Undergraduate Rehabilitation Students' Perspectives and Advice on Strategies for Successful Field Experiences
Little research has evaluated what types of factors contribute to successful field experiences among undergraduate rehabilitation students.
This study evaluated undergraduate rehabilitation student perspectives on (a) factors that contributed to student success during field experience placements, (b) the relevancy of rehabilitation coursework to the field experience, (c) how field experiences influence student career preferences and goals.
Field experience essays from 98 students were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis approach.
Students identified a variety of factors that had a positive impact on their field experiences and offered several recommendations for how future students might have successful field experiences. Students provided a description of the frequency at which their field experiences influenced their long-term career goals as well.
The findings of the current study provide rehabilitation education stakeholders with an understanding of the nature and value of the undergraduate rehabilitation field experience. It is clear that student volition is a key predictor of internship satisfaction and success. Furthermore, it was apparent that a variety of different factors may influence one's experience. Future research should explore how such experiences may be enhanced in order to identify best practices for training.