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  1. Describe the ergonomic principles of an application area for taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding.

  2. Describe common program and structural considerations in the design of an application area for taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding.

  3. Explain and demonstrate evidence-based practice to select a location for an application area in a facility for taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding.

In a health care facility, the space designated for taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding techniques should receive careful consideration. Whether the space is developed within new or existing structures, several design aspects need to be addressed. In scholastic, intercollegiate, and professional sport facilities, this space is commonly referred to as the taping area. Other health care facilities, such as clinics, typically do not have dedicated space for a taping area because of a lower patient demand for technique application. For our discussion, application area will refer to the facility space dedicated to taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding techniques.

The design of the application area should be based on evidence-based practice, specifically ergonomic principles. Ergonomics is defined by Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (p. 839)1 as “the science concerned with fitting a job to a person’s anatomical, physiological, and psychological characteristics in a way that enhances human efficiency and well-being.” Health care professionals who are responsible for applying taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding techniques come in many different sizes and shapes. Accordingly, spaces and tables should be designed to accommodate these differences. The goal of ergonomics is to provide an efficient, healthful, and safe working environment. This goal can be achieved with careful planning of new facility construction or existing facility renovations.

Planning for new construction or renovation of a facility’s application area should also direct thought to current and future program needs as well as structural considerations. Program needs, such as the number of individuals requiring daily technique application, available time and staff, and long-range plans, will assist in deciding on furniture and space. Application areas in scholastic, intercollegiate, and professional sport facilities are typically the most congested spaces, especially during peak periods prior to practices and competitions. Application areas in these facilities should be located close to an entrance and exit for easy access. The time available to complete taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding techniques is often influenced by predetermined practice, competition, and appointment schedules. Note that adequate staffing of health care professionals who are proficient in applying the techniques is also an important consideration.

After determining current needs, attempt to make long-range projections based on the organization’s strategic plan, such as future renovations to the facility or the addition of staff or sport teams. As interest in the health care of the active population continues to grow, the space required to apply taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding techniques will also increase.

After assessing program needs, consider structural needs in the application area. Structural factors include ...

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