What do Recreational Therapists do?

Plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions. Activities include sports, trips, dramatics, social activities, and arts and crafts. May assess a patient condition and recommend appropriate recreational activity.

  • Conduct therapy sessions to improve patients' mental and physical well-being.
  • Observe, analyze, and record patients' participation, reactions, and progress during treatment sessions, modifying treatment programs as needed.
  • Plan, organize, direct and participate in treatment programs and activities to facilitate patients' rehabilitation, help them integrate into the community and prevent further medical problems.
  • Develop treatment plan to meet needs of patient, based on needs assessment, patient interests and objectives of therapy.
  • Prepare and submit reports and charts to treatment team to reflect patients' reactions and evidence of progress or regression.
  • Obtain information from medical records, medical staff, family members and the patients themselves to assess patients' capabilities, needs and interests.
  • Counsel and encourage patients to develop leisure activities.
  • Instruct patient in activities and techniques, such as sports, dance, music, art or relaxation techniques, designed to meet their specific physical or psychological needs.
  • Confer with members of treatment team to plan and evaluate therapy programs.
  • Encourage clients with special needs and circumstances to acquire new skills and get involved in health-promoting leisure activities, such as sports, games, arts and crafts, and gardening.

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