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Recreational Therapy Archives

1956 JHPER: National Recreational Therapy Section News

[ archives page | Index | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 ]

(Editor: Bernath E. Phillips from "52-'58)




Originally published in the January 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 1, page 52...

Significant Research

Martin W. Meyer, chairman of our Recreational Therapy Section, after approximately ten years with the VA Adapted Sports and Recreation programs, has accepted the position of Coordinator of Activity Therapy for the State of Indiana.

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ed. D. degree, which he received from the New York University in October, Dr. Meyer completed a study entitled "The Influence of Recreation Participation Upon the Behavior of the Schizophrenic Patients." Because of its material contribution to research in our professional area, and with hope that the study will stimulate further research of this calibre, the essentials of the study are herein presented.

Purpose of Study. The primary purpose of the study was to determine whether prescribed active participation in recreation can favorably influence the behavior of long-term, chronic, inactive, schizophrenic patients. Secondarily, the study proposed to determine whether prescription of activities based on pre-morbid experience is more beneficial than prescription of activities based on no pre-morbid experience.

Conduct of Study. The study involved 60 patients at the VA Hospital, Montrose, N. Y. These were divided into two experimental groups and one control group of 20 patients each. Data on pre-morbid experience was collected from patients' next of kin and other reliable sources. The three groups were matched on the basis of ratings of patients' behavior according to the Montrose Behavior Rating Scale. (See, Rackow, Leon L., et. al., "A Group Method for the Rapid Screening of Chronic Psychiatric Patients," The American Journal of Psychiatry, Feb. 1953.) This rating scale was also administered midway in, and at the termination of the experimental period, and results were handled statistically to determine the significance of any changes in behavior taking place during the six months experimental period.

Since the three groups of patients were together, they followed identical routines with the exception of the single variable of active participation in recreation activity as follows: The first experimental group was given a program of three activities, selected from patients' pre morbid histories, from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. daily for six months. The second experimental group was given a program of three activities which patients had not experienced prior to hospitalization, during the same hours and length of time. The control group, in lieu of participation, remained on the ward.

Findings. Briefly, the findings were these: (1) Patients not actively participating in recreation showed, after 3 and after 6 months, a marked unfavorable change in behavior, (2) Patients participating actively in recreation showed a favorable change in behavior after 3 and after 6 months, (3) Patients actively participating in recreation based upon their pre-morbid experience showed a more favorable change in behavior after 3 months (but not after 6 months) than patients actively participating in recreation based upon no pre-morbid experience.

Recreational Therapists Needed

Jean M. Doniger, director, Occupational Therapy, Neuropsychiatric Institute, Univ. Hospital, Univ. of Michigan, is recruiting a recreational therapist supervisor and two assistants interested in and qualified to work with disturbed children in a newly activated Children's Service. The new building in which this service is located includes such modern facilities as gymnasium, swimming pool, theater, and playgrounds. Those interested should write directly to Miss Doniger.

Recreational Therapy Meeting

The Recreational Therapy Section, Eastern District of AAHPER, under the Chairmanship of Ben Fiore, has announced plans for its meeting in Atlantic City, April 23 at 9 A.M. Your editor has accepted an invitation to address the group on "The Rationale of Recreation in Hospitals." What are the basic concepts, the philosophy, the firm foundations upon which we must build our relatively new profession? Do we need either to be recreators or therapists? Those feeling strongly along these lines are invited to forward their observations to your editor, along with related problems warranting discussion at the meeting.

Revised References

A revised edition of Selected References on Aging -An Annotated Bibliography, prepared by the Committee on Aging in the Dept. of Health Education and Welfare, may be obtained by forwarding 30Ę to the Supt. of Documents, Govt. Printing Office, Wash. 25. A well-annotated list of references entitled Hobby Publication--1955 Edition may be obtained free.

Champions by Setback

This is the title of a book about ten well-known athletes in varying sports who overcame physical handicaps to become champions. An interesting evening's reading, it is written by David King Boynick and published by Thomas Y. Crowell Co., New York, 1956.

Originally published in the February 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 2, page 52...

RT Convention Meetings

Four meetings have been selected for the Recreational Therapy Section at the 59th Convention of the AAHPER, to be held at the Conrad Hilton Hotel, Chicago, March 25-29.

Monday, March 26, 8:30 to 10:15 A.M.--BUSINESS MEETING, to discuss plans to stepping up the activities of the section; 1:15 to 6:00 P.M.- RESEARCH MEETING, to point up studies which have been completed, those under way, and those needed in our professional area.

Tuesday, March 27, 10:45 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.- PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION MEETING, to survey existing practices and needs in the education of recreational therapists; 4:15 to 5:00 P.M.- UTILIZING AGENCIES MEETING, to identify and learn of the services of the agencies using recreation in rehabilitation. Personnel of the highest professional standing have accepted invitations to conduct these meetings and the one hour and 45 minutes allocated for each meeting will permit extensive audience participation. Suggestions for the conduct or content of these meetings can be relayed to their chairmen through your editor.

RT Research

The Research Council's current annual report of Research Underway and Research Needed in Health Education, Physical Education, and Recreation indicates that:

∑ Robert Ehren, Univ. of Tenn. is engaged in "A Study of Recreational Pursuits and Interests of Patients in a Mental hospital Previous to Their Admission."

∑ Barbara Lois Underhill, Smith College, is conducting a study entitled "The Development of a Program of Recreation for Cerebral Palsy Patients of the Northampton Therapy Unit."

Safety Precaution

The VA Hospital in Northampton, Mass., reports the installation of a connection between the swimming pool in the basement of the recreation hall and a buzzer in the office of the Chief, Special Service, to be used to summon assistance in cases of emergency. Since the patient population is predominately neuropsychiatric, it would often be unwise for the Sports Leader to leave the pool to obtain needed assistance.

Scheduled NART Meeting

The Fourth Annual Convention of the Natl. Assn. of Recreational Therapists will be held at the Ohio Univ. Student Center in Athens, Ohio, March 8-11. The NART consists primarily of recreation personnel employed in state mental hospitals.

Prescribing Recreation

The September-October 1955 issue of the NART's Inter-State News contains an article by G. E. McCormick, chief of recreation at the VA Hospital, Marion, Ind., entitled "A Recreation Program of Specific Therapeutic Benefit for Scheduled Patients." This represents a paper presented at the Ninth Annual Governor's Conference on Recreation, held in Indianapolis last April. It not only relates the "why" but it specifies the "how" of the assigned and prescribed recreation program at Marion. Procedures and forms used in prescribing recreation, reporting patient progress to physicians, developing activity period guides and group schedules are clearly handled.

Group Therapy

One of the highlights of the Seventh Mental Hospital Institute held in Washington last October was the academic lecture by Jerome D. Frank, M.D., assoc. prof. of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine. His paper, "Group Therapy in the Mental hospital," has been published by the American Psychiatric Assn. Mental Hospital Service as the first in a series of monographs. Generally, the paper describes how group therapy programs can benefit hospitalized patients through direct influence on the patients themselves and by facilitating beneficial changes in the hospital organization; suggests that therapy groups are both expressions of the democratically oriented therapeutic community and necessary means towards this end. Copies of this 17-page monograph can be ordered from the APN Mental Hospital Service, 1785 Mass. Ave., N.W., Wash. 6, D. C., at 50 cents each, for less than five copies. Orders under $2.50 must be accompanied by cash.

Patients Need Recreation

In an article entitled "Hospital Patients Need Planned Recreation," appearing in The Modern Hospital, Nov. 1955, Joseph P. Peters and Bruce B. Grymbarm, M.D., state the conviction that whether patients stay in the hospital three days or three years, they benefit from a planned program of diversion. The article relates several principles and practices followed in the development of the recreation program at the Beekman-Downtown Hospital in New York City.

Originally published in the March 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 3, page 68...

References on Management

The following selected references are presented for the management-conscious hospital recreation leader and the educator engaged in the professional preparation of hospital recreation personnel.

∑ Advanced Management, (Published monthly by the Society for the Advancement of Management, Inc., 74 Fifth Ave., New York 11, N. Y.; $8.00 per year, index published annually and contents indexed in Industrial Arts Index).

∑ Casey, Robert S., and James W. Perry (editors), Punched Cards, New York; Reinhold Pub. Corp., 1951.

∑ Hammermill Paper Co., Recipe For An Orderly Desk (1954); How To Harness A Conference (1950); How To Design A Business Form (1946); Very Promptly Yours (1943); Three Steps That Get Things Done (1943). (May be obtained free from Hammermill Paper Co., 1141 E. Lake Rd., Erie, Pa., if the request is written on the letterhead of your organization.)

∑ Hospitals, published monthly by the American Hospital Association, 18 E. Division St., Chicago 10; $2.00-$3.00 per year.

∑ Jueris, Ray, "An Extra Hour Every Day," This Week Magazine, November 24, 1954 (Sunday Newspaper Supplement).

∑ Phillips, R. E., "Hospital Recreation is Unique," Journal of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, May 1952.

∑ __________, "The Conduct of Recreation in Hospitals," Intercom, Sept. 1954 (American Red Cross).

∑ __________, "Management Improvement in Hospital Recreation Through Work Simplification," Recreation for the Patient, Sept. 1955 (Bulletin No. 17, The N. C. Recreation Commission).

∑ Torry, George R., Office Management and Control, Homewood, Ill., Richard D. Irvin, Inc., 1953.

∑ Wright, Marion J., Improvement of Patient Care, New york; C. P. Putnam's Sons, 1954.

Food For Thought

In leading a discussion on mental and emotional ills at the Second Southern Regional Conference on Hospital Recreation last April, Paul Haun, M.D., asked several pointed questions for the recreation leader who would be a therapist.

Among these were the following: "Many patients get sick and recover without going to a hospital, without taking a dose of medicine, and without any attempt at self-treatment. Breathing, eating, emptying the bladder and the bowels, sleeping, walking (recreating)--these are things which happen to all of us sick and well. When they happen to a person who is sick, can we properly say they are therapeutic?

"Hospitals and hotels are alike in a great many respects. Both are shelters providing rooms and beds and furniture. Both have bathrooms, heating plants, business offices, fire escapes and electric lights. These, along with many other physical facilities and personal services, are necessary in the hotel as well as in the hospital. We do not consider them to be treatment when their locale is the hotel. Is there any sound basis for so considering them in the hospital?

"A patient dictates half a business contract to his attorney while a patient in the hospital. Having recovered from his illness, he moves to a hotel and there completes his work. Is the one part of his treatment and the other not? A college student plays four games of solitaire, two in his bedroom at home, and two while a patient in the local hospital. Which of the games is therapeutic?"

In identifying the traits of the hospital recreation leader, Dr. Haun asks, "How do these traits differ from those of the highly accomplished hostess? Making each guest feel the party is being held in his honor; catering to his individual preferences; steering the conversation away from the topics which are offensive to him; offering him group participation, but not forcing him to accept; bringing together individuals with kindred tastes; giving every indication of enjoying herself; being equally attentive to all her guests? is there a difference between the recreation leader and the accomplished hostess?

"Is there a difference between knowing how to help and knowing how to avoid hurting--in knowing the areas of one's life in which one can work and those from which one should stay away? Are you ready to deal with the total patient with all of his deepest anxieties or is it better for you to use the instrumentalities of your profession and avoid the areas in which you are inadequately trained to deal or in areas in which the chances of arousing anxiety in you might be so great that you would stay out of them?...Are there any advantages in the recreator not knowing the uttermost detail of the psychiatric patient under his care?"

Originally published in the April 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 4, page 52...

Bibliography of Bibliographies

From time to time your editor receives inquiries relative to the availability of a reliable, useful bibliography on recreation in hospitals and/or for the physically and mentally handicapped. There is no one completely satisfactory bibliography to which to refer inquirers. There are, however, several bibliographies or reference sources which will in turn point the way to further exploration of the literature:

∑ The National Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Inc., has published and regularly revised A Bibliography on Recreation for Physically Handicapped Children and Adults and A Bibliography on Camping with Crippled Children. These bibliographies are annotated and are supplemented. For a monthly bibliography for workers with the handicapped, Bulletin on Current Literature.

∑ In May 1954, Sidney Acuff and Elizabeth Denman, graduate students in hospital recreation at the University of Minnesota, compiled An Annotated Bibliography of References Concerning Hospital Recreation. Containing some 252 references, indexed by type of hospital, diagnostic group, and program area, this bibliography was distributed to all members of the Hospital Section of the American Recreation Society.

∑ The Center for Continuation Study, University of Minnesota, mimeographed an annotated Bibliography for Hospital Recreation Leaders in connection with the National Institute in Hospital Recreation held at the Center in May 1950.

∑ The North Carolina Recreation Commission has published A Selected Bibliography on Hospital Recreation as part of the Proceedings of the first area Southern Regional Hospital Recreation Institutes held at Univ. of N. C. in May 1953 and April 1955.

∑ The National Recreation Association periodically mimeographs lists of program-planning publications and articles having appeared in Recreation magazine under the heading "Recreation in Hospitals."

∑ In February 1946, the Hospital Service of the American National Red Cross mimeographed an annotated Bibliography--Hospital Recreation. The May 1954 issue of Intercom contains a selected Recreation Bibliography for those engaged in hospital recreation. Each June issue of Intercom, a publication dealing essentially with recreation in military hospitals, contains an index of articles during the previous year.

∑ Eleanor L. Wright has prepared An Annotated Bibliography of Articles on Swimming for the Handicapped (from 1942 through 1951) which contains 12 good references and is available from the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at 10 cents.

∑ The May-June 1955 issue of the Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation contained an "Index of Selected Items from This Column (Recreational Therapy), 1952-55." The February 1954 issue of this column under the title "Journal/References, 1951-53," lists some 14 articles pertaining to recreational therapy.

∑ For approximately ten years, the Veterans Administration has published Information Bulletins (now known as Program Guides) which are usually available for perusal at VA hospitals and domiciliaries. Recreation articles having appeared in these IB's are indexed in IB 6-227, A Bibliography for Special Services Information Bulletins Part I- Recreation Service, February 1952, and its Supplement No. 1 to Part I--Recreation Service, Jan. 15, 1953.

∑ Many texts contain excellent lists of selected references, examples of which are Valerie Hunt's Recreation for the Handicapped, George Stafford's Sports for the Handicapped, and John Davis' Clinical Applications of Recreational Therapy.

A bibliography on recreation for the handicapped in a medical setting, to be of maximum value to physicians and recreators, should probably be limited specifically in scope, should contain selected references only, should contain only those references in readily available form, should be well organized and annotated, and should be kept current. Few, if any, of the above bibliographies satisfy all of these criteria.

Minnesota's Third Institute

The University of Minnesota's Third Institute in Hospital Recreation will be held May 27-30, 1956, at the university's Center for Continuation Study in Minneapolis. Professional workers in medical and hospital recreation settings are eligible to attend; registration fee $3.00, tuition $7.00. At the Center room rates range from $2.25 to $3.00 and meals average $3.25 a day. Further information may be obtained from the Director, Center for Continuation Study, U. of Minn., Minneapolis 14.

Originally published in the May-June 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 5, page 52...

Can We Agree?

In chairing the panel discussion on "Professional Preparation of Recreational Therapists" at the March Convention of the AAHPER in Chicago, your editor introduced the topic by adding: "Can we agree...that a person needs recreation whether or not he is in the hospital...that he needs recreation as he needs food, exercise, rest, faith, and shelter...that those deficient in recreation, whether in content or kind, must be prescribed recreation just as those deficient in certain foods must be prescribed diets...that further, there are many in the hospital with no recreation deficiency who nevertheless need recreation just as there are those with no diet deficiency who must eat?

"If we can agree on this single reasoning, it is not, then, a case of whether or not recreation in the hospital is more Recreational Therapy than it is Therapeutic Recreation...or just plain Recreation. It is, in instances, all of these.

"Can we agree further to the term Recreational Therapist to identify the professional recreation leader who is engaged in "hospital recreation," "recreation in rehabilitation," in "recreational therapy?...the leader who in varying circumstances finds himself playing the role of the educator or therapist, as well as the recreator?"

The more than 100 in attendance at this meeting seemed to agree with the above concepts. Do You?

CAHR Progress

At its sixth, seventh, and eighth meetings (in Denver, September 1955; New York, January 1956; and Chicago March 1956), the Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation has made significant progress. The Council has now officially adopted personnel standards for Hospital Recreation Director, Leader, and, Aide, which are in essence, those reported in this column in January 1955.

There has also been constructed for approval by the three professional groups represented on the Council, a tentative plan for registration of personnel who can qualify under these standards. It is the Council's plan to effect wide distribution of the standards.

Chicago Convention Meetings

An estimated more than 200 individuals attended one or more of the four Recreational Therapy Section meetings held in conjunction with the Biennial Convention of the AAHPER in Chicago, March 26 and 27. In addition, 48 Veterans Administration Special Service personnel, representing 16 VA hospitals, VA's Central Office, and its St. Paul Area Medical Office, participated at closed meetings on the VA's hospital recreation.

These figures represent a significant increase in the number of meetings devoted to this specialized area at our national convention, as well as in the number of participants.

The first professional meeting consisted of the presentation of a Doctoral study on the "Influence of Active Participation in Recreation Upon Behavior of Schizophrenic Patients," followed by a critique thereon. Another pertained to the "Professional Preparation of Recreational Therapists," discussed by a panel consisting of leaders in the profession representing five institutions of higher learning. The third consisted on reports on "How Agencies Utilize Recreation in Rehabilitation" by representatives of six such agencies.

At the business meeting, Roger C. Boyd, chief, Special Service, VA Hospital, Downey, Ill., was elected Chairman-elect of our AAHPER Recreational Therapy Section. Martin W. Meyer, chairman for the past two years, turned over the duties of his office to Cecil W. Morgan, Director of Adult Vocational Services for United Cerebral Palsy Assn., who will serve for the next two years. Those interested in participating in the Section's activities are encouraged to let their interests be known through this column.

Professional Education Grants

The Illinois Department of Public Welfare has again announced its Employment-Education Program for Professional Training in its pamphlet of the same title. Through this program, college or university students within continental United States may receive tuition, stipends for living expenses, and certain travel expenses in return for their agreeing to work for the Department one calendar year for each academic year of education received under the program. Recreational Therapists are among those eligible to receive grants for the final year of undergraduate, graduate, or advanced professional education, depending upon the requirements of the Department and of the profession.

For further information, those interested in mental health should write the Assistant Deputy Director, Employment-Education Program (those interested in child welfare should write to the Superintendent of Child Welfare Service), Mental Health Service, Illinois Dept. of Public Welfare, 400 S. Spring St., Springfield, Ill.

Originally published in the September 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 6, page 68...

VA's Student Affiliate Program

The Veterans Administration recently established its standards for the conduct of a Student Affiliate Recreation Trainee program. Under this program, VA field stations may cooperate with accredited colleges and universities by providing opportunities for the training of students for the profession of Hospital Recreation.

The standards were developed out of experience with pilot programs at four VA hospitals and in continued liaison with selected representatives of colleges and universities and professional societies. Those desiring to explore the possibilities of affiliation should consult the Manager of the VA hospital with which affiliation is desired.

Marshall Field Award

The Marshall Field Awards were established in 1956 to help focus public attention on children's needs and on the areas in which improved services are required. One of the four areas of eligibility is Physical and Mental Development which includes health, medical care, nutrition, recreation, rehabilitation. Awards consist of $2,000, a scroll and a statuette. A minimum of six will be available annually.

The first awards will be made in December 1956 with nominations closing October 1st. For further information write Elma Phillipson, exec. sect. Marshall Field Awards, Inc., 598 Madison Ave., New York 22, N. Y.

References to Note

∑ American Red Cross, "What Do You Know About the Wards Assigned to You," Intercom, Feb. 1956. Contains a good in-service training and planning device for hospital recreation staff.

∑ Taaffe, Dorothy B., "Internal Staff Relationships," The Bulletin, American Recreation Society, March 1956. Miss Taaffe, ARS Recreation Consultant Service in Military Hospitals, discusses the importance of good communication in the conduct of recreation in hospitals.

∑ Hill, Beatrice H., Hospital Capsules," Recreation, June 1956. Mrs. Hill's column contains a brief report by Roscoe Brown of New York University, of a research project conducted last year at Bergen Pines Hospital, Paramus, N. J. The investigation pertained to the effect of recreation on 139 chronically ill patients.

Professional Meetings

∑ May 27-29, the University of Minnesota conducted its third Hospital Recreation Institute. There were 76 registrants, from 18 states, 38 of those representing VA and 29 state hospitals. Fifty one different faculties were represented. The keynote Speaker, Dale C. Cameron, director of medical services for the State of Minnesota, emphasized the importance of recreation in the treatment of the mentally ill due to its providing a medium for communication on the non-verbal level.

∑ On March 10, 150 representatives of four states, eight colleges, and numerous agencies and hospitals gathered in Hartford to study improved methods in swimming for the disabled. The meeting brought sharply into focus the 11 community and five camp swimming programs for the handicapped in the State of Connecticut. Copies of the institute proceedings are available at 25 cents; write Frank Robinson, Program Secretary, Conn. Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Inc., 740 Asylum Ave., Hartford.

∑ The American Occupational Therapy Association's 39th Annual Conference will be held at the Nicollet Hotel in Minneapolis, Sept. 28-Oct. 5, 1956.

A Philosophy of Recreation

Alexander Reid Martin, noted psychiatrist of New York City, in his opening address at the Second Southern Regional Conference on Hospital Recreation at the University of North Carolina, well reminded us of the following:

"Certainly, with mental hospital patients ...broadly speaking, our therapeutic goal is to help the patient live leisurely and not compulsively.

"As we all know, the recreation, the games, the craft, the hobby, per se, is not our first consideration, but rather how the patient applies himself, how the patient utilizes that particular hobby or recreation. Is he using the service of escaping from life, or in the service of enriching and broadening his life? Is he using it in the service of detaching himself from others, or in the service of getting close to others? Is he using it to prove himself, or to improve himself?

"It may be extremely difficult to recognize when a patient is using recreation for compulsive or for healthy motives. Here, the need for closer integration between psychiatry and recreation becomes more and more obvious."

Originally published in the October 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 7, page 52...

Reflections on Evaluation

Evaluation is an area of our professional endeavor in which one can clearly differentiate between the professional and the lay person; there is probably no other area in which the differentiation is so pronounced. We must recognize, therefore, that evaluation is an important responsibility of the recreation leader and that he must accept it as such; that it is not just a function tacked on to his other, more commonly recognized duties; that it is not in the description of his position for grade-determining purposes.

Many of us probably talk more and do less about evaluation than any other phase of our hospital recreation program. We do less actual planning for it; we rarely schedule for it, or budget time for it; we devote less time to studying its techniques. We give lip service to the essentiality of evaluation in our planning of programs with physicians and others--our getting out of ruts in scheduling, selection activities, systematizing jobs--our getting funds to support the programs--our improving the status of our profession and of ourselves. But, what do we do about evaluation???

Do we use accepted tools, such as attendance records, checklists, and report forms, in our evaluation? Do we get the advice and assistance of the clinical psychologist and other professional hospital personnel in planning and effecting our evaluation? Do we get truly representative opinion from which to appraise response to our services? Do we report to physicians on the behavior of selected patients? Have we a guide for the observation of this behavior? Have we, in effect, a defensible plan for evaluation of our recreation services to patients?

As in most endeavors, a major problem is that of getting started--of knowing where and when to start--of formulating a plan of action. The following are suggestions for action:

∑ Cooperatively develop your own approach to evaluation. Do it now with the best available help.

∑ Start on a modest scale; start with staff interests; start from where you are.

∑ Select a significant aspect of your program for initial exploration, such as its objectives, management, leadership, materials, activities, time schedules, participation, outcomes.

∑ Be as objective as possible. Seek to learn something and not to prove anything.

∑ Be systematic and continuous. Have a plan and make it work.

∑ Present your findings simply. Use bar diagrams, whole numbers, summarize on the first page of your report.

∑ Do something about what you learn. Follow-up on your evaluation. Schedule your next step in evaluation.

Two practical references are:...

Pratt, E. H., "Evaluation of a Good Hospital Recreation Program," pp. 53, 65, Hospital Recreation. Report of the First Southern Regional Institute on Hospital Recreation, Univ. of North Carolina, May 21, 22 and 23, 1953. Bull. No. 11, N. C. Recreation Commission, Education Bldg. Annex, Raleigh, N. C.

Taaffe, Dorothy, "Guide for Evaluation of a Hospital Recreation Program," pp. 1-8, Intercom, Oct. 1954.

Recreation for Discharged Patients

Recognizing the need to prepare mentally ill patients for their return to the community, the recreation staff (in coordination with the medical staff) at the Veterans Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., has developed a plan for orienting patients on recreation opportunities in the community and surrounding areas. This orientation consists of planned visits to selected community facilities by open-ward patients, so that they may learn the location and availability of these play areas, as well as observe the activities conducted therein. These visits are supplemented by periodic visits to the hospital by representatives of the City Recreation Department, for discussions with patients anticipating early discharge concerning the conditions under which community recreation resources may be made available to them after they leave the hospital. Reports on this program to date appear most favorable.

Hospital Recreation Study

At the suggestion of the AAHPER Recreational Therapy Section, the ARS Hospital Section and the NART, the National Recreation has undertaken a study of the current status of recreation in the approximately 9,000 hospitals in the United States.

Represented on the Advisory Committee for the study, in addition to the above three professional groups, are the American Medical Association, American National Red Cross, American Psychiatric Association, American Hospital Association, Veterans Administration, and U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. It is planned to collect data on the number of professional recreation personnel employed in hospitals, to inquire into their academic background and their administrative alignment in the hospital, and to determine the scope of hospital recreation programs.

Originally published in the November 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 8, page 52...

National Conference

Last June, the AAHPER Board of Directors approved a National Conference on Recreation for the Ill and Handicapped, to be conducted in Washington, D. C., during the fall of 1957. Although participation will not be limited to AAHPER members, it will be on invitation only.

It is imperative, therefore, that those interested submit their recommendations for the planning and conduct of this Conference at the earliest possible date. Recommendations should include the names of those who should be considered for leadership roles in the Conference and of those who should be invited to attend, as well as program topics. Recommendations may be made through your editor, or directly to Jackson M. Anderson, consultant in recreation and outdoor education, AAHPER 1201-16th St., N.W., Wash. 6, D. C.

Recreational Therapists Needed

Last summer, Gov. George M. Leader of Pennsylvania appointed a Professional Advisory Committee for State Careers in Occupational and Recreational Therapy. At the time, it was estimated that the state needed 319 members of these two professions. Since that time the state's Mental Health System has developed standards for recreation personnel to be employed in 18 psychiatric hospitals and four schools for the mentally retarded. Positions for which the State is now recruiting are as follows:

Activity Instructor ($3,742-$4,778).

Conducts activities under the direction of a recreation supervisor. Requires graduation from a four-year college or equivalent with training in a specialized activity field, such as arts, crafts, music, recreation, sports.

Institutional Music Teacher II ($5,007-$7,390).

Supervises music as part of the recreation program in a moderate-sized mental institution. Requires three years' experience with music in an institution and graduation from a four-year college with a major in music education.

Activity Program Supervisor I--Recreation ($5,529-$7,055).

Directs a broad recreation program in a moderate-sized mental hospital. Requires three years' experience in hospital recreation and a Master's degree or equivalent in an appropriate field.

Activity Program Supervisor II--Recreation ($6,090-$7,772).

Directs a broad recreation program in a large mental hospital. Requires five years' experience in hospital recreation and a Master's degree or equivalent in an appropriate field.

Activities Program Coordinator ($6,390-$8,163).

Coordinates occupational therapy, recreation, and industrial programs in a mental hospital. Requires six years' experience in activity in a mental hospital and a Master's degree or equivalent in an appropriate field.

Those interested should write to Elizabeth P. Ridgway, O.T.R., Occupational Therapy Consultant, Bureau of Mental Health, Department of Welfare, Harrisburg, Pa.

One Fundamental Principle

Over the years, and in different capacities, your editor has been asked certain questions, the answers to which seem to be linked directly to an understanding of one fundamental principle which underlies the conduct of recreation in hospitals. This principle is that hospital recreation personnel must at all times plan their services to patients with appropriate medical authority. Typical questions are the following:

∑ Considering our limitations in staff, should we provide most of our activities in the evening and on weekends, or should we devote our efforts to the conduct of weekday, daytime, scheduled activity periods?

∑ Should we attempt to offer activities for all patients or should we concentrate our efforts on smaller groups of patients with more or less favorable prognoses?

∑ How far should we go in "urging" patients to participate in activities?

∑ Should we include boxing in our programs?

∑ Are off-station strips, field days, carnivals, and special events of sufficient value to warrant the amount of time they consume?

∑ How far can we entrust the conduct of activities for patients to volunteers?

∑ What is the extent to which hospital aides should participate in the conduct of activities?

∑ Should each member of our recreation staff be assigned to work with specific types of patients, or should he be asked to assume responsibility for specific interest areas, such as sports, music, dramatics, and crafts?

∑ Considering his many other responsibilities, what percent of his time should the recreation leader devote to face-to-face contact with patients?

∑ Should the recreation leader conduct activities on prescription and submit written observations of patient behavior to patients' physicians?

The hospital recreation specialist must realize that solutions to the above problems can only be developed at his own hospital--in cooperative planning with patient's physicians and medical administrators.

The hospital recreation specialist who has such questions would do well to contemplate whether his recreation services are truly planned with physicians, or whether, in reality, only lip service is given to this basic concept.

Originally published in the December 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 9, page 52...

North Carolina Institute

Plans are now being developed for the conduct of the Third Southern Regional Institute on Hospital Recreation, to be held April 27-29, 1957 at the University of North Carolina. This biennial institute will be sponsored by the University, the Veterans Administration, the American National Red Cross, the North Carolina Recreation Commission, and other professional and service groups.

Additional information may be secured from Harold D. Meyer, Box 1139, Chapel Hill, N. C.

Professional Preparation in Hospital Recreation

At the 59th AAHPER Convention and at the recent International Recreation Congress there were conducted exceptionally well attended panel discussions on the education of specialists in hospital recreation. These meetings pointed up the fact that although the Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation has developed standards for the Hospital Recreation Director, Leader, and Aide (see this column, Jan. 1955), leaders of our profession do not yet agree upon the specific nature of the education of these specialists. Problems. Representative of the problems still faced are the following:

∑ Are we to educate primarily for the activity leadership, the program supervision, or the management function? Or, are we to attempt to educate for all three? If for all three, what is the relative importance of each at the undergraduate level and the graduate level?

∑ If we educate the student primarily for his first hospital recreation job which probably will be on the activity leadership level, will he need further education to assume the supervisory and management functions which come with advancement? Can this further education be accomplished through in service training?

∑ Should not the activity leader's first interest be in people? And, is it true that the more we become interested in subject matter, administration, research, the less likely we are to retain interest in people? Can the activity leader, then, have too much academic education?

∑ If we are to stress, particularly at the undergraduate level, education for the activity leadership function, should differentiation be made between educating for leadership in a mental hospital and in a general hospital? Does leadership in a hospital for retarded children differ from that in a veterans hospital, or in a crippled children's camp?

∑ Does the hospital recreation job differ significantly from other recreation positions? Less than a half dozen universities offer a specialty in hospital recreation, yet thousands of recreation personnel are doing creditable jobs in hospitals. Where do we hope eventually to improve this performance in the hospital setting?

∑ Can we set our education requirements too high for our own survival? Where are we going to get the number of highly qualified recreation leaders which certainly will be needed in greater numbers as the years pass? If our supply cannot meet the demand, who will fill the void?

∑ Recognizing that the lifeblood of any profession is research, how do we hope to encourage more research and develop an understanding of its importance and techniques, when we accept a trend toward eliminating the thesis requirement at the Master's level? To what extend do we plan to look to other professions for research in our field?

∑ If we were uniformly to require the theses for the Master's degree, would we develop poorer administrators, supervisors, and leaders at this level? Should we, then, encourage research primarily at the Doctorate level?

∑ At what level, or levels, should the student receive his field experience in hospital recreation? What should be the length of this internship and of what training should it consist? Trend Toward Agreement. It is encouraging to observe an increasing general concern in the above problems and to note a perceptible trend toward agreement on their solution. Eventually we will probably agree that the hospital recreation activity leader should have the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree in recreation with orientation and field experience in a hospital or clinic; that the hospital recreation supervisor and/or administrator should specialize in hospital recreation (or similar title) at the Master's level; and that true research in hospital recreation should, for the most part, be relegated to the Doctorate level.


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