Recreational therapists are the healthcare professionals who work to create a difference in the people in a positive aspect. These people would work mainly for enhancing the lives of individuals with a chronic illness, injury, or disability. In general, these professionals would use various activities for improving the functionality of the people thereby helping them restore their confidence levels.
If you want to pursue a career in recreational therapy, first determine if this career option is suitable for you. I would say, a career in recreational therapy field is more suitable for those individuals who are willing to help other individuals in need. If you are passionate about helping people who are suffering due to an injury/illness, then you are a good fit for this job! Now, let’s see more about this career option here…
As a recreational therapist, you would have opportunity to work in a variety of work settings and they include:
Long-term care facilities
Assisted living facilities
Day program services
The duties and responsibilities of a recreational therapist include:
Assessing the requirements of a patient through:
Developing treatment plans and/or programs that could meet requirements and interests of the patients
Planning and then implementing interventions for preventing harms to the patients
Engaging the patient in various therapeutic activities like:
Arts and crafts
Helping patients in gaining social skills thereby making them independent
Educating patients on the ways to overcome stress, depression, and anxiety
Recording, as well analyzing the patients’ progress
Evaluating treatments for their effectiveness
How to become a Recreational Therapist?
A recreational therapist would require at least a bachelor’s degree in ‘recreational therapy’ or in a related field. These programs would include classes in the following subjects:
Medical and psychiatric terminologies
Illness and disabilities
Today, most of the employers are found to be employing certified recreational therapists. You can earn the ‘Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist’ from the ‘NCTRC’.
Job Outlook and Opportunities:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for recreational therapists has been estimated to increase by 12% from the year 2014 to 2024. And, the growth is expected to increase mainly in the following organizations:
Nursing care facilities
Adult daycare programs
Organizations for geriatric patient care
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for the recreational therapists was found to be $45,890 (as of May 2015) per year which is equal to $22.06 per hour.