Assignment: The Medical Model
Assignment: The Medical Model
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A PROFESSIONAL LEGACY
Louise Sampson: I believe that a hospital-based program is the most effective way to provide “outreach” occu – pational therapy services. If services are planned and accomplished properly, we do not have to remain a “medical model” and can serve the expressed needs of the community. I feel that the solid base has many advantages including decreasing the fragmentation and isolation of therapists, being cost effective with full utilization of staff and equipment providing more flexible opportunities for professional growth and a general consistency otherwise unavailable (16). Sharon East/Gloria Scammahorn: The outreach concept has certainly facilitated the growth and expansion of occupa-
tional therapy into new markets. Our association with a medical center has been an important aspect to the success of occu- pational therapy’s involvement in outreach. Had there been no association with the medical center, I feel certain occupational therapy’s efforts would have been stifled early on.
The whole outreach approach has provided so much stimulation and remotivation for the staff involved that regardless of the outcome the experience for the staff has been well worth all the effort. That is not to say that we’re not concerned with the outcome—we still maintain the same standards and quality of care for the outreach contracts as we do for the patients at our facility (17). The outreach concept provides a stability for services that promotes creativity. It also will assure the contin-
uance of our profession in modern economic times. It expands occupational therapy concepts into a community model with the hospital functioning as the base unit. It reduces the fragmentation and isolation of therapists, it is cost effective, it fully uses staff and equipment, and it promotes professional growth. It allows therapists with specialized skills to use their skill to fill contract hours using their expertise. It also allows facilities that otherwise would not have occupational therapy to obtain the services to fulfill needs. Public Law 93-641 of 1974, the Health Planning and Resource Development Act, establishes the following pri-
orities for national attention: 1. The provision of primary care services for medically underserved populations, especially those in rural or eco- nomically depressed areas.
2. The development of multi-institutional systems for consideration of institutional health services. 3. The development of medical group practices, especially those services that are appropriately coordinated or integrated with institutional health services and health maintenance (18). Occupational therapists, we have a mandate: break down those walls. We have been accustomed to patients
coming to us—we have to go to them. Let us establish occupational therapy as a viable community service imple- menting the basic philosophy of our profession and help our hospitals survive in the process. The challenge is here now—let us respond and further develop our profession in the process. Now we will develop our treatment plan for problem three.