Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic recreation specialists use exercise, music, games and other leisure activities to assist in the mental and physical rehabilitation of patients. Continue reading to learn about education options and careers in this field.

Inside Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic recreation is used in conjunction with medical treatment to improve the mental or physical abilities of patients by incorporating leisure activities into their care plans. A therapeutic recreation specialist is generally employed by a hospital, long-term care facility or in-home nursing agency and is responsible for planning and implementing activities based on the specific needs of a patient. For example, in a nursing home, where older patients are more likely to face mobility challenges, a therapeutic recreation specialist might organize a dance class, whereas in a facility that treats mental illness, he or she might encourage patients to play interactive games together to combat social isolation.

Education, Certification and Licensure Information

Degree programs in therapeutic recreation range from associate's to graduate level, though entrance into this field typically requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree. A small number of states have licensure requirements for therapeutic recreation specialists, while others require registration. Therapeutic recreation specialists also can pursue certification, which, though voluntary, is often preferred by employers and may be required in certain clinical settings.

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