OTA Fieldwork Policies

Maintaining Requirements for Clinical Education

All OTA students are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the foregoing student health information.  Students are required to complete and provide proof of all required health information to Stanbridge University for review no later than Week 10 of Term 2.  This includes, but is not limited to, a negative PPD (purified protein derivative test for tuberculosis) or chest X-ray (if PPD is positive), Hepatitis B series or a signed waiver, physical examination, BLS (Basic Life Support) from the American Heart Association, as well as commonly required vaccinations (may vary by clinical facility). (See section below titled Additional Requirements Requested by Sites.)

It is mandatory for each student to keep these health records current at all times and throughout the duration of their program.   It is the responsibility of the student to keep documentation of new health records prior to their expiration; this includes, but is not limited to, vaccinations, physical examinations, PPD tests and the American Heart Association BLS.  Students are responsible to pay for any necessary renewals of health records.  Any student with expired or missing health information will not be allowed to attend Fieldwork without updating the expired or missing information.  Any absences accrued due to expired or missing health records may not be excused or have remediation limits waived. Any student who fails to submit the required health records by the due date may receive a Notice of Deficiency from the administration. Failure to provide any of these health records in a timely manner may result in the student missing a fieldwork course and may result in dismissal from the program.

The Covid-19 vaccination is not required by Stanbridge University, but is highly recommended and is required by nearly all fieldwork sites. Other healthcare requirements/vaccinations may be required by fieldwork sites (see section below, titled Additional Requirements Requested by Sites). Stanbridge University is responsible for finding students viable clinical sites to complete fieldwork requirements but not responsible for adjusting to students who are missing vaccinations, transportation or similar considerations.

Additional Requirements Requested by Sites

A fieldwork site may have additional requirements for students to meet in order for the students to attend the site for fieldwork.  It is the responsibility of students to meet these additional requirements.  These additional requirements include, but are not limited to, proof of:

  • DMV driving record
  • Driver’s license and reliable transportation
  • Multiple TB tests within a specific timeframe
  • MMR vaccination and/or proof of immunity (titer)
  • Tdap vaccination
  • Varicella (chicken pox) vaccination or proof of immunity
  • Drug testing
  • Flu shot
  • Up to date Covid-19 vaccination according to CDC or fieldwork site guidelines
  • Covid-19 testing per fieldwork site requirements
  • Health insurance
  • Live Scan or other additional background checks
  • Updated Physical Examination

It is the student’s personal and financial responsibility to complete these additional requirements and, depending on the site, to allow 4-6 weeks for the processing of results prior to the start of any fieldwork at the site.  If a student is having difficulty completing the additional requirements, the student must immediately inform his or her fieldwork coordinator.

If one or more of your assigned fieldwork sites have any of these additional requirements, and you are not able to complete the additional requirements, it could impact your ability to attend fieldwork and keep you from progressing in the program.  It is the student’s responsibility to prepare ahead of time for the cost of any of these additional requirements.


Common Guidelines for Health Record Expiration

Health Record Expiration
Hepatitis B vaccine (2- or 3-shot series) or positive titer 20 years (vaccine), 5 years (titer)
Varicella vaccine or positive titer 20 years (vaccine), 5 years (titer)
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine or positive titer 20 years (vaccine), 5 years (titer)
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine 10 years
Tuberculosis (TB) screening – PPD skin test or Chest X-ray 1 year (PPD skin test), 4 years (Chest X-ray)
Physical examination 1 year
Flu (Influenza) vaccine Seasonal, annually
BLS from American Heart Association 2 years

The above table should be used as reference only. Please consult your healthcare provider when seeking specific medical advice.

Social Media and Best Practices

When using social media and networking sites (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. etc.), even for personal purposes, students should remember to be respectful and professional at all times. Students should not post information about a patient (whether or not the patient is identified by name) in any format, at any time and for any reason. When a student identifies him/herself as a Stanbridge student or when communicating about or to other site employees/students on social media and networking sites, ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or any communications that would not be acceptable on Stanbridge campus should be avoided. Students who have concerns regarding workplace conduct or inappropriate use of social media are encouraged to contact their site supervisor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for clarification regarding the terms of this policy.

Conflict of Interest and Fieldwork Experiences

To effectively engage in a supervisory relationship with the purpose to openly assess competencies/skills and provide feedback it is important that your relationship (as a student learner) with your supervisor not be impacted by a conflict of interest.  Past and present relationships with the site or the supervisor may influence the supervisory relationship.

The following are examples of situations that may present a conflict of interest:

  • A family member, friend, relation (personal or business), associate, or intimate partner is a client, employee, vendor, or independent contractor in a department that has close professional contact with your supervisor and/or a position of authority or influence over your supervisor.
  • You are presently an employee, vendor, or independent contractor for the fieldwork site at which you will or are satisfying any requisite program requirements.
  • You have been an employee, vendor, or independent contractor for the fieldwork site at which you will or are satisfying any requisite program requirements within the last two (2) years (unless there is a total change of staff or the department you worked in had no professional contact with the OT Department – e.g., you worked in the cafeteria).
  • You have a friendship or romantic relationship with the person who may be your supervisor or another person who is directly or indirectly connected with oversight of any aspect of your tasks and duties while at the fieldwork site.
  • You have had a supervisory role (any position of influence or authority) over a person or persons who may supervise you.
  • You have been or will be a patient at your assigned fieldwork site, within the past two (2) to three (3) years, in the OT department or another department that you will have close contact with (e.g., the physical therapy department).

When a conflict of interest actually or potentially exists the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator will make the final determination regarding the appropriateness of placing the student at the fieldwork site.

When a conflict of interest potentially exists the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator will make the final determination regarding the appropriateness of placing the student at the fieldwork site.

Student Responsibilities at Fieldwork Facilities

Students are responsible for the following while at clinical facilities:

  • Protecting, first and foremost, the health and safety of patients at facilities where they perform their fieldwork.
  • Honoring the preservation of patient privacy by scrupulously observing confidentiality of patient information. Violation of patient confidentiality may lead to dismissal of the student from the program.
  • Seeking the guidance of a Stanbridge University Fieldwork Coordinator.
  • Arranging for transportation to and from school, fieldwork facilities and other designated locations for instruction in the OTA program. Note:  Some periods of fieldwork facility education may not match other schedules (for days of the week or hours of clinical education) due to facility-driven scheduling.  Students are responsible for arranging their personal schedules to meet prearranged facility schedules.
  • Making the didactic and clinical schedule in the OTA Program the top priority in their personal schedule.
  • Abiding by the rules and regulations of the clinical facilities during clinical rotations.
  • Notifying the fieldwork site and the school’s fieldwork coordinator of any absences from a fieldwork placement.  Failure to notify the site and the fieldwork coordinator will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the program.

Student Acknowledgement of Risk at Fieldwork Facility Rotations

Occupational Therapy Assistant students will be required to sign, as a condition of their presence in clinical facilities for clinical education, the following acknowledgement:

I understand that due to my fieldwork rotations at various facility settings, I will be exposed to potentially infectious materials and diseases.  I agree to follow all fieldwork facility protocols regarding patient safety, personal safety, and all other protocols I have been taught at school during clinical facility orientations and during my clinical rotations.

I hereby confirm that I will seek the direction of my instructor or a facility mentor should I be unclear as to how to proceed with patient treatment or any other procedure, protocol or process at the clinical facility.

I hereby indemnify and hold harmless Stanbridge University, its employees, agents, owners and partnering clinical facilities from any liability pertaining to any infectious disease, illness, or injury I may acquire or get as a result of my participation in my fieldwork rotations, including any infectious disease, illness, or injury I may acquire as a result of my participation in a potentially dangerous clinical rotation such as at a Mental Health Unit/Ward/Facility.