(Editor: Benedict F. Fiore)
in the January 1959 JHPER, v30, issue 1, page 62...
Outside Help in Recreation
When hospital recreation
people get together at meetings or conferences, and the business
is completed, the conversation turns to program. If the "what"
and "how" of recreation activities are not taken up during
the meeting, they turn up at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Most of us can recall
presenting our pet programs, only to find that someone in a hospital
a thousand miles away is doing similar work--then we begin to feel
that there isn't really too much new or different in recreational
But to subscribe to this
kind of thinking, leaves no room to improve, adapt, or change, and
if we reach this point, we have failed to use all of the sources
of materials and ideas that can be of assistance to us.
One of these sources
is really near at hand; we are referring to the men and women in
the community who spend their after hours teaching youngsters, the
oldsters, or the handicapped how to play together.
You know them well. You
find them at the cub and brownie scout meetings or at any of the
other community organizations that need their talents and leadership
on a volunteer basis.
In Northampton, their
names happen to be Robert and Doris Young. Bob lends his skills
to the Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, and various church groups in town.
his wife conducts leadership training for the Cub Scout den mothers
and in her "spare" time lends Bob a hand with is boys
We asked these two if
they could stimulate our volunteers in ward programs. This was a
new approach to the "what" and "how." Would
the games and devices for youngsters interest adults? The Youngs
accepted the challenge.
We had an evening meeting,
turning our volunteers over to Bob and Doris. The Youngs broke the
ice safely, and in the course of the evening found nothing in their
bag of tricks which the group would not accept.
Games that were designed
for youngsters caught the eye of these volunteers who saw in them
something that would hold the attention of adults equally well.
Our volunteer leaders went from table to table trying out all the
games and puzzles, many of them made at home from wood, cloth or
leather, and making notes of everything they saw and knew they could
use in their ward programs.
The games and puzzles
were not too much different from those in any game room, but the
added ingredient was the infectious enthusiasm of the Youngs.
Look up the Bob Youngs
in your own community. In the day they may be busy in a shop or
store, but in the evenings and on weekends, they can do a fine job
for you and your volunteers.
Assistance from Within
The recreaton therapist
can draw on many sources outside the recreation field for assistance
in doing a better job for his patients. Several of these have been
mentioned previously. Now we would like to direct your attention
to those other paraphysician and paramedical services within the
confines of the hospital itself which must be consulted by those
whose responsibility it is to plan, supervise, or conduct recreation
programs for the mentally ill.
The following is a quotation
from the Program Guide for the Recreation Division, issued by the
Department of Medicine and Surgery of the Veterans Administration
on June 3, 1957. "Unlike the person employed in recreation
settings outside the hospital, the hospital recration leader has
immediately at his disposal a full measure of professional guidance
and assistance from such colleagues as the nurse, social worker,
psychologist, rehabilitation therapist, librarian, dietitian and
chaplain. (He receives aid also from the registrar, engineer supply
officer and others.) In his relationships with these personnel,
he should recognize that the exchange of ideas, information and
assistance is a 'two-way street.' It is imperative that he respect
the confidentiality with which he receives information on patients
and use this information wisely. Generally, and within limitations
of available staffs, the hospital recreation leader works with other
paramedical personnel in the following areas:
In planning the overall
program and scheduling specific activities.
In ascertaining patients'
interests and immediate needs.
In the orientation
and in-service training of recreation staff, volunteers, and
others assisting in the program.
In the conduct of
special projects, studies, and research.
In planning for the
patients' adjustment to the hospital and medical treatment,
and for his discharge from the hospital.
In keeping patients
and others informed of the recreational opportunities available
within the hospital's setting.
In actually assisting
in, or recruiting assistance for, the conduct of recreation
on the ward."
in the February 1959 JHPER, v30, issue 2, page 61...
Dance Therapy Study
We recently saw the mimeographed
report of the Dance Therapy Study Committee of the National Section
on Dance. This group included Claudia Hood, Bettie Wooten, Dorothy
Madden, and Marian Chace. The committee made a study of the courses
and literature available on dance therapy in mental hospitals. (An
article covering the report appears on page 17.)
Included are an interesting
summary of information gathered from twenty-five dance therapists
currently at work in hospital settings and the comments and suggestions
of the committee.
Requests for copies of
the five-page mimeographed report should be made to Claudia Hood,
1314 W. 93rd St., Los Angeles 44, California. We believe it will
be of interest to recreation therapists.
Square Dances for
While on the subject
of dances for mental patients mention should be made of the new
series of instructional films, records, and manuals on square dancing
produced by the Audio-Visual Center of Indiana University. The series
consists of six films, either in color or black and white, which
may be rented or purchased from the University. The music and calls
have also been recorded on tape. Author of the series is Janet McLean
of the Indiana University recreation staff.
New Game Book
Looking for new games
for your geriatric patients? Browse through the book "Games
for the Not So Young," by Syd Hedges, New York Philosophical
Library. The book is reviewed by Mildred K. Linzer in the April,
1958 issue of Mental Hygiene. Selected appropriately for the aging,
many of the games described are new to the American scene, including
many for two players.
for recreational therapists will be listed here in March.)
in the March 1959 JHPER, v30, issue 3, page 71...
We have always felt that
professional recreation people should attend at least one major
recreation conference each year--more if at all possible. It attendance
at such meetings must be limited to just one, because of time or
budget limitations, selection of that meeting should be made well
in advance of the time to pack the bag. This gives us the opportunity
to make the most judicious use of our choice and to attend the meeting
which holds the most promise or the one to which we can make the
The conference season
is now upon us; the time for deciding is at hand, and there is a
choice of several important professional meetings in April.
The Recreation Therapy
Section of the Eastern District AAHPER will hold its annual meeting
at the Ambassador Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on April 21,
from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. The topic of the meeting will be "Recreation
Programming." Chairman of the section is Barbara T. Waxham.
Panel speakers will be Paul Haun, director of educational institutions
and agencies for the state of New Jersey, who will speak on recreation
in psychiatric hospitals; John Jenny of the Department of Health,
Physical and Safety Education of Wilmington, Delaware, whose subject
will be recreation programs for the handicapped; and our contribution
to the meeting will be a discussion on organizing community resources
for the hospital recreation program.
At the Central District
Convention, held at Waterloo, Iowa, April 8-11, recreational therapists
can learn something at the two sessions of the therapeutics section,
on techniques and relationships to health. A Health Division meeting
on "Identifying and Solving Problems in Mental Health"
will also be useful.
While no recreation therapy
sections meet this year at the Midwest and Central District Conventions,
there are sessions at both which will be of interest to you. At
the Midwest District meeting, held in Indianapolis, April 15-17,
the Recreation Division will tackle the problems of "Status
and Proposed Plans for Certification of Recreation Personnel."
At the AAHPER national
convention in Portland, Oregon, March 20-April 2 (held in conjunction
with the Northwest and Southwest Districts), there are two special
meetings for the Recreational Therapy Section. On Monday, March
30, a morning session will discuss the topic "The Use of Recreation
in the Treatment of the Mentally, Ill." Thomas J. Clark, of
the Ohio State Department of Mental Health, and Robert C. Boyd,
VA Hospital, Downey, Illinois, will be the principal speakers. On
Monday afternoon, the topic will be "An Integrated Hospital
Recreation Program," and Dr. Clark will again lead the discussion.
General Recreation Division
meetings offer much to our group also. Governor Mark O. Hatfield,
of Oregon, will speak on "Cooperative Planning for Recreation,"
and the recreation tours on Tuesday include a trip to the Portland
Rehabilitation Center, Shriners Hospital (children), and the Barnes
A regional meeting of
interest to us has also been scheduled for April. The Fourth Southern
Regional Institute on Recreation in Hospitals will be held in Chapel
Hill at the University of North Carolina, on April 23-25. Some 100
recreation leaders working in the hospital setting will discuss
the "What, Why, and How of the Hospital Recreation Program."
These meetings present
a great opportunity for us. Attendance at such gatherings is one
of the ways we grow professionally.
Plan with Patient-Government
If our hospital recreation
program for the mentally ill is to be designed to meet the interest
and capabilities of our patients, we must consult these patients
to discover what their interests and capabilities are. It is not
enough that we plan the program around the direction of our medical
staff, the skills of our recreation therapists and volunteers, the
architecture of our hospital, the availability of equipment and
materials, or the annual budget. The patient himself must figure
prominently in our plans for his recreation.
The recreation leader
can discover these interests through the use of so-called "Recreation
Interest" sheets which are used in most hospitals and through
his personal contacts with patients. He can also make use of the
patients' organizations: the ward government groups and the patients
councils. These are excellent media both for the discovery of patients'
interests and the introduction of new programs. Such groups can
be used as a two-way channel for ideas to the patients and from
the patients. The use of patient-government groups for this purpose
gives the patients an opportunity to become partners with the therapist
in the planning of their own recreation programs.
in the April 1959 JHPER, v30, issue 4, page 71...
The word "idea"
is probably one of the most important in Mr. Webster's book for
recreation people everywhere. Whether we work in a hospital setting,
school, or industry, a part--and often all- of our thinking process
is working on ways and means to improve our program. In hospital
recreation we must develop new ideas around such general topics
as patient interests, motivation, and a varied schedule of activities.
Our search for ideas does not stop here, either.
Consider staff training,
all the aspects of the volunteer program, public relations, supplies,
equipment, and the control of property, office routine and record
keeping, just to mention some of the more important phases of hospital
recreation. We must think of better ways to carry out these responsibilities
if we want to do a more effective job, yet who among us has a corner
on the best way of doing any of these things?
A better way of improving
our operation is to draw on the ideas and suggestions of others.
These ideas can come from those who are a part of the program- patients,
recreation staff members, volunteers--and from others not at all
connected with it--therapists from other hospital services, nursing
personnel, technicians, etc.
Organized systems for
soliciting and gathering these new or different ideas about any
subject come under the general classification of creative thinking.
Many of you, no doubt, are familiar with the most publicized form
of creative thinking, brainstorming. Almost 20 years ago Alex F.
Osborn, a vice-president of a large advertising firm, conceived
the system of "group ideation" which has since become
so widely known as brainstorming. It has spread through industry,
schools, and many branches of government.
It is not our intent
here to describe brainstorming or explain its principles and rules
of procedure. We merely want to bring to your attention one more
tool for improving your hospital recreation program.
Not too long ago the
staff of a hospital for the mentally ill in New England held a training
course on creative thinking. The final meeting of the course was
the brainstorm session. After a spirited discussion on identification
of the subject for brainstorming the problem selected was "What
additional activities can volunteers carry on to improve their service
to mental patients?"
Invitations to join the
recreation staff for the brainstorm meeting were issued to a nurse,
a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a doctor, the chief of
housekeeping, and a dental technician. All participants were briefed
on the problem and given Osborn's four ground rules for brainstorming
a few days before the meeting was held.
At the end of 35-minutes
of brainstorming, the group came up with a total of 64 ideas on
volunteer activities. These were increased to an even 70 by the
"after-thoughts" collected over the telephone on the following
When the list was screened
by a panel of professional recreation staff members, 50 of the ideas
were discarded, 26 because they were already a part of the program
and 24 because they were not appropriate for that hospital. Twelve
were classified as promising but needing refinement or a change
in hospital policy before they could be adopted. Eight were accepted
as excellent additions to the existing list of activities.
Of the original 70 ideas
contributed by the group eight, or better than 11 percent, represented
new and helpful ways in which volunteers could make a better contribution
to the hospital's activities for the patients; and twelve, or better
than 17 percent, held a promise of usefulness. It is important to
this report to state that this survey took place at a hospital where
the volunteer program was firmly established and was currently served
by almost 1200 trained volunteers and over 5000 "casuals."
No doubt some of the
50 ideas which were passed over at this hospital could be implemented
at others where conditions were different. If you would like to
have a copy of all four lists, send a stamped self addressed envelope
to me at the address given at the top of this column.
in the May-June 1959 JHPER, v30, issue 5, page 55...
SWIMMING FOR THE HANDICAPPED
A report of the third
Institute on Swimming for the Physically Handicapped is now available
for distribution. This report covers the proceedings of an institute
which was devoted to a discussion of "Where are we and where
are we going?" with swimming for the handicapped.
The following topics
are covered in the report: Basic Thoughts Important to Swimming
Programs for the Physically Handicapped; Teaching Methods and Techniques;
Instructor-Swimmer Relationships; Adding Extra Values to your Program;
Relating your Program to the community. The report also includes
discussion of a skit which was presented, depicting a typical swimming
program and concerned with recruitment of swimmers, instructors,
and volunteers and procedures at the pool.
This is the fourth booklet
in the Recreation and Camping Department Monograph Series of the
Connecticut Society for Crippled Children and Adults (available
from the Society, 740 Asylum Ave., Hartford 5, Conn.).
The Society also has published a Directory of Recreation and Swimming
Programs for the Physically Handicapped in Connecticut which may
be requested at no charge.
Do you report to higher
authority? We all do, of course, in one way or another. When we
make our reports in writing our primary purpose is to have it read.
Charles G. Roswell, director, Hospital Services, United Hospital
Fund of New York City, recently prepared a list of ten points to
keep in mend while writing reports. It appeared in the January 16,
1959, issue of Hospitals, the journal of the American Hospital Association.
Try these aids on the next report you prepare:
so reports can be issued promptly and at regular intervals.
Decisions, based on ancient history tend to lose effectiveness.
Practice the are
of being brief and to the point. A detailed report is not necessarily
a meaningful report.
Learn to distinguish
between the important and unimportant. Separate the wheat from
Be accurate both
with statements made in the narrative form as well as in the
presentation of financial or statistical data.
State the case clearly
and concisely and in language the reader can understand.
employ techniques which simplify the data presented. Figures
can be more readily interpreted when rounded to show amounts
in even hundreds and thousands. Use statistical techniques that
convert large numbers into smaller units which can be more readily
digested by the reader.
Remember that reports
prepared for management will have limited meaning unless the
data presented are related to a standard or target which will
facilitate the evaluation of actual performance. The target
can take the form of a budget, a forecast, established standards,
or any other device that affords some basis for comparison.
Have the courage
to honestly report all facts whether they reflect favorable
or unfavorable circumstances.
Dramatize the presentation.
Within reason, charts and graphs should be used to reflect trends,
important words or phrases should be underscored, and arrows
or other symbols should be used to direct attention to important
facts. The judicious use of color can also improve the appearance
of the report. Do everything within reason to make reports interesting
and attractive to the reader.
Keep in mind that,
sooner or later, the cost of preparing reports is bound to be
balanced against the value of the information compiled. Therefore,
it is important to prepare reports that will be read and not
just filed away for possible future reference.
*Reprinted with permission
from Hospitals, Journal of the American Hospital Association 33:35;
January 16, 1959.