Berryman, recreation director at Memorial Hospital for Cancer
and Allied Diseases, briefly summarizes the Second Southern
Regional Conference on Hospital Recreation, held at the University
of North Carolina:
got under way with one of the most challenging and thought provoking
speeches I have ever heard, when Alexander Reid Martin, M.D.,
of New York, representing the American Psychiatric Association,
spoke on A Philosophy of Recreation for the Mentally and
In the sessions
chaired by Irma Davis, recreation director at James Ewing Hospital;
New York, we discussed similarities and differences in programs
for children, tubercular, chronic, and short-term patients--and
also pointed out patients anxieties and fears and how
a recreation worker can help allay them.
of research, by Dr. Edith Ball, School of Education, New York
University, led to the conclusions that studies could be divided
into four categories ranging from the simple survey done by
senior students up to the complex studies done for doctoral
theses or by highly trained research teams. Contributions are
needed on all levels. Biggest problem is lack of money, so the
group voted to request The Council for the Advancement of Hospital
Recreation--at their next meeting, June 3--to appoint a committee
to outline, in the next six months, at least one study to be
presented to those foundations which have money available.
The group on
in-service training, led by Russell G. Range, chief of recreation,
Veterans Administration Hospital, Salisbury, North Carolina,
discussed the value of training ward aides to help in the recreation
program, and how best to train them. There was also discussion
on the importance of training and orienting volunteers, and
an exchange of ideas and experiences in handling this problem.
The panel on
mental and emotional ills, chaired by Paul Haun, M.D., assistant
professor of psychiatry, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem,
North Carolina, discussed seven important questions: (1) Is
the recreation worker a therapist? (2) What are the desirable
personality traits in a recreation worker? (3) What information
about the clinical status of the patient does the recreation
worker need? (4) Should the physician prescribe recreation activity?
(5) Do recreation activities afford a means for the expression
of feelings? (6) What techniques are useful in selecting recreation
workers? (7) What recreation programs are particularly adapted
to patients who are mentally ill?
The aim of the
panel was not to find specific answers for these questions,
but to stimulate interest in the problems and to exchange ideas
based on each workers experiences. They also pointed out
that each of these questions had ramifications that needed exploring
and the danger in coming to hasty conclusions.
The final meeting
on Tuesday afternoon was divided into three groups: military
hospitals; Veterans Administration Hospitals; and state, municipal,
county and private hospitals. Each group discussed problems
pertinent to their own situation.
to these workshops, there were patient demonstrations of recreation
for cerebral palsy children, the blind, and the mentally ill.
Special meetings included: a speech by Bernath E. Phillips,
Ph.D., Veterans Administration, on work simplifications; a discussion
and demonstration on music in hospitals led by Carl Meyers,
chief, Special Services, Veterans Administration, Oteen; and
a party demonstration given by Miss Ruth McCall, field director,
American Red cross, Fort Bragg.
I believe all
who attended the conference will unanimously agree it proved
to be most stimulating and informative. Due credit must be given
to all who assisted in and with the program, particularly to
the genial and gracious host Harold D. Meyer, who was responsible
for creating another milestone towards the advancement of hospital
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