What Do Recreational Therapists Do?
To assist in the planning and direction of medically beneficial events and activities, many modern institutions depend primarily on recreational therapists. This position generally entails the organization of field trips, craft projects and game tournaments for patients with different needs and conditions. Some hospitals or nursing homes also require you to perform individual assessments in order to recommend appropriate exercises and hobbies.There is expected to be 13% growth annually for this position, resulting in about 670 projected job openings each year. Most of these openings are predicted to come from traditional medical facilities, such as rehabilitation centers, pediatric hospitals and psychiatric units.
Recreational Therapists Skills and Abilities
People in this occupation are typically skilled in one of several areas, focusing predominantly on the therapeutic uses of music, art and exercise combined with comprehensive medical treatments and procedures. If you wish to succeed as a recreational therapist, you should have a firm grasp of psychological concepts and counseling techniques, as well as a sincere desire to help others maintain a healthy attitude and lifestyle. Open and effective communication is also important in order to conduct thorough patient evaluations and convey critical medical information.
Recreational Therapists Duties
Although your principal role in this position is to provide medical advice and emotional support to patients during scheduled recreational activities, you will also be responsible for documenting relevant test results and treatment recommendations. Furthermore, you will need to demonstrate the natural creative ability to develop unique suggestions for a broad range of physical and mental conditions. Other tasks frequently associated with this job include:* Ordering and preparing recreational supplies* Conducting individual therapy sessions* Researching patient medical histories* Analyzing scientific data and test results* Establishing realistic treatment goals* Evaluating overall medical progress
Recreational Therapists Tools and Technology
Depending on your area of expertise and the resources available to you, the tools commonly used for this job can vary widely. For instance, therapists who emphasize music as a treatment method typically utilize instruments and stereo equipment to encourage self-expression. If you have a more physical approach, be prepared to work with athletic gear and take advantage of outdoor recreational spaces.In terms of technology, all recreational workers are expected to be familiar with basic forms of medical communication and documentation. Types of software you will frequently encounter as a recreational therapists include:* Standard email providers* Internet browsers* Electronic patient records* Word processing programs* Video and sound editing applications
Education and Training for Recreational Therapists
To find employment in this field, you must first obtain a Bachelor’s degree with a primary focus on therapeutic recreational activities. This position also does not require any training or work experience, but applicants can begin to develop valuable job-related skills by volunteering at local hospitals and nursing homes. A small percentage of employees even go on to receive higher levels of certification.
Recreational Therapists Salary
The average annual salary for recreational therapists is $44,000 across the nation, but wages ultimately depend on the size of the institution and your rate of success with therapeutic activities. Employees in the bottom 10% of this field gross about $27,100 each year, while top earners in some areas can expect to bring in an income of $69,200.
Recreational Therapists Jobs by Geography
The state of Utah is currently anticipating more than 30% annual growth for this position, making it one of the easiest areas to find work as a recreational therapist. Other areas experiencing a dramatic increase in demand include Arizona and Alaska. To find a job that offers a higher rate of pay, consider applying for positions in areas such as California and the District of Columbia.