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J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2008;1(1):81-7.

Integrated preservice pediatric team education: The Transteam experience.

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Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.


The need for interdisciplinary preservice educational programs for professionals serving infants and young children has been well-established. Physical and occupational therapy education, however, provides entry-level education to prepare clinicians for practice as generalists. Requirements of accrediting agencies and focus on licensure examination pass rates as evidence of program efficacy support this generalist focus, in spite of the fact that significant numbers of both disciplines practice in pediatric settings. In addition, education to develop skills as a member of a professional team is lacking from most curricula.This paper describes an interdisciplinary preservice education program funded by the Department of Education. Professions included were nursing, early childhood education, early childhood special education, and occupational and physical therapy. The program consisted of a two semester course sequence plus fieldwork experiences in team-based settings for children. The curriculum was based on competencies in early intervention and inclusive education practices, transdisciplinary team skills, and evidence-based practice. Outcome asssessment demonstrated significant changes in students' knowledge related to program objectives from the start of the program to the end. Such programs demonstrate it is feasible to integrate specialty knowledge into the entry level curriculum for occupational and physical therapists.

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