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Career Story: Therapeutic Recreation Director At A Nursing Home

Therapeutic Recreation Director At A Nursing Home

Job Title: Therapeutic Recreation Director

Type of Company: A nursing care facility.

Education: AS, NCCC •• attending, Charter Oak State College (New Britain, CT)

Previous Experience: I worked as recreation director for 17 years at another nursing home.

Job Tasks: A therapeutic recreation director designs activities and programs for patients of all ages and a variety of medical conditions, including chronic diseases, many forms of disability, post-operative weakness or pain and physical rehabilitation. Activities and programs are tailored to the populace you're working with.

These activities and programs can be carried out in large or small groups or individually, at home or within a facility, with or without the active assistance of a therapist. In every instance, though, it is our job to design activities to meet the physical, spiritual, cognitive, emotional, cultural and social needs of our clients and provide them with a better quality of life. We also keep track of all our clients do on a daily basis, which entails a considerable amount of paperwork. The state where I work requires very descriptive and detailed assessments and frequent re-evaluations. In order for all of us to get paid we also have to work with the insurance companies that provide reimbursement for much of the treatment and therapy.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is knowing that I am doing good for people every day I go to work. The worst part of my job is that there's so much that needs to be done and so little time in which to do it. Also, funding for nursing homes in generally inadequate and salaries for therapists are low.

Job Tips: In order to pursue a job such as mine, you need to love what you do, because it probably will never be a very high-paying job (unless you do it for 20+ years). You also need to be very energetic, creative, and imaginative as well as compassionate and caring.

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