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Occupational Therapy And
Conducted by HERBERT J. HALL, M.D., President, American Occupational Therapy Association,
JN STARTING our occupational therapy department at I Howell State Sanatorium, we had but a very small
fund to exist on, so it meant I had to keep a close eye on the commercial side if we were to exist at all.
In looking about I have often seen good and precious labor put on the wrong article; I mean by that, an article that is not appealing to the general public because of its design. The misplacement of labor is very often the cause of poverty. A number of poorly selected articles, no matter how well made, would cripple financially any occupational therapy department, and, again, a number of well selected articles would contain just as much therapy and sell with a profit that would make any department self-supporting.
When I first came here, some of our women patients who had been in a sick room for months and were nearly exhausted financially, were putting days of labor on a crocheted cap which they would sell to their next door neighbor for the precious sum of one dollar. Here is where an occupational therapy aide may step in and give both a therapeutic and financial aid. Give that same patient one of the pretty articles in vogue today, and in the same time she will double her dollar and will receive more therapeutic value of the novelty and satisfaction of the work.
Both Money and Therapy Aim
There can and should be both money and therapy in the right article.
The first thing I try to do is to firod articles the public wants. If the public wants it, it usually is pretty. Pretty things, as a rule, bring harmony. Harmony brings relaxation and relaxation, we all know, is a great factor in bringing about a cure. A beautiful room, a beautiful piece of pottery or even a little scene will bring a spark of peace to any of us. I often hear my patients say, "Why I sleep so much better and my appetite has improved so since I am doing occupational therapy!"
In running our department here, a patient makes one thing for himself and one thing for us. If he wants to keep his own article he may do so; if he wants to dispose of it, I sell it for him. The articles made for the sanatorium, of course, have to be sold for the maintenance of the department.
When a patient is sent to me from the doctor, I gen
erally know what condition he is in; so I show him a number of things he may do for himself, things within his strength and capacity. He usually chooses something he wants and I think I can safely say there is therapy in making something you want and like. On the other hand, there may be monotony in making a second article of the same kind, for your want is satisfied and your enthusiasm for that article is gone; so I let that patient make something for me that I have need of. There may be a number of articles, corresponding in labor and value to that of his own. We usually find something he is just as enthusiastic about. (Articles made of dyed milkweed, such as trays, muffin stands, tea wagons and serving tables for breakfast rooms have been successful in every way). For therapeutic purposes an article made of milkweed contains many operations. If the institution is located in or near the open country the exercise of gathering the milkweed will be attractive to the patient. My patients gathered so much last autumn that I still have a supply. Then the milkweed has to be carefully peeled and dyed in gasoline and tube paint the desired color, and, when dyed, put in a fine layer on the article; then follows the processes of weaving, staining and shellacing.
I do not say that everyone likes butterflies and milkweed, but it has a wonderful appeal to the majority of people, and our articles sell as fast as we can make them.
Our muffin stand, which costs us $3.50 to make, sells fast at $15. Still a merchant having to pay for the labor could not sell it for less.
Labor of Sick as Valuable as Well
I have heard occupational therapy people say, "We sell our articles ten above cost." But, tell me, whyshould not the labor of an ill man be just as valuable as a well man, providing it is well done?
There is despondency in receiving less for your labor because you are ill, and the psychological effect upon a patient who feels that his effort is worth less because of his illness is anything but healing.
Bernard Shaw tells us we can live three thousand years if we think so. Personally, my wrinkles are beginning to appear, so I beg heaven protect me from such a calamity. But nevertheless much wisdom is put into
Approved by Hospitals
EV ERYWHERE In»sj>itals are proclaiming their approval of the special packing of KNOX SPARKLING GELATINE in one and live-pound cartons.
Recognized by dietitians, physicians and food authorities as the standard of purity for over 30 years, this special packing of Knox (iclatine, in one and five-pound cartons, makes it additionally desirable for hospital use.
For nurses' class work we recommend Knox (ielatine. Plain Sparkling or Sparkling Acidulated, in our regular household packages, each of which make four pints of jelly.
Kmincnt authorities find great value in the use of KNOX SPARKLING GELATINE in milk for infants and adults because of a greater absorption of milk and for preventing digestive disorders from the non-emulsification of the fat masses.
is not alone used as a protein sparer but its value as an appetizing conveyor of nutritious foods and in the preparation of desserts and salads is pre-eminent.
the four famous words—"Thinking makes it so." So, tirst of all let's make our patients think "up" by having everything on the upward path around us. We can do so by putting much thought and care on our selection of articles.
In the world of merchandise, it is always the idea that sells, the inventor or designer being the "main spring." A manufacturing house with a clever designer, together with good management, is successful. A manufacturing house with a poor designer is not successful, because of valuable labor put on unsalable things.
An occupational therapy aide particularly needs clever things because she is too poor to put her valuable labor on things that will not sell. I know this sounds very commercial, but I still maintain there is just as much therapy in a number of salable things as in the same number of unsalable things, and I can do far more for my patients if my department is on paying basis.
Last week one of our patients had to go to the poorhouse. His condition was not such that he was able to support himself. Still since he had more than outstayed his time here, he had to make room for someone else. The last day he was working a little hard to finish a lamp. When I asked him what he was going to do with it, he turned and said, "Miss Newman, me no money. Fifty cents all. Me sell it." Fifty cents was all he had, and he was going to the poor house. A lamp is not easily sold in a day and I was afraid if he took it with him, not knowing how to go about it, he would sell it for less than its worth; so I spoke to Dr. Pierce about it and we found our department was able to buy it back from him. Thus the poor boy went away with, to him, a full purse.
In taking inventory, I find that our expenses the first ten months were $1,197.30. That includes my salary, which the first year was very small. Cash received on articles sold for the sanatorium was $818.35, that leaves $378.95 which it cost the sanatorium to maintain the occupational therapy department the first year.
The second year I feel confident will entirely pay for itself, as the first year of any undertaking is spent more or less in experiment.
PSYCHIATRISTS EMPHASIZE WORK IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
At the recent American Psychiatric Association meeting in Quebec, occupational therapy was a prominent feature. An unusually fine exhibit of craftswork from American and Canadian hospitals was shown at the Chateau Frontenac. Much credit is due to the head aides who prepared the exhibition and to Dr. Henry I. Klopp and Miss Clara H. Offutt who made the plans and collected the materials. Nearly every article shown carried a large tag, on which was given very briefly a history of the patient. In some instances, poorly constructed work, representing the original efforts of the patient, was shown accompanied by a piece of craftswork accomplished later after practice and training.
Not only was the exhibit appreciated by the members of the association, but large numbers of the townspeople of Quebec came to see what could be done by patients in hospitals for the insane. These persons got a new idea of hospital life, and it was evident that such exhibitions, when properly advertised, go a long way toward educating the public to the advantages and possibilities of occupational therapy.
The 0. T. round table dinner was well attended, and the subsequent discussion lasted until almost midnight.
Dr. Horatio Pollock, state statistician of New York, read a significant paper in which he stated that there should be one occupational teacher for every 100 patients in state hospitals and that such an arrangement would actually represent a hospital economy rather than an additional expense because the occupied and interested patients would require far less ordinary attendance.
Dr. McKenzie of Kalamazoo, Mich., said that the occupational therapy aide was, at the present juncture, better qualified than the attending physician to decide what the individual patient's occupation should be and how long it should be continued. He felt that the greatest immediate need lies in the education of medical men in the possibilities and limitations of occupational therapeutics.
Dr. F. E. Lawler of the Nova Scotia Hospital in Halifax expressed the opinion that even the insane should receive money or some other material reward for their occupational therapy efforts. He spoke of one patient who had done good work and who, when asked what he would like to have as payment, said that nothing would please him better than a bottle of whisky. The coveted reward was forthcoming, and Dr. Lawler assured the meeting that no harm came from the allowance.
The next annual meeting of the Psychiatric Association is to be held at Detroit, Mich.
O. T. EXHIBIT DRAWS INTEREST OF
An occupational therapy exhibit at the City Hospital of St. Louis was featured during the meeting of the American Medical Association. The graduation exercises of the St. Louis School of Occupational Therapy also were held at the City Hospital at this time. Not only were the workshops and school rooms in the City Hospital open to the visiting doctors, but a comprehensive display of the work of the students of the St. Louis School was on exhibit.
Occupational therapists were gratified by the large numbers of visiting medical men who thronged the City Hospital and School Exhibition, the Junior League Workshop and the occupational therapy department at Barnes Hospital. It was regarded as an index of the growing interest of the medical profession in occupational therapy. Several doctors stated that the occupational therapy activities interested them more than any other feature of the meeting.
THE ROLL CALL
No new activities since the last report.
The annual meeting of the Manitoba Society of Occupational Therapy was held on June 1, when the following officers were elected for the coming year:
President, Miss E. A. Griffin; vice president, Mrs. J. P. Oliver; treasurer, Miss Jessie Stewart; secretary, Mrs. K. Stewart-Hay; board of management: Miss Hickie, Miss Buchanan, Miss Rice, Mrs. Wood, Mr. Waiters.
At a meeting of the board of management held on June 12 it was decided to hold a large public meeting in the autumn, with a view to securing new members and extensive publicity.
It was also decided to give an educational course and a tentative scheme was briefly outlined and an educational committee formed.
The Maryland Society for the Promotion of Occupa
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adnrtixaMnu Cluaifed Index, alio refer to YEAR BOOK.