Assignment: Concepts of Caring
A strong foundation of simple and inexpensive services, for the treatment of routine illness and the care of illness apart from the relief of suffering, is essential.
The importance of personalized relationships for the treatment of illness in which psychological and physical factors are heavily interconnected, the necessity to influence life styles in the management of chronic illness, and the compelling obligations for the humane care of the incurable long-term ill and dying indicates that the relationship between the patient and the health professional displaced by progress in scientific medicine has to be restored. . . . (21, pp. 315–316)
We must move prevention into the curative model as we contribute our skills and performance to the popula- tion served by the medical care system. A humanistic health care system is possible—the possibility, however, requires much out of each professional,
which decreases the probability. Occupational therapists have unique skills and a tremendous commitment to Man and his abilities. We must show great confidence in implementing our concepts of caring. I have now presented strategies for three problems the profession must address. By directing professional energies toward solving these problems we will:
• Develop our services as scientific discipline, thus gain a stronger position with a strong professional identity • Increase the dialogue of educators and clinicians toward common goals • Expand the acute care model of service to include an ambulatory and health prevention model • Extend occupational therapy manpower by expanding services into intercity and rural delivery through multi- hospital systems
• Assist the individual in gaining control over his health status by having control of his environment and engag- ing in activity. I want to share with you a very important thought of Bronowski’s, from The Ascent of Man. Man is a singular creature. He has a set of gifts which make him unique among the animals so that, unlike them, he is not a figure in the landscape. He is a shaper of the landscape. . . . His imagination, his reason, his emotional subtlety and toughness, make it possible for him not to accept the environment, but to change it (8, p. 19).
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