Field Placement Safety Orientation should include:
- Information about the prevalence of, or potential for, violence while in the field placement assignments.
- Orientation to the surrounding community and neighborhoods, or areas where the student may be learning, and discussion of concerns that students may have regarding their learning in a community-based setting.
- Opportunities for students to observe and shadow their field instructor on community-based visits.
- Opportunities to observe and mentor students on community-based visits.
- Resources such as safety training, pagers, cellular telephones, etc. for students for community-based visits if available to staff.
- Careful consideration of all assignments given to students and assessment of the assignments' potential for risk, as well as the student's ability to perform the assignment.
- Safety protocols, including building and office security, emergency procedures, management of violent clients, and training students in home visit safety procedure and working with high risk clients.
- Infectious disease control procedures and OSHA requirements.
- Discussion and evaluation regarding student's use of their personally owned vehicle specifying that the vehicle is insured and in good working order when it is appropriate to transport clients on field business. The transportation of clients in personally owned vehicles is highly discouraged due to liability concerns and insurance issues.
Closing the Loop: Field Placement Issues
Field sites are strongly encouraged to have policies and procedures regarding employee and student safety. These policies should be reviewed, prioritized, and reinforced on a regular basis.
Students need to be:
- Exposed to triaging client situations, peer review (where possible), and the importance of seeking consultation in potentially unsafe situations.
- Instructed about cases that are "at risk" and students should receive more intense supervision, consultation and monitoring with these cases.
- Debriefed after any incident.