Beatrice H. Hill (Mrs. Hill is the NRA consultant on hospital recreation.)
Last May, Dr. Martin W. Meyer, coordinator of activities therapies for the State of Indiana, and I conferred in Chicago with Dr. Sarah Hardwicke of the American Hospital Association and Dr. John Hineman of the American Medical Association. We had been appointed by the Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation to press for AHA and the AMA acceptance of the standards which have been approved for hospital recreation workers by the three professional organizations belonging to the council.
Dr. Hardwicke stated that, before the AHA could publish these standards, hospital recreation must be recognized as a paramedical activity by the AMA – as are occupational therapy and physical therapy. Dr. Hineman said the AMA would be glad to help hospital recreation workers become an accredited paramedical group, but first the AMA Council on Medical Education must have a report on positions in hospital recreation and their relationship to the administrative and medical staff and an analysis of existing curriculums for hospital recreation leaders – to be submitted for approval and/or suggestions.
There is a great need for professional recognition of hospital recreation by the AHA and the AMA. The U.S. Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, while very interested in studies pertaining to occupational therapy and physical therapy, has not given the same consideration to hospital recreation. This condition is really the fault of those of us in the field. We haven’t sold ourselves to the powers that be! We must establish ourselves; and the way to achieve this is through a thorough study of where we stand today: a statistical analysis, summarization, and synthesis of our jobs, functions, relations to the total hospital picture – and, above all, our training.
A foundation is financing sucha study and has engaged a brilliant young research expert, Dr. John Silson. An outstanding committee has been formed to aid the National Recreation Association Hospital Recreation Service and Recreation Personnel Service to do a fine study of the field of hospital recreation. The committee consists of: Dr. Edith L. Ball, assistant professor of education, New York Universoty; Cllifford C. Bream, Jr., recreation director, Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C.; Dr. Daniel Blain, medical director, American Psychiatric Association, Washington, D.C.; Russell Dean, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Washington, D.C.; Dr. Gerald B. Fitzgerald, director of recreation training, University of Minnesota; Dr. Sarah Hardwicke, American Hospital Association, Chicago; Alfred Jensen, NRA Recreation Personnel Service; William Lawler, president of the National Association of Recreation Therapists and Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation; Dr. Harold D. Meyer, professor of sociology, University of North Carolina, and recreation consultant, North Carolina Recreation Commission; Dr. Martin W. Meyer, coordinator of activities therapies, Indiana Division of Mental Health, Indianapolis; Dr. Cecil W. Morgan, professor of physical education, Springfield College, Massachusetts; and Lillian Summers, consultant in recreation, American National Red Cross, Washington, D.C.
Reports on the progress of this study will appear in this column.