Recreational Therapists

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Also known as:  Certified Recreational Therapist, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, CTRS, Drama Therapist, Recreational Therapist, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

ABOUT RECREATIONAL THERAPIST CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
A recreational therapist is rewarded with small successes that make big differences in a patient's life: the smile of a stroke victim, who finds she can move her stiff, cramped hand; the pride of a patient in a psychiatric ward, who creates a work of art.

With America's aging population, ther ...
e is a new focus on long-term care. As a result, more physical and psychiatric rehabilitation will be needed in the years ahead. They use a variety of techniques to help people with disabilities, illnesses, or other problems use their minds, hands, feet, and whole bodies.

Through movement, games, art, and music, a recreational therapist can renew the spirit of someone discouraged by a daunting challenge. Though a background in some aspect of recreation is helpful, this is a health care profession. Employment is found in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, adult day service centers, or in school districts helping special education departments, or you might be assigned by a physician to visit a recovering patient at home.

Certified therapeutic recreation specialists must have a bachelor's degree, pass an exam, and complete an internship of at least 360 hours. College programs often include the internship placements as part of the course work. If you are patient, tactful, persuasive, and creative, this career choice offers the opportunity to make a positive difference in many lives.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions. Activities include sports, trips, dramatics, social activities, and arts and crafts. May assess a patient condition and recommend appropriate recreational activity.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Plan, organize, direct and participate in treatment programs and activities to facilitate patients' rehabilitation, help them integrate into the community and prevent further medical problems.
Instruct patient in activities and techniques, such as sports, dance, music, art or relaxation techniques, designed to meet their specific physical or psychological needs.
Obtain information from medical records, medical staff, family members and the patients themselves to assess patients' capabilities, needs and interests.
Prepare and submit reports and charts to treatment team to reflect patients' reactions and evidence of progress or regression.
Conduct therapy sessions to improve patients' mental and physical well-being.
Counsel and encourage patients to develop leisure activities.
Observe, analyze, and record patients' participation, reactions, and progress during treatment sessions, modifying treatment programs as needed.
Develop treatment plan to meet needs of patient, based on needs assessment, patient interests and objectives of therapy.
Encourage clients with special needs and circumstances to acquire new skills and get involved in health-promoting leisure activities, such as sports, games, arts and crafts, and gardening.
Confer with members of treatment team to plan and evaluate therapy programs.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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