The module prepares students for the block of longer clinical practice education. It covers several aspects including communication skills, moving and handling and documentation. In the communication aspects, it focuses on developing communication skills for the work environment. It aims to facilitate students' awareness of communication in therapeutic contexts and in group situations. It emphasizes communication skills needed to establish a person-centered practice. Communication issues and strategies needed for working with a variety of clients, such as limited language, emotional, service users who are upset and concerned family members will be explored. Verbal and non-verbal communication when working in an inter-professional team will be emphasized. Communication skills required for conflict management and negotiation will be discussed and practised. This module will also prepare students for the first long block of clinical education. Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) course and mask fitting will occur in the early part of this module to prepare students for clinical placement. The module will also cover in-depth communicating with fieldwork supervisor. Documentation as a form of professional communication will also be covered in this module.
In the moving and handling aspect, this module will introduce fundamental principles of mobility and ergonomics. Current ergonomic methods and techniques commonly used by occupational health and safety professionals will be taught. Students will be guided to apply ergonomics principles to their professional practice of occupational therapy. Theory and practice of manual handling and risk assessment will be introduced. Principles from theories, such as NDT will be drawn upon when learning moving and handling techniques for patients with neurological conditions. The course will promote safe handling techniques with an emphasis on safety issues with regards to self and others. Students will also be introduced into principles of seating and wheeled mobility. Simulated labs or ward environments may be used to prepare students for the clinical environment, highlighting common medical equipment in the ward, monitoring of clinical/vital signs and interaction with patients who are connected to devices (e.g., IV lines, catheters, feeding tubes).