Recreational Therapist Job Description

The Recreational Therapist provides treatment services and recreation activities for individuals with disabilities and illnesses.

Primary Objectives:

  • The Recreational Therapist uses different techniques such as arts, crafts, sports, drama or music to provide therapy.
  • The Recreational Therapist works to reduce depression, stress and anxiety in their patients.
  • The Recreational Therapist works to recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities.
  • The Recreational Therapist must have a Bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation or in therapeutic recreation.

The Recreational Therapist provides treatment services to the patient or individual who has a disability and is not able to function entirely on their own but with recreational therapy may be able to return to full functioning or a good partial capability. The Recreational Therapist uses a variety of techniques to accomplish this with their patients. The technique that the Recreational Therapist might use depends on the patients interests. For instance a Recreational Therapist might use drama or music in order to provide therapy for the patient. The person who likes to dance or act can use these talents in a therapeutic way that will help them to once again be able to use the limb that is hurt.
The patient who likes to do sports might be taught how to do recreational therapy by the Recreational Therapist using sporting equipment. The simple use of a small rubber ball for instances can help a patient build back the muscle control that they need in their hand. The kicking procedure of a soccer ball is very helpful for a patient who has problems with their legs or hips. The patient might throw basketballs in order to help with the shoulder and arm movement. All these different types of maneuvers are taught by The Recreational Therapist to the patient. It is not just a matter of doing the different type of sport but the focus is on a particular way of doing the activity so that it helps the muscle area in the body. The Recreational Therapist is familiar with all these things and can be very constructive in teaching the patient on how to use them.

The patient who is not into sports might like music and perhaps even dance. The Recreational Therapist might have the patient turn their neck and head to a particular song. The patient might tap their toes or pull their ankle up and down to the beat of a certain tune in this manner they are getting recreational therapy that is very instrumental in helping with their own recovery. When the patient is taught the proper procedures they can do some of these things on their own on a daily basis. The movement in dance can be very therapeutic and the Recreational Therapist often uses this as a means to help the patient.

The idea behind using different sorts of recreational therapy is that the patient not only needs to be able to use the strained or damaged area but often find that they are stressed. The stress can tighten up the muscles and make the problem even worse. The Recreational Therapist realizes this and knows that first they must work on relieving stress and anxiety. The idea is to recover some to the basic motor functioning. Once the patient starts to relieve the stress and anxiety the muscles in the body start of relax giving the person the opportunity to be able to use that part of the body that was injured.

In some cases the patient may have a disability that is not going to be cured by therapy. The therapy is important to keep the body functioning but it may not give the patient complete recovery. The Recreational Therapist realizes that they must work with the patient to help them function in the community. The use of community resources is vital to the patient and in order to be able to do that the Recreational Therapist will work to teach the patient how to do this. There are recreational areas in the community that the person can use that will be very helpful and also give the patient a chance to be an active part of the community. The Recreational Therapist may take the patient on outings, picnics, sporting events, and other community happenings in order to get them use to being a part of the community.

Degrees and Training to Become a Recreational Therapist

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