Recreational Therapy Career
Those who have completed their recreational therapy or other bachelor’s degree, become licensed if applicable in the home state, and become certified are ready to embark on the exciting journey of beginning a career in recreational therapy. However, many of these individuals will have questions before beginning work. This article will strive to answer some of the most common questions – ones that pertain to the day to day life of a recreational therapist.
A Day in the Life of a Recreational Therapist?
The first thing most aspiring recreational therapists usually want to know is what a single day in the life of a recreational therapist is like. In short, however, this is no one answer to this. The daily tasks and activities of a recreational therapist will depend greatly on the environment in which he or she works.
A therapist who works in a group home, for example, would probably begin his or her day by showing up to work, making preparations for the pre planned and pre approved therapeutic activity of the day, and then performing that activity with either a group of people or an individual, depending on the type of work the recreational therapist does. However, these activities will vary wildly according to the therapists’ specializations, knowledge of different activities, and to the age of the client or clients and what disabilities or problems they may have. The goal of some therapeutic methods will simply be to overcome depression or to increase enjoyment of life, while other methods will be geared toward relearning or developing fine motor skills. Obviously then, it is impossible to say what all recreational therapists do during the day. However, there are certain tasks that all therapists will perform.
Daily Tasks of a Recreational Therapist:
Most recreational therapists, no matter what environment they work in, will be required to plan out therapeutic activities and to explain why these activities will be beneficial. Often times, particularly when a therapist is very experienced or has been at a position for a long amount of time, these forms are just a technicality. However, they still must be done well and accurately as they will be put on the patient’s record and on the therapist’s record. Some activities may have to wait for approval. Once approval is granted and the activities are being conducted, then it is time for the recreational therapist to use them to make assessments about the patient.
Therapists will be responsible for taking notes on each individual patient, the methods used to treat the patient, and on the patient’s improvement. This is a great tool for recreational therapists to find out what works for a particular patient and what does not. It is also a great and often encouraging way to keep track of the patient’s progress and serves to motivate both the patient and the therapist.
While no workday will be exactly the same for any recreational therapist, it is true that planning and observation will always be a key part of the job. Those individuals who possess strong observational and organizational skills will be sure to succeed at this aspect of the career.