Recreational therapy is a recent development in medical science which is proving to be extremely promising both in terms of its treatment potential as well as its ability to absorb labor. Recreational therapists are concerned with the therapeutic administration and treatments that give both medical and enjoyment benefit to the patients. They generally deal with accident victims and those suffering from chronic illnesses and disabilities. They use games and activities including music, dance sports and drama to help improve the patient’s mental and physical health. When regaining lost motor functions is not possible then the therapists help the patients understand and compensate for their losses. It is a very enjoyable profession. This combined with the recreational therapist salary is responsible for the growing competition in this field.
Depending on the years of experience, the annual recreational therapists’ salary ranges between $ 24,000 and $ 62,000. Nursing home facilities which are the major employer of recreational therapists’ provide them with a remuneration of $ 36,410 annually while those employed in general hospitals earn a mean wage of $ 44,840. The highest mean recreational therapist salary is earned by those working in the federal branch of the United States. Their pay is a whopping $ 63,250! Plus those with doctorates who teach at universities earn more than $ 50,000 a year.
Now that you know how much a recreational therapist makes, you will be wondering what the job entails. Well, basically a recreational therapist devises programs in music, sports and dance to help those with illnesses and disabilities to improve their self-confidence and relieve their anger and frustration. For example, through recreational activities people who find it difficult to interact in a social setting can improve their communication skills through playing in groups. So basically, as a recreational therapist, your job will be to plan and direct medically approved recreational programs for patients and organize activities according to their capabilities, interests and needs. In addition, you will also be required to work with assessments and medical records because recording data about the patient’s condition based on observation is an essential part of the job.
Apart from the recreational therapist salary and job description, you might also be wondering about the educational qualifications required. Well, the minimum qualification required at the entry level is a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation followed by a four year program leading to graduate degrees or certificates in recreational therapy. This coupled with work experience at nursing home facilities is a must. Plus, in some states, continuing education may be a requirement to maintain certification. Thus, recreational therapy requires focused and qualified people with excellent communication skills.
Lastly, as far as the job market is concerned, over the next decade the job opportunities are expected to increase by 15 per cent due to the aging of the population. Thus, the demand for recreational therapists in nursing home facilities is on the rise. So if you this is what you want to do, there is no better time to do it.
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