Recreational Therapist

What does a Recreational Therapist do? A recreational therapist helps..

Recreational Therapist

What does a Recreational Therapist do?

recreational therapist leading an art session

A recreational therapist helps and encourages a patient with their physical, health, social, and mental well-being by creating and coordinating recreational-based treatment programs and techniques targeted towards the patient’s specific needs such as illnesses, disabilities or injuries. They use a multitude of treatments to help a patient’s improvement like games, arts and crafts, dance, music, or sports to promote the patient’s health.

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How to Become a Recreational Therapist

A recreational therapist usually requires a bachelor’s degree in human anatomy, assessment, psychiatric and medical therapy, use of assistive devices and technology and the characteristics of illnesses and disabilities. Many employer’s require the applicant to hold a certification and have extensive work-related experience. Some on-the-job and/or vocational training may be needed as well.

Job Description of a Recreational Therapist

A recreational therapist uses recreational-based programs that they have developed, coordinated and directed to help patient’s with injuries, illnesses or disabilities.

They mix-up the treatment used for each patient, according to their need, by using things like, dance, music, arts and crafts, community reintegration field trips, sports or games,among other activities, and strive to move the patient towards the improvement and maintenance of their social, emotional and physical well-being. These treatment programs are medially approved and are used with patient’s in nursing homes, hospitals or other places that require the recreational therapist’s expertise. They help achieve goals for a patient, such as, integrating them into a community and to avoid future medical issues.

They watch and record a patient’s progress throughout the treatment process and adjust any areas that are needed to move the patient forward in their healing, both mentally and physically and submit their findings to a treatment team. They collect any pertinent information needed to help assess a patient’s needs or capabilities from their medical history, family and other sources. They advise and motivate a patient to participate in leisure activities that have been designed to meet their specific challenges, psychologically and physically.

A recreational therapist needs to have knowledge of therapy and counseling, psychology, sociology and anthropology and medicine. They also need to have knowledge of the english language, to include, grammar, the meaning and spelling of words and rules of composition. They need to have the ability to communicate and comprehend information and ideas that are being given and/or received.

He or she should have the ability to inductive and deductive reason and other abilities required to be successful in this occupation. One should be capable in supervising, training and managing others. Recreational therapist can be found working in a variety of places, usually, full-time.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics project a 13 percent growth in 2012-2022 for this career field.


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