In response to the occupational therapy students’ need for meaningful early experiences in the clinical setting, an educational strategy was devised for marketing and implementing an occupational therapy clinical program for hospitalized psychiatric patients, which involves students in all aspects of its implementation. The pilot program was started at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in West Haven, CT, on a long-term psychiatric unit. This unit’s previously limited occupational therapy services were expanded by the student program. The program has also extended into an acute psychiatric unit and a psychiatric day treatment program (which previously had not provided occupational therapy services). Sixteen to thirty Quinnipiac College junior occupational therapy students (per semester) were involved in assessment, treatment planning, program planning, administration, and documentation and evaluation under the close supervision of the occupational therapy educator. Students, patients, and administrators were surveyed, and the results were reported. For the first class of participants, the two significant learning outcomes were an improvement in attitude toward patients and an increased level of comfort in working with them.

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