Thought exercise for occupational therapists

Thought exercise:
Take special note of the 'Service to society' section 
[my emphasis added].  Are we still providing this service? 
Or are we now chasing some other objectives that are out of 
sync with this original intent? 




Registrar, Boston School of Occupational Therapy 

Boston, 1920.
Description of occupation 

Occupational therapy is one of the new professions for 
young women. The necessity and importance of this work 
was firmly established in military hospitals during the late 
war and its future success is secure. The civilian hospitals 
are waiting for trained workers, and we believe that it is but 
a short time before every hospital and institution will employ 
at least one aide. 

The training is designed to develop not only artistic and 
mechanical skill and dexterity, but also ability to cooperate 
with every branch of the hospital service in order that there 
may result the highest standard of efficiency. This latter 
ability is quite as important as the former. 

Among the crafts used for their special therapeutic value 
are: Applied design, basketry, block printing, bookbinding, 
chair-seating, jewelry, leather work, modeling, rug-making, 
textiles, tin-can work, typewriting, weaving, wood-carving, 
woodwork and whittling. Also minor curative occupations; 
bead work, colonial mats, cord work, crocheting, knitting, 
netting. The work is carried on in hospital wards and shops 
and, when possible, with private cases. 

Preparation or training necessary 

General education, equivalent at least to high-school educa- 

Previous training in any of the following subjects with satis- 
factory credentials will be credited the student upon entrance 
to the schools of Occupational Therapy: nursing, social 
service, physical education, mechanical drawing, psychology, 
arts and crafts. 
Training may be secured at the following schools: 

Boston School of Occupational Therapy, 7 Harcourt Street, 

Teachers College, Occupational Therapy Department, New 
York City. 

Flavell School, Chicago, Illinois. 

Philadelphia School of Occupational Therapy, Philadel- 

Downing College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

School of Occupational Therapy, St. Louis, Missouri. 
Qualifications necessary for success 

Strong physique, understanding of human nature, common 

sense, initiative and adaptability. 
Financial return 

Average, from $1200 to $1800 per year. 
Extent of occupation 

Occupational therapists are in demand in institutions such 
as State hospitals, private hospitals, Army and Navy hospi- 
tals, dispensaries. Government public health departments, 
work with private patients both in hospitals and at home. 
The demand for well-trained aides far exceeds the supply. 
Service to society 

To restore a patient's courage and his, or her, maximum men- 
tal, nervous, and physical ability is to add an asset to the 
community where there might have been a liability. To bring 
work out of idleness has economic value in time, morality, 
production, health, and happiness, and is elevating to the 
individual and to the entire world. 
Suggested reading 

"Ward Occupation in Hospitals," Bulletin No. 25. Issued by 
Federal Board of Vocational Training, Washington, D.C., 1918. 
"Handicrafts for the Handicapped" — Dr. Herbert J. Hall. 
"The Work of Our Hands" — Dr. Herbert J. Hall. 
"Teaching the Sick" — George Edward Barton. 
"Invalid Occupations" — Susan Tracy. 


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