Occupational Therapy Department

The increasing recognition of occupational therapy as an integral part of the medical rehabilitation program has resulted in its becoming an increasingly important element of hospital planning.

These psges present a summery of the recommendations of the American Occupational Therepy Association on tha planning of typical occupational therapy departments. These basic plans and discussions were developed to serve only as guides for designing similar unit«, and will not be universally applicable without torn« modification. This materiel was presented at length in the October, i960, issue of HOSPITALS, Journal of the Am a r rem n Hos pit ml Association For reprints of this article, which contains extensive equipment end supply li«t« for plenning storage, write American Occupational Therapy Association. 6000 Executive Blvd.. Suite 200, Rockvilla, M0 20862

Basic solutions for occupational therapy departments are largely dependant on the following factors:

1. Number of patients to be treated On the basis of hospital surveys and committee recommendations, it was agreed that 30 per cent of hospital patients should normally ba referred for occupational therapy About 40 per cent of these would be treated in the clinic, and 60 per cant traatad in their beds or on the wards. One occupational therapist in the clinic cen generally accommodate about 1 5 patients in each of two dally aeetiona, one in the morning, one In the afternoon. This number will vary according to the type of patient —more psychiatric patienta, fewer physically disabled patients.

2. Floor spaca required by patients Approximately 54 to 61 sq ft per patient is recommended for the entire department, including clinic, office and storage. For the clinic alone, 42 to 47 aq ft per patient is suggested to allow for easy circulation and use of equipment These figures are based on a study of the needs of a typical department.

3. Types of treatment media to ba used. Some 70-odd activities are used in occupational tharapy departments throughout the country. Basic requirements for small units are as follows; these should be expanded for larger units:

e, Bench work — carpentry, plastics, metal work including painting and finishing of com* plated projects.

b. Teble work — leather, blochprinting, fly-tying. sewing and art work.

d "Functional equipment" {not an activa classification)—bicycle, fig sews and other adapted aquipmant for treatment of physical disabilities,

Storaga facilities should provide for at least 3 months supply, as many inatitutions order on a quarterly basis. All the above items must, of course, be adaptod to suit a particular type end size of hospital.

4. Location of the department in a hospital Dayfighted space as close to pstient areas as possible and readily accessible to toilet facilities is recommended. Proximity to the phyaical therapy department is advisable Necessary facilities include running water, gaa, and electric outlots: dust collectors for power woodworking tools are recommended.

Tha Smaller Unit

For hospitals up to a 250-bed capacity, a basic plan was avolved |aee next page). At tha rata of referral cited, up to 30 patients should be accommodated. These could be carod for by one therapist, with a possible sacond therapist for ward service. On the basis of IS patients per sesaion at 54 sq ft per patient, the entire unit was allotted 613.75 sq ft (17^ by 46% ft). The clinic area, planned at 42 sq ft per patient, totals 638.75 sq ft <17% by 36% ft). The mini* mum basic activities were provided for with 20 work statione for flexibility in salaction. Activities requiring bulky equipment auch as printing and advanced ceramics were omitted. It was aesumed that preparation and finishing could be done in the clinic or on a counter top in the atoreroom. The following considerations ware made for the three specific areae within tha departmant:

1. Clinic area. The first obvious requirement is space for free circulation around tha roqutred equipment {aee general list following). Space for parking at feast 3 wheel chaira ia also nec-assery. Double doors at shop entrance aimplify moving equipment and supplies. Sliding doora for upper cabinata avoid interference with patienta working at counter topa. No display case for finished erticlas was included as it was felt that this emphasized the product rather than therapeutic objectives.

2. Storage area Space was provided for s mobile cart for servicing ward patienta A cabinet with work top was included tor preparation and finishing work. Il was assumed that only fl-ft lengths of lumbar and plywood would be stored in this beaic unit, and that other closets, rooms, etc. in various parts of the hospital could be used for "dead storage."

3. Office area. Space was provided for the uaual office furnishings, A large glass panel in front of the deak facilitates control and supervision of the unit-

Variations for Hospital Type* The basic plan ia directly applicable to psychiatric and genera/ medical and surgical hospitals. In tha latter caso, a bicycla jig aaw is recommended in placa of a drill press stand (a table model drill preaa could be used).

Tuberculosis hospitals require two minor changes: replacement of ona floor loom and the braid-weaving frame with two induetrial sawing machines.

Pediatric hospitels need the following changes: a plan adaptable to division into two parts —one for smalt children, ona for adolea* canta. For equipment changes, see plan. Tables should adjust in height.

Physical disability hospitals can use tha basic plan with a few variations in equipment. Although fewer patienta can be treated per therapist, fewer will be able to come to the clinic for treatment; a second therapist will be needed for treatment in the wards.

The Larger Unit

A basic plan for a typical occupational therapy unit tor largo hospitals of approximately 500


Occupational Therapy Department

Therapy Department Plans

Fig, 1 Floor plans for typical occupational therapy department In hospitals up Id 350-taed capacity.

Shadow board cabin*« Electric tool grinder Tool (forage and work bench

2-mon banch Electric ¡lg law Drill pre a i Wtovt frame Slap (tool Stainless steel (ink Chair

Tab!*— 11 A. Adjustable toble Floor loom Warping board Open (helving Pull-out (half Storage cabinet Bench for loom File cabinet Book shelf and cabinet Tool cabinet Palnl cabinet Finishing bench ond cabinets

Eleclrlc hot plate Lumber rack Drinking fasintoln Bulletin board Storage bine and work banch Table loom Glass panel Ironing board Fluorescent light Word corl Deck

Truth basket Sand box May house Circular toble Cut-out table — adjustable Power lafhe Bicycle |lg (aw Treadle (onder Accordion type Folding door Large kiln Small kiln Damp dotal Pottex wheel Impodng total* Type cabinet

Printing press

Electric circular saw Typewriter table Electric belt sander Electric disc sander Sewing machine

Fig, 1 Floor plans for typical occupational therapy department In hospitals up Id 350-taed capacity.


Occupational Therapy Department


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  • elijah
    How Much Floor Space is Required for Occupational Therapy?
    1 year ago

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