How to Become a Recreational Therapist
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Recreational therapists use activities such as dance, arts and crafts, sports and exercise, music and drama to help physically or mentally disabled patients improve function, or deal with depression, anxiety and stress. The activities can help restore confidence and improve socialization skills as well as help patients improve basic functional skills. A career in recreational therapy requires an education in therapeutic recreation or a related field.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, recreational therapists usually need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation to qualify for a position. Graduate degree programs are available for students in the field. A therapeutic recreation degree program includes coursework in anatomy, human behavior, assessment and documentation, clinical procedures and health psychology. An internship is typically part of a bachelor’s degree program.
Graduate degree programs provide an opportunity for recreational therapists to specialize within the field. Areas of specialization may focus on patient populations, such as pediatrics or geriatrics.
Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in therapeutic recreation require students to complete an internship. The internship provides students with hands-on experience in a clinical or hospital setting. Students work with experienced practitioners to use recreational and leisure activities to help patients improve function, develop social skills and reduce stress, anxiety and depression. An internship is a requirement for national certification as a recreational therapist.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most employers prefer to hire credentialed recreational therapists. The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification is the certifying agency that offers the credential to applicants who meet the eligibility requirements. The Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist certification is awarded to those who have a bachelor’s degree or higher in therapeutic recreation, complete a minimum 480-hour internship and pass an examination. The examination consists of 180 questions that test the candidate’s knowledge of recreational therapy practices, strategies and theory…
Read more at sources: http://work.chron.com/educational-requirements-become-recreational-therapist-2440.html
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Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only. It has not been edited, fact checked or updated. This content is neither affiliated nor endorsed by The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, or any other official agency.
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