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National Recreation Association magazine "Recreation"

Hospital Capsules by Beatrice H. Hill

1955, Volume 48, Page 350

The following report, by Martin W. Meyer, who is chairman of the Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation, presents the purposes of this new organization.

Progress in recreation for the physically and mentally handicapped individual, particularly within hospitals and institutions, has been rapid since the end of World War II and its direction often confused. When three professional organizations began representing the recreation leader functioning in this area, it became apparent that the energies and talents of the leaders in hospital recreation were being greatly dissipated by directives from the three and were often working in different directions. A planning meeting was therefore called to discuss the problem. Representatives of the Recreational Therapy Section, Recreation Division of AAHPER, the Hospital Section of the ARS, and the National Association of Recreation Therapists, met informally with the hospital consultant for the National Recreation Association in the offices of the National Education Association in Washington, D.C., on November 4, 1953.

At this meeting it was decided to form The Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation. The purposes of the council were stated as follows:

1. To provide a structure enabling professional organizations having members performing recreation functions in hospitals and institutions to work cooperatively, to raise professional standards.

2. To provide a structure for joint attack on problems; for example, better public relations, a clearing house for meetings, job analyses and classification, recognition as a profession, increased research, and recruiting qualified candidates.

3. To provide a structure for soliciting funds from philanthropic organizations or foundations.

4. To provide a structure for keeping the participating organizations informed of each other’s, meetings publications, and projects.

5. To explore the feasibility of amalgamating those professional organizations having members performing recreational functions in hospitals and institutions.

One of the most pressing problems facing the council was that of uniform professional standards, which would assure the patients in the hospitals throughout the country of a recreation service administered and directed by recreation leaders with the highest possible qualifications. It was at first thought that these standards should include only professionally trained recreation leaders. Owing to budgetary limitations and unavailability of trained recreation leadership, however, a sub-professional group is carrying a large portion of the hospital program, particularly in state hospitals, and usually under the supervision of one qualified recreation leader. Therefore, it was decided to include this sub-professional group.

To date, these standards have been approved by the Recreational Therapy Section, AAHPER, and the National Association of Recreation Therapists. The Hospital Section of the ARS will vote on the standards during their next annual meeting which will take place in Denver, Colorado, September 25-26, 1955.

The last meeting, held on June 3, 1955, in Washington, was devoted to the question of a voluntary national registration procedure. The proposed standards, when finally approved, will be the criteria used for registration. Several committees have been formed to study all aspects of this important problem. Their reports will be read at the next meeting of the council, at the 37th National Recreation Congress and the annual meeting of the American Recreation Society.

c: NRPA all rights reserved



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