  • Use precise and appropriate language to contribute to both handwritten and electronic patient records in a time-constrained environment

Sensory ability

Visual

Inherent Requirement

Ability to interact with visual inputs sufficiently to manage learning environments and to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

Elements in the working and teaching environment are delivered by visual means, and the ability to learn from or respond to these inputs is required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Detect visual changes in a patient's posture, movement, ability to perform functional activities and other responses to therapeutic interactions
  • Set-up and safely use instruments and equipment for patient care
  • Process visual information from grip strength measuring equipment, weight limit labels on hoists, wall-posted instructions
  • Monitor the broader environment for patient safety

Auditory

Inherent Requirement

Ability to interact with auditory inputs sufficiently to manage learning environments and to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

Elements in the learning and working environments are delivered by auditory means, and the ability to learn from or respond to these inputs is required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Detect and discriminate changes in pain or breathing sounds
  • Detect and discriminate alarms, emergency calls over PA systems, and urgent verbal information for patient care
  • Follow developing discussions with colleagues and clients for patient care decisions

Tactile

Inherent Requirement

Ability to respond to tactile input and provide appropriate tactile interaction sufficient to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

Elements in the working environment are detected and measured by tactile means, and the ability to learn from or respond to these inputs is required to provide safe and effective practice. The appropriate use of touch as a part of effective patient care is also required.

Examples

  • Detect changes in circulation  e.g. temperature of extremities, palpable pulses
  • Feel for appropriate fit of pressure cushions and lateral supports for wheelchair prescription
  • Apply appropriate pressure when moulding a hand splint
  • Provide client care through appropriate and reassuring touch

Motor ability

Gross motor ability

Inherent Requirement

Strength, range of motion, coordination and mobility sufficient to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

A wide range of physical patient care actions in a time-constrained environment is required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Maintain balance and safely assist patients to walk from either their left or right side
  • Safely assist patients to transfer from lying to standing
  • Move readily around patients, between work areas and patients, and around varying surfaces and levels in a client's home, to complete tasks within shift timeframes
  • Access around bedheads, across beds, over beds and chairs, down to wheelchair brakes
  • Safely retrieve, move and utilise stock and equipment from reasonable storage positions at a range of heights

Fine motor ability

Inherent Requirement

Manual dexterity and fine motor skills sufficient to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

A wide range of fine-motor manual tasks in a time-constrained environment are required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Prepare and perform assessment and treatment techniques, e.g. moulding hand splint, preparing paediatric assessments and adjusting equipment
  • Contribute to both handwritten and electronic medical records

Sustained performance

Inherent Requirement

Sustained physical, cognitive and psychosocial performance sufficient to provide safe and complete patient care in a time-constrained environment.

Rationale

A range of complex, multi-component or extended patient care tasks carried out over a period of time and in a time-constrained environments is required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Sustain study practices and clinical performance to sufficiently engage with the learning workload for a study period, and for the degree, within a constrained timeframe
  • Sustain a working posture, associated manual tasks, cognitive engagement, performance level and emotional control for the full duration of a patient care process, e.g. treatment session that involves undertaking a standardised assessment protocol, or designing and fabricating a hand orthoses for a client
  • Sustain performance for durations that are manageable within overall shift-planning for patient care

Behavioural adaptability

Inherent Requirement

Behaviour that adapts to changing situations sufficiently to maintain safe and complete patient care, and instigates self-care consistent with professional expectations.

Rationale

Behavioural adaptation is required to manage personal emotional responses as an individual and within teams in changing and unpredictable environments, including emergency situations and times of human distress. Students will also be required to adapt their behaviour appropriately during times of additional stressors in their own lives, whether this adaptation involves ways of continuing to engage with their role or withdrawing for self-care for a period.

Examples

  • Be receptive and respond appropriately to constructive feedback
  • Manage own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with changing responses of individuals and families in the clinical setting
  • Maintain respectful communication practices in times of increased stressors or workloads
  • Adjust to changing circumstances in a way that allows self-care while maintaining a professional-level focus on the patient