How does Recreation Therapy fit into the healthcare team?

There is little research that assesses healthcare interdisciplinary team member’s attitudes towards the role of a therapeutic recreation professional and how those attitudes affect their professional perspective of and ability to work collaboratively with them.

I could also find no literature or research that was directed to the marketing and promotion of recreation therapy.  For example; outside of the materials that can be found for recreation therapy month, which unless there is a dedicated budget and committee in place for the one-time event, recreation professionals often lack the manpower and resources to successfully market and promote the recreation therapist’s, or the profession’s role outside of the therapeutic recreation discipline.

I realize because of the numbers, therapeutic recreation is under-promoted as a profession.  I suspect also, that the fact that we have yet to successfully integrate a regulatory body into the profession and have varying education, specialties, applications, and modalities, that this reflects poorly on the professional standing and credibility that therapeutic recreation holds within the interdisciplinary healthcare team.

I am very interested in other healthcare professional’s perception of recreation therapy and our purpose.  I am convinced that the more understanding we have of our team member’s roles through education, awareness, and even job shadowing, we will display more respect, empathy, understanding, encouragement, and support for our fellow coworkers and our clients.

Below are two images that I put together that helps to explain how all of the disciplines work together to enhance the quality of life of our clients.

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