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ASOT OTD Program Student Handbook

The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT), Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD) Program Student Handbook is the policy and procedure resource specific to this program. This handbook aligns with the Spalding University Student Handbook and Catalog.


ASOT Volunteer Service Requirements

Service learning is a unifying thread that links the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy
with the greater mission of Spalding University. Spalding University’s mission emphasizes
service and the promotion of peace and justice through graduate and undergraduate studies.

Volunteer service is defined in ASOT as volunteer service hours that are beyond academic
course requirements. This emphasis on community volunteer hours emphasizes an ethic of
service and development of public-minded citizens. The community service hours are
completed individually; however, the Spalding University Student Occupational Therapy
Association has a significant role in organizing service projects.

Spalding University, including the Kosair Charities College of Health and Natural Sciences and
the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy has a strong tradition of "learning by doing" that
encompasses service learning projects. Service learning is a method of teaching that combines
classroom instruction with meaningful community service. This form of learning emphasizes
critical thinking and personal reflection while encouraging a heightened sense of community,
civic engagement, and personal and professional accountability. As an entry-level OTD student, you need to track your volunteer service hours as a part of your academic curriculum. Please focus your smartphone on this QR code every time you are involved in volunteer activities.


Volunteer Requirements



Volunteer Hour Tracking

QR code:


Students are required to have 10 hours of documented volunteer service hours throughout the entire program to be completed by graduation. Volunteer service hours are completed to meet the needs of the community. These volunteer service hours must be documented and then reviewed by the faculty Service Learning Advisor.

Areas that will count as volunteer service hours may include, but are not limited to:

  • Time and work with non-profit agencies (Wayside Christian Mission, Kosair’s, Brain
    Injury Association of KY, Special Olympics, Kentucky Humane Society, and other
    501(C)3 agencies).
  • Working at charity events (Festival of Trees and Lights, St. Joseph’s Picnic)
  • Hippotherapy
  • Special-needs camps
  • Church community events (vacation Bible school, youth leader)
  • Assistance with KOTA/AOTA events, KOTA committee responsibilities
  • Roadside Cleanup/Adopt-A-Highway- The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy has committed to providing service for the community in the area of environmental preservation for a two-mile area of the community roadways. SOTA leaders set the dates for roadside clean-up.

Areas that are NOT counted as volunteer service hours include:

» Work completed with for-profit agencies

  • Leadership positions and commitments (SOTA board member)
  • SOTA Occupational Therapy-awareness projects
  • Participating in fundraising walks, runs, and bike rides
  • SOTA fundraising
  • Required outside class work (i.e. CPR)
  • Fieldwork (this is tracked but does not count towards your total volunteer hours)
  • Social gatherings
  • AOTA/KOTA membership meetings/conference attendance
  • Class requirements

Incident Reporting Policy and Procedures

ASOT seeks to provide active learning experiences for its students that facilitate appreciation for service, critical thinking, and occupation-based reasoning in preparation for fieldwork and beyond. Before starting fieldwork, students are educated on blood-borne pathogens, infection control, HIPAA/HITECH, and body mechanics to keep themselves, their clients, and their work environments safe. These same principles are applicable to any volunteer experience.

Appreciating the nature of the community and health care environments, unforeseen incidents may occur despite preventative measures and education. In order to provide an accurate record of incidents, affiliating agencies have established policies and procedures that direct actions to be taken following the occurrence of reportable incidents. 

The information below and the attached document contain the ASOT Incident Reporting Policy and Procedures that will be followed in addition to the affiliating agency’s policies and procedures should any student experience a reportable incident (accident, incident, or injury) while on fieldwork and/or during off-campus service learning experiences in the community.

  1. In the event of an incident involving an ASOT student while on fieldwork or other off-campus learning experience, the following processes are to be performed:
    1. The student is responsible for complying with the affiliating agency’s policy and procedure for notifying the appropriate personnel, seeking immediate medical attention, and incident reporting;
    2. The student is responsible for notifying the lead ASOT faculty member of the incident immediately following its occurrence;
    3. The student is to be examined by an appropriate professional and a determination will be made regarding further intervention and/or treatment;
    4. Refusal on the part of the student to be examined is to be noted in the written record.
    5. In this case, the student is required to sign a waiver which relieves ASOT faculty, Spalding University, and the affiliating agency from any consequences following a refusal to seek an evaluation and/or treatment;
    6. Spalding University or the affiliating agency is not responsible for the costs of treatment as a result of the event.  To this end, ASOT requires all of its students to maintain current health insurance.
  2. In addition to complying with all policies and procedures of the affiliating agency, ASOT faculty are also required to complete the following procedures:
    1. An oral /written report is to be made to the OTD Program Chair and/or or other ASOT programmatic representative the same day of the incident triggering the ASOT incident reporting policy and procedure.
    2. A written report using the Incident Reporting Form is to be completed and submitted to the OTD Program Chair or other ASOT programmatic representative within 24 hours of the student event which will become a part of the student’s ASOT file.

Upon receipt of the written report, OTD Program Chair will notify the Dean of Students, as needed, in order to determine next steps.

Volunteer and Fieldwork Emergency Preparedness Tips

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

While in the community engaging in observational, service, or fieldwork learning experiences, students are encouraged to keep safety in mind for themselves, their clients, and the agencies. Below are some general tips to keep in mind for promoting safety and facilitating positive outcomes for all stakeholders. These tips are not all inclusive, and students are encouraged to research related topics and to discuss questions or concerns with faculty.

Keeping You Safe

  • Keep emergency information up-to-date and available for others to access if needed
  • Practice body mechanics when lifting, carrying, etc, heavy items (or people!)
  • Practice infection control and prevention at work, school, and home
    • Standard Precautions (hand washing, personal protective equipment as needed)
    • Higher Level Precautions (contact, respiratory, reverse isolation)
  • Know emergency procedures at fieldwork and community agencies
    • Know what to do in the event of personal accidents/injury 
    • Know how to interact with irate clients/caregivers
      • Be familiar with Safe Crisis Management Techniques as needed
  • Have an awareness of your surroundings
  • Know when and how to complete incident reports

Keeping the Client Safe

  • Check clients for identification to make sure you're working with the correct client
  • Comply with HIPAA/HITECH regulations at all times
  • Practice infection control
  • Be knowledgeable of basic first aid
  • Know emergency procedures at fieldwork and community agencies
    • Cardiac/respiratory arrest or other medical emergency
    • Suicide risks/precautions
    • Internal disasters/fire
    • Safe Crisis Management Techniques  

Keeping the Environment Safe

  • Know emergency procedures at fieldwork and community agencies
    • Environmental conditions (tornadoes, inclement weather)
    • External disasters
  • Strive to keep work environment clean and organized
  • Practice falls prevention by keeping work environment free of clutter