Since the American Therapeutic Recreation Association has deemed February “Therapeutic Recreation Month,” I want to give a salute to all the recreation therapists working at VHA.
While you probably have a general idea of what a surgeon or nurse or psychologist does for a living, the role of a recreation therapist might not be on your radar – but rest assured these men and women play a vital role in modern health care.
Recreational therapy uses recreational activities to address the needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions. It improves a patient’s quality of life, increases independence, and promotes valued health care outcomes. Want to know more? Here are five facts related to recreational therapy:
- “Therapeutic recreation” is the field. “Recreational therapy” is the practice.
- Recreational therapy is extremely individualized to each person by his or her past, present and future interests and lifestyle.
- Professionals in this field can get credentialed as Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists.
- At VA, recreational therapy serves the Veteran population in cardiac rehabilitation, chronic illness, drug and alcohol abuse, geriatrics, psychiatrics, spinal cord injuries and general medical and surgical treatments.
- Our recreational therapy programs include games, sports, arts and crafts, music therapy, dance therapy, outdoor recreation and more.
Take a look at how the Washington DC VA Medical Center celebrated. And if you want to see a day in the life of a recreation therapist, watch this video from our friends at NIH.
To all of the recreation therapists everywhere: Happy Therapeutic Recreation Month and thank you for your dedication and hard work!
If you’re a recreation therapist – or studying to become one – you should consider a career with VA. We continue to be the largest employer of recreational therapists in the nation. Interested in other health care careers with VHA, find out more and Join VA.