Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Hills, C., Boshoff, K., Gilbert-Hunt, S., & Ryan, S.
The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy
The Future in Their Hands: The Perceptions of Practice Educators on the Strengths and Challenges of “Generation Y” Occupational Therapy Students
In Press
Optional Fields
Millennials, Students, Fieldwork, Clinical education
Background: Those born between 1982- 2002 are termed “Generation Y”. It is considered this younger generation have unique characteristics due to both the societal and technological influences that they experienced in their formative years.   In occupational therapy this group have been found to have unique attributes that have impacted on practice education. This study replicated an earlier study to affirm or refute the existence of the “Generation Y” student in occupational therapy, from practice educator perspectives. Method: The survey tool was previously developed and administered by an Australian University. In this current study, the electronic survey was sent to all practice educators listed on the database of another Australian university. Results: Of the 54 respondents, most considered that there is a “Generation Y” student. Using summative content analysis, categories were generated, which were collapsed into four main themes: ‘Self-assured ‘go getters’ that are team players and easily bored’; ‘demanding and motivated learners’; ‘technologically savvy’ and ‘no difference’.  Conclusion:  Practice educators viewed “Generation Y” students as possessing unique attributes which may contribute significantly to the profession but also present challenges in practice education. Acknowledgment of generational differences and the value of mentorship from older generations are indicated to maximise this generation’s potential.
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