Career Story: Recreation Therapist At A Hospital

Recreation Therapist At A Hospital

Job Title: Recreation Therapist

Education: BA in Parks and Recreation with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation, University of California, Chico

Previous Experience: I was in vet assistant school and volunteered at a place where we took children around a working farm and on hikes. The changes I saw in people when they were around animals or outside made me decide to look for a field where I could get people into things that they enjoyed.

Job Tasks: I work at a non-profit hospital that care exclusively for Spinal cord and Brain injured individuals.

As a recreation therapist we have a very flexible schedule. Our main goal is to determine patients interest and how that can be adapted (if needed) to return them to those activities that were important to them before. Family and friends play an important role in their therapy and are welcome to attend in house activities and outings with their loved one.

We are responsible for both in house activities (crafts,game, gardening,music,etc) and for outings (sporting event,movies,dine outs,etc) and higher risk activites where we utilize the community (hot air ballooning, rafting, sailing , biking, SCUBA, etc). We meet individually with patients to work on specific goals and in groups on outings or in house activities.

Prior to discharge from the hospital we provide them resources to utilize upon returing to their home community. We are responsible for completing an initial assessment, conference notes and discharge notes on all patients. We also attend weekly meetings with the doctor and the rest of the treatment team to discuss patients. We participate in family conferences, case planning meetings and behavior meetings. As a recreation therapist, I am a key member of the treatment team and work very closely with all clinical and non-clinical staff.

Part of my job also includes running our pet therapy program, over seeing volunteers and student interns.

Besides providing therapy for in patients we also work with a large number of out patients who live in the area or come from other parts of the country.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of job is that in some patients you are able to see changes daily. Family and friends play such a big role here and this helps patients progress. It doesn't feel like a hospital. The worst part is the documentation that we are reguired to do as it can take away from time that could be spent with patients.

Job Tips: As time consuming as it may seem, make sure you do a lot of volunteer work in a number of different areas to find out where your strengths lie (spinal cord, brain injury, seniors, children, developementally disabled, psychology, etc).

If you enjoy working with people and helping them this is a perfect field for you.

As a Recreation therapist we work on similar goals to Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational therapy, but through activities that are of interest to them so sometimes they are not aware that they are working on these goals.

Popular Schools offering Rehabilitation Therapy Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.

  • Programs: BA/Complementary and Alternative Health
  • Degrees: Bachelor
UEI College
Anaheim, Bakersfield, El Monte, Encino, Fresno, Gardena, Huntington Park, Ontario, Riverside, San Marcos, Stockton

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

  • Programs: Dental Assistant (8-Month Diploma Program), Medical Assistant (8-Month Diploma Program)
  • Degrees: Diploma

As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

  • Programs: Healthcare Management (BS)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
  • Degrees: Master

CSU Global - Healthcare Admin & Management

  • Programs: Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration, Master - Healthcare Administration and Management, BS - Healthcare Administration and Management
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Therapy Health Technician, Respiratory Care - Associates
  • Degrees: Associate

Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

  • Programs: Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
  • Degrees: Certificate
California College San Diego
San Diego, San Marcos

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

  • Programs: Respiratory Therapy (AS)
  • Degrees: Associate
San Joaquin Valley College
Ontario, Temecula, Visalia

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

  • Programs: Degree - Respiratory Therapy
  • Degrees: Associate
Platt College
Alhambra, Ontario

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Respiratory Therapy
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Associate
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Recreational Therapists

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Recreational Therapists, including:

Back to Top