Recreational Therapists Career - Salary, Duties & Job Information

Recreational Therapists Career Description

Recreational Therapists provide treatment and recreational activities to patients with illnesses or disabilities. They provide leisure and less strenuous activities like dance, games, sports, drama and activities which promote socialization and fun. Conditions may include those cognitive, spiritual, physical, emotional and other areas which affect the health of the individual.

Duties and Responsibilities

Recreational Therapist duties include providing treatment by visual imagery like watching movies or television and reading books. They also provide treatment through educating the individual on activities like sports or exercises that improve their overall physical strength. This could also be done through mind conditioning, like restoring mental function by counseling, mind puzzles and stimulating cognitive ability.

The biggest Recreational Therapist duty is providing patients with leisure activities which restore normal muscle function and normal range of motion. These activities stimulate both the patients and body. Other Recreational Therapist duties include letting the individual engage in sports or dun activities, providing an alternative to hospital treatment and alleviating their stress with such treatments. The Recreational Therapist’s main goal is to cure the patient in the best possible way with different activities that are less stressful than those in hospital or clinics offer.

Work Environment

Recreational Therapists work in a variety of environments from the football field to centers which provide relaxation such as cinemas or parks. They are also located in hospitals with wards which specialize in patient recovery from trauma or surgery. Some also work in psychiatric units working hand in hand with psychiatrist in providing care for patients with mental illness and physical disabilities.

How to become a Recreational Therapist

Educational and Training

A bachelor’s Recreational Therapist degree or a college degree is required for entry-level positions. An associate Recreational Therapist degree with training in arts, drama or music therapy is also considered. There are numerous academic programs which offer preparation studies for recreational therapy. This subjects deal with program planning, interventions and evaluation of treatment. Some Recreational Therapist courses include Human anatomy, physiology, abnormal psychology, medical and psychiatric terminology, professional ethics, and medical sciences such as characteristics of illnesses and diseases and use of assistive devices such as crutches.

Not all states have regulation laws for Recreational Therapist qualifications. North Carolina, Utah and New Hampshire are one of the few states that require recreational therapist to undergo licensing and registration. The American Therapeutic Association together with the National Therapeutic Recreation Society is an organization which recognizes this branch of medical science. They provide certification which lasts for 5 years.

Employment Opportunities

Recreational Therapist opportunities are available in hospitals and clinics specializing in patient recovery abound. All hospital units have patient recovery centers. A Recreational Therapist opportunity in the military might also be considered with patients from the numerous conflicts arising. College and universities also provide good compensation for professors and may provide a profitable alternative as a sideline job for many.

How much does a Recreational Therapist make – Recreational Therapist Salary and Wages

Recreational Therapist salary ranges vary with respect to where they work and how long they’ve been practicing. Recreational therapists who have been practicing for less than a year receive $10 per hour and those with four years get around $15 an hour. Recreational therapist with five years to nineteen years experience earn around $20 per hour and those with twenty years or more charge $25 an hour.

In terms of the Recreational Therapist salary range, the bottom 10 percent earned less than $34,00 annually. The middle 50 percent of the Recreational Therapist salary range earned between $39,000 and $49,000 a year, and the top ten percent earned more than $54,000. Bonuses are limited to non-existent, but a plethora of benefits including 401k plans, pension plans are available.

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