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

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

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
Fremont College
Los Angeles

Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986.

  • Programs: AA - Sports and Rehabilitation 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

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

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

Advance your career. 100% Focused on Health Sciences.

  • Programs: MPH - Master of Public Health (Online), Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor
UEI College
Bakersfield, El Monte, Encino, Fresno, Gardena, 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 (10-Month Diploma Program), Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Degrees: Diploma

Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? Apply to GCU!

  • Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership, M.S. in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems (Bridge), Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Certificate
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