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Auslandspraktikum im Rahmen der Erstausbildung zum/zur Ergotherapeuten/in
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background Germany is the only European country in which qualification as a state-registered occupational therapist is not associated with the award of an academic title. This limits the mobility of students of occupational therapy and their career opportunities at the European level. Objectives The objective of a placement in a hospital or other institution offering occupational therapy in other European Union (EU) member states is to increase the student´s knowledge of the subject and methods employed, leading to improved career prospects throughout the EU. In addition, experience gained should be utilized in the student´s work and course studies and involvement in the EU network ENOTHE (European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education), of which the school is a member and in which the students actively participate. Description of the placement In their placements, the participants become acquainted with the health systems and the various different approaches to occupational therapy in other European countries. Because not all institutions offering placements (or indeed all institutions in which occupational therapy is practised) teach/use all the models employed in occupational therapy, the intercultural exchange with students, teachers and patients in other EU countries provides a valuable addition to our students´ training. Outcome and expected long-term benefits We expect our students to further their knowledge of the application and context of occupational therapy treatment methods in other EU countries and widen their experience with the patient groups treated, for example children, stroke patients and the elderly. Contact between the teaching staff here in Germany and at the placement institution enables the exchange of professional competencies, which can then be included in the school curricula. Clinical placements abroad allow students to increase their knowledge of treatment and the underlying concepts because different countries/institutions place emphasis on different areas in training and practice. Students and sequence of events The students are informed at the beginning of the course about the possibility of undertaking one of their placements in another EU country. Medical English and transcultural competence are taught during the course. Those who are interested have the opportunity to attend the annual ENOTHE congress (usually in October) and participate in a student project, which is presented locally after the congress and may be put into practice by cooperation with a regional partner institution, for example a special needs school. From November onwards the students are informed about the practicalities of a placement abroad, and about established contacts with partner institutions and organizational details. As soon as the placements have been confirmed by the partner institutions, the chosen students receive individual preparation for their placements from the teaching staff. Before travel, the students are given all the necessary documents. On return from the placement they receive instruction and supervision from the project managers with regard to the placement report. Because of the timing of training, punctual completion of the project is guaranteed.

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