Occupational Therapy

Essential Functions for Coursework and Fieldwork

The following list reflects the performance abilities and characteristics that are necessary to successfully complete with or without reasonable accommodations the requirements of Xavier’s Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program, including fieldwork and doctoral capstone:

  • Communicate effectively and proficiently in English both verbally and in writing utilizing accurate and appropriate terminology with classmates, faculty, clients, caregivers, families, members of the healthcare team and with individuals of all ages, races, genders, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Communication must be conveyed and perceived in a professional, assertive, timely, and confident manner.
  • Access information from books, reference manuals, screens on computers, paper and electronic medical records to accurately perform job functions and duties.
  • Observe clients’ response before, during and after intervention in close and distant proximity to maintain client safety and assess their performance.
  • Perform or assist with and/or transfer, lift, move, position, and manipulate the client.
  • Transport heavy, wheeled equipment and clients in wheelchairs and/or stretchers.
  • Utilize creativity and therapeutic use of self to provide evidence-based evaluation and interventions.
  • Demonstrate motor skills for safe and effective client-centered evaluation and intervention.
  • Provide evaluation and intervention for clients with varied physical, social, emotional, cognitive, psychological disabilities including clients who may have experienced trauma, may be terminally ill, have transmittable diseases, psychiatric disorders, developmental disorders, and other conditions.
  • Utilize technology for course work and client-centered evaluation and interventions.
  • Perform continuous physical work to fulfill clinical education course requirements over an 8-12 hour period.
  • Interact appropriately with others and demonstrate a high level of professional and procedural judgment decisions under typical, stressful, and/or emergency conditions, emergent demands, and a distracting environment.
  • Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals by referencing, utilizing and adhering to OSHA requirements such as MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) and universal precautions.
  • Respond professionally (mature, confident, calm, composed, respectful) and perform required duties, roles, and responsibilities in environments that involve exposure to the smells, sights and sounds within healthcare facilities (e.g., surgery, wound management, trauma, self-mutilation/cutting, infection control), and in situations requiring contact with bodily fluids (i.e.: blood, urine, feces, menstrual flow, semen, sputum, vomit) and a variety of adverse behaviors (e.g., cursing, yelling, sexual innuendos, violence real or perceived) as well as situations of intimacy/sex and end of life including death.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills necessary to assess and re-assess the clients’ occupational performance including adaptations and analysis of tasks based on best practices.
  • Prioritize, organize, and utilize time-management skills to multi-task and fulfill clinical and course requirements.
  • Present professional behavior and appearance and implement measures to maintain own physical and mental health, and emotional stability, while being flexible and able to work under stressful conditions and irregular hours.
  • Complete productivity to facility standards and complete documentation in the time frame established by the facility.
  • Adhere to safety procedures, react professionally in emergency situations and take appropriate actions as indicated.
  • Show care, compassion, and inclusion for persons, groups, and populations.
  • Adhere to the Standards of the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards (2020) (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2020).

Note: Specific fieldwork sites may have additional and unique essential functions beyond those listed above. Accommodations given during fieldwork rotations are determined by the fieldwork site.

Reference: American Occupational Therapy Association. (2020). AOTA 2020 occupational therapy code of ethics. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 747413410005p1–p13. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.74S3006

Acknowledgments: Adapted from Department of Occupational Therapy, Baker College Center for Graduate Studies, Flint, MI; Trident Tech, Charleston, SC.