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Began August 1996

Thoughts on Licensure for Therapeutic Recreation

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If we have licensing, it should be from the State we live in and not from independent sources. It will be hard to change the way of thinking of facilities that we are comparable to other therapies and it would again start with the State. I do not see it happening in the near future at all. Maybe it would help us be regarded as professionals, if Recreation Departments stop having any manner of volunteers conduct programs. Volunteers are great but a lot of places have them run activities all over their schedules. Who is assessing the needs of these residents and bringing therapy into the program. The reason people think any one can do it is often because the
Posted by anonymous
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 10:30:14 (CDT), IP Address: 69183236120

Licensure moves our profession forward. Licensure makes it more likely for our services to be reimbursable by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Our profession is broad, and can be quite nebulous, but therein lies the beauty. It's up to YOU to develop a worthwhile program with depth. There are so many settings, and limitless ways to reach clients.
Posted by Swapan
Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 12:31:19 (EST), IP Address: 1534852241
Licensure is viewed by other professionals as an entry into a professional field. If we are not licensed or otherwise regulated, we are amateurs or not professionals. I have worked hard to meet professional requirements and to act in a professional way. Too many people think they know what RT is and that anyone can do it, but the danger is not in what they know, but what they don't know. Yes, my nephew can throw out a basketball, my niece can run a bingo, but they do not know when not to do these activities or why. My belief is that most students graduating with a bachelor degree in RT are not fully ready until they have worked for several years, and preferable have a masters, because the internships, the classes, and the exam are just the beginning of what you need to know. If I were a consumer or "other" therapist reading this thread, I would feel that TR/RT is a non profession. After many years in this field, in a state that now has licensure, I know the work that I do as a professional is valuable to participants, and some of my biggest supporters are other professionals. However, there are 2 things which have been an ongoing challenge. The first being that more often than not, I'm told by other professionals that the only RT they have ever met is me! Consumers have never even heard the term. In school systems IDEA related service info given to parents, the term TR is listed under a category of "other services - as necessary". I've worked with psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, teachers, principals, Dr's, administrators, etc. who have NEVER HEARD of our profession or have misconceptions about what it is i.e. Special Olympics, day care, etc. For each RT ... the profession is viewed by others as being what YOU do. Yes, sometimes you run into other therapists who think the profession is a joke. At one facility, we were not allowed to attend in services or meetings with other therapists because "it wouldn't be appropriate- we were adjunctive therapists". After doing an in service for the others, guess what. We were included in all their meetings. Often, they would consult with us. Other people do not understand the whys of what we do unless we tell them. They see us walk down the hall with balls or paintbrushes and assume we are just "fun". When they realize that we get more compliance and buy in from our patients, when they learn that we speak and understand "therapy talk", when they learn that we are very goal driven, they will start asking for help with their problem clients. I love the problem clients... they almost always respond to RT!! I make pay that is comparable to LCSW's, OT's, and other professionals. Some times it is as a contractor, sometimes as a direct employee and sometimes in private practice. No, the money is not usually offered until I negotiate the amount. I will not accept a low amount because I've worked hard, have 2 degrees, experience, and am good at what I do. If you accept the first offer, that is what you get. However if you are new to the field, get experience anyway you can at any pay. Many new TR's come to the job and say to administrators and others, "I'm a professional... now what do you want me to do". Usually, the others don't know, thats why they hired you! Network with other RT professionals. Sometime I have had to work other unrelated jobs to supplement my income because I will not accept substandard pay in RT. At times I would rather volunteer on my terms to educate others, then accept a position that doesn't match my view of professional work. However I always know that I am a professional and generally respected for my professionalism. I love what I do and work very hard at it. If you went into RT because you were looking for an easy way to be a professional, you are in the wrong field. IT'S NOT EASY.
Posted by anonymous
Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 15:38:14 (CST), IP Address: 241190249

personaly i like this field i'm really excited to know that people enjoy what we do for them and besides all that you get really attach to your clients. as far far as for the certification i think that it is a rip off you paying for a piece of paper that how i see it let them see you in action before they make a judgement because as far as eveyone else they can kiss my ass because we really work hard. just have a client smile is good enough for me
anonymous chad_425_AT_hotmail.com
- Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 02:55:42 (CST), IP Address: 192207173150

While I am on the fence about TR licensure, I have to say I am pretty disappointed to hear what other TR professionals are saying. Why would anyone else give you respect when you obviously don't take any pride in your work? If all you are doing as a TR is organizing parties and calling Bingo, I as a fellow CTRS, don't respect you either. What about individualized assessment plans and goals? How about instead of just creating a party, try running a morning cognitive stimulation program for Alzheimer's/Dementia patients. Also try a picture crossword puzzle to increase communication with an aphasic patient. Have a right sided stroke patient paint a picture using their left hand. Go on a community outing with a new spinal cord injury to work on adaption both physically and socially. COME ON TR'S!!! Where is your creativity??? We are supposed to use games, activities and other leisure situations to reduce or eliminate the effects of disabilities. If you can't advocate that, then perhaps the problem isn't the profession, it could just be not the right job for you.
anonymous msj784_AT_aol.com
- Saturday, December 22, 2007 at 12:07:12 (CST), IP Address: 7621187190
YES! NC is 1 of 3 states in the USA that require RT's to be licensed. Licensure will move us closer to being able to become a «reimbursible service» by the Centers for Medicaire/Medicaid Services (CMS) & help us all to get paid more! If copmanies can get reimbursed for our services they can pay us more. this also helps to bring us closer to PT & OT when it comes to being pay rates & nationally recognized.
anonymous recreational.therapist_AT_gmail.com
- Friday, October 12, 2007 at 08:36:27 (CDT), IP Address: 654016525
I don't have a problem with taking the test to get certified. I do have a problem, a huge problem, with the cost of maintaining certification and the CEU requirement. We are the lowest paid professionals in our hospital. There are very few opportunities for free or even inexpensive CEU training classes. I saw one just today from a school in Florida...just $299.00 and you can earn 1.5 CEU's. The subject? Planning an activity. I've been an RT for over 20 years. If I can't plan an activity by now, I've got bigger problems then CEU's. I live in the midwest so the yearly Midwest symposium is our main CEU opportunity. I used to enjoy this symposium when I was just starting out but it is geared for lay people or people just getting started. Who wants to pay hundreds of dollars to hear information they already know to get CEU's to maintain a certification that has done absolutely nothing to increase the average salary of the TR professional? Not me. To me, my 20 plus years of experience should be enough to keep my certification current. We're not going out there and actually «looking for opportunities to gain knowledge and further our professiional development
anonymous laf62_AT_sbcglobal.net
- Tuesday, October 09, 2007 at 15:55:27 (CDT), IP Address: 1681662215
Licensure would be a waste of time and money. We Recreation Therapist are under paid and yet we have to attend many seminars, pay ridiculous price to be a so call certified Recreation Therapist and pay our college tuition bills! That is why I got my Masters in something else. Yes it is all about the money not for respect for some organization. I am so mad at this profession, we don't get any respect and some one with a High School Diploma with experience can be a Recreation Therapist making more money then a college graduate who is a CTRS. Know I need a licence to call out bingo, organize parties, paint and ect. Please give me a break.
anonymous trini_boy007_AT_yahoo.com
- Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 16:39:29 (CDT), IP Address: 69137139219
Licensure? Why? I have been in this field post graduation for ten years and see no need for this.It wont make recreation therapists equals to other disciplines because we lack, for the most part, the knowledge, education and skills that other disciplines have. I am very good at what i do but i have always found this field very confining. You can only have the effect your role allows. I am a big believer in making your job something of value so that your patients can benefit, but lets be honest, someone with a H.S dipolma , some motivation and on the job training can do this work. I am also going back to school like others that have responded to this survey because i need to feel important in my work, like what i do actually makes a difference to the patient when they are discharged.
anonymous keetonj2005_AT_yahoo.com
- Tuesday, August 28, 2007 at 14:44:27 (CDT), IP Address: 19825416200
I was very disapointed to read how unprofessional many of these postings were. It is no wonder your co-workers have little respect for the profesion. It also seems as though many of you think that licensure will automatically bring forth respect from OT, PT and SLP. Respect comes from how well you do your job. I was recently hired by a facility (inpatient rehab) that had not had a TR program for years. Most of the staff had no idea what it was, or believed I was just "playing games". I started having treatment sessions in the gyms with the other therapist so that they could witness that I was working toward improved balance, fine motor skills, endurance and of course cognition. Everyday, I have shown my co-workers that I have a working knowledge of muscle groups, speech disorders and the difference in lobe injuries (TBI). All of my treatment is goal oriented and well documented. Of course, there are still a few stubborn therapists who do not see the value in what I do, but it is impossible to please everyone. I have been here only 5 months and have successfully started a TR program with a (goal oriented) community re-entry component. I was able to do this because I was determined to show my co-workers that TR is an asset. One person mentioned in a statement below that anyone with a high school diploma can do our job. My response to that is, you are not doing your job correctly. You should be using your degree everyday. Possibly there are some things NCTRC could change regarding CEU's. However, I'm not so sure that licensure is the answer to poor advocacy.
anonymous
- Thursday, December 07, 2006 at 12:41:23 (CST), IP Address: 679822216
The purpose of licensure should not be to get paid more but to make TRs more qualified and effective. The national certification as it currently is does not provide better qualified therapists. To maintain your certification you have to attend conferences for CEU's which they do not preapprove. I decided not to renew my certification based on this issue. I find it makes me more qualified to attend (and pay for on my own) conferences related to my area/expertise in therapeutic recreation. I should not be choosing conferences based on whether the CEU's will count or not. I feel having graduated from and accredited university and gained experience working as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist is more valuable then taking an exam and going to a few conferences. The idea of being licensed is good but the current system in TR is not effective.
Karen
Thursday, October 26, 2006 at 16:11:06 (CDT)
I believe that licensure is an important step for recreation therapists for several reasons. First and foremost, it provides a way to ensure that those calling themselves recreation therapists are qualified to do so. Secondly, licensure will enable us to receive the credibility and respect we have worked so hard for. I believe that licensure is the next logical step in the development of therapeutic recreation as a profession.
anonymous
Wednesday, October 11, 2006 at 21:12:25 (CDT)
House bill 613 shows that the Licensure bill passed for NC in March 05. What is the benefit of being Licensed vs. Certified?? Can we ask our employers for more money since we will be Licensed. This does not go into affect until 2008.
anonymous
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 at 11:49:12 (CDT)
I think that some of you will be upset after you read this. I have a Bachelors degree in Therapeutic Recreation. However, after my first semester in the major, I knew that this was not for me. My professor was honest and stated to us right away that the job market was very poor. I did not want to lose those credits so I completed TR but also picked up psychology as a double major . I knew that I always wanted to futher my education and I wanted to pursue the mental health field. My first job out of college was as a Recreation Therapist in mental health. As a kid right out of college, it was a decent job. But, they closed the department four months after I was hired. We were expendible. I was lucky enough to get a job in a physical rehabilition unit at a local hospital. There, literally was just "playing games." I felt like the physical, speech, and occupational therapists thought we were a joke. If there was ever a change in schedules, we were ALWAYS the first to be booted...and I couldn't blame them. Due to managed care, hospital stays are much shorter. They understandably needed other therapies more then Rec. Six months after I started that job, I was accepted to a Masters in Social Work program and graduated with high honors. I am now a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) providing community mental health services. I am NOW a respected professional who is taken seriously. I am credentialed and licensed. I am professionally insured by my profession's organization (National Association of Social Workers) I am taken seriously by all. In addition, there are VERY FEW jobs in TR, especially in the Midwest. This was a reality that I unfortunately had to share to several of my interns when I was a CTRS. I am very sorry if I offend anyone, but I would never recommend a career in Recreation Therapy to anyone. It is not taken seriously (I know from experience)and yes, our services can be done by others. When I go to professional conferences now, I am engaged in important, cutting edge discussions. I will never forget when I went to a TR conference and learned how to juggle. Isn't that what an activity director would do? The National Association of Social Workers fought long and hard to advance the social work field. The TR associations need to do the same and further clarify the field...and sell it...otherwise kiss it good-bye!
anonymous
Saturday, August 20, 2005 at 00:46:20 (CDT)
I think that Therapeutic Recreation Specialists should be licensed. A lot of other professions today do not appreciate the job they we as therapist do. They look at us as "activity people" and "play people" I think that it is very demeaning and cruel. I believe that we are to be respected and I think that once people see they we are licensed we will gain some respect. I am proud of my profession, I went to an accredited university, did a 15 week internship, have a decent job and passed the certification exam. I believe they if we are licensed that we deserve a lot more respect and deserve an increase in SALARY!
anonymous
Friday, May 20, 2005 at 15:50:03 (CDT)
It's been about nine years since this survey has started and it seems as though nothing has changed. We as professionals are divided and only complain about our circumstances. It is important for us to advocate the field and promote competency. Licensure in TR is the glue we need to strengthen our work. It guarantees a standard of ethics and professionalism. I know I have worked hard for my degree and I am working hard in the field. It bothers me when I encounter Occupational Therapist utilizing play/recreation as their modality of therapy. We need to safeguard our profession, be proud of co-workers, and encourage students to perform their best. This survey asked how people felt about licensure and only a small amount addressed that issue. Has anyone taken out the time to research the benefits of licensure? I am not fed up with the national or state associations; I am frustrated with the lack of action for licensure. We should be licensed already! April 2005
Arlene (California)
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 at 20:13:22 (CDT)
Hello, I am 55 and have been a Director of Therapeutic Recreation for almost 30 years now. After reading some of these comments I must say that the negativity is very upsetting. I believe that anyone who is truly challenging the field and viewing it as their profession has the incrediable ability to make it as respectable as they would like. Working with the elderly population has taught me that life needs to be valued and anything that we do either supports of weakens that value. I know how important my position is. I know that quality of life is the most important issue we, as Therapeutic Recreation Professionals can ahear to. Simply take away your ability to speak, see or your indepence to make simple daily choices and my point is made, quality of life...............that is what we provide and protect.
anonymous
Monday, April 04, 2005 at 16:31:07 (CDT)
I have been denied to sit for the CTRS Exam twice, b/c I do not have (2) support coursework credits. NCTRC is a joke! I graduated from an accredited college and recieved my B.S. in Recreation and Leisure Studies with TR as my concentration. Also I id my internship at a top-notch residential facilty (650 Hours). Now I find out that there are CTRS's out there who never went to an accredited agency, never did an internship, and are certified as a CTRS. My solution to this all is simple; Only accredited universities administer, an exam, that can only be taken by individuals, post-internship to achieve licensure as a Recreation Therapist. How about this for a thought, CPT (Certified Physical Therapist). Now that sounds crazy! RT sounds a lot better than CTRS! Currently I am on the rampage to change this whole system around. I am in contact with my past college professors, protesting NCTRC and their financially driven organization. Talking about politicians as currupt deviant fools. We can just look at NCTRC and visually see $400.00 cash go where? To someone that tells qualified applicants, sorry, you are short two credits! How the hell did I graduate then? I cannot graduate from X without the AARP/AALR requirements! I am not disgruntled, yet I am unsatisfied with the answer, sorry! WE NEED CHANGE AND WE NEED IT NOW!
P.M. New York State
Sunday, March 13, 2005 at 23:27:23 (CST)
After reading all the negativity on this page, it is disappointing to know the lack of pride these people have for our profession. No we are not expendable, and we are not activity directors. There are many of us who give up so easily and just go with the flow. Be proud of your profession make others understand what it is we truly do. We don't play games, or sit on our rear end. Let the people know what we assess and document, and why!! Many of us work in different ares of our profession, some in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, mental health, Long term care, private, etc. Recreation Therapist need to licensed to earn the respect we deserve, we do just as much as a Social worker or more, some of us have our case loads, what is the difference. We run therapeutic groups, anger management, coping skills, etc. These are groups that take time and energy to plan and incorporate. Never make us look bad, for those of you who are frustrated you need to find the meaning of what Recreation is about don't just settle on games and movies, look for other avenues that will create meaning for clients lives. What you put in is what you get out of it. Licensure, CTRS certification these are credentials and certifications that will only make you more marketable and valuable to an institution. Being licensed, and certified, is having respect and it shows that you have an interest in your field and that you are proud of being an RT. Wipe out the negativity and show these other people that RT is just as important as PT, OT and so on!!
C. DaSilva
Friday, March 04, 2005 at 14:02:24 (CST)
After reading all the negativity on this page, it is disappointing to know the lack of pride these people have for our profession. No we are not expendable, and we are activity not directors. There are many of us who give up so easily and just go with the flow. Be proud of your profession make others understand what it is we truly do. We don't play games, or sit on our rear end. Let the people know what we assess and document, and why!! Many of us work in different ares of our profession, some in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, mental health, Long term care, private, etc. Recreation Therapist need to licensed to earn the respect we deserve, we do just as much as a Social worker or more, some of us have our case loads, what is the difference. We run therapeutic groups, anger management, coping skills, etc. These are groups that take time and energy to plan and incorporate. Never make us look bad, for those of you who are frustrated you need to find the meaning of what Recreation is about don't just settle on games and movies, look for other avenues that will create meaning for clients lives. What you put in is what you get out of it. Licensure, CTRS certification these are credentials and certifications that will only make you more marketable and valuable to an institution. Being licensed, and certified, is having respect and it shows that you have an interest in your field and that you are proud of being an RT. Wipe out the negativity and show these other people that RT is just as important as PT, OT and so on!!
C. DaSilva
Friday, March 04, 2005 at 14:01:18 (CST)
After reading all the negativity on this page, it is disappointing to know the lack of pride these people have for our profession. No we are not expendable, and we are activity directors. There are many of us who give up so easily and just go with the flow. Be proud of your profession make others understand what it is we truly do. We don't play games, or sit on our rear end. Let the people know what we assess and document, and why!! Many of us work in different ares of our profession, some in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, mental health, Long term care, private, etc. Recreation Therapist need to licensed to earn the respect we deserve, we do just as much as a Social worker or more, some of us have our case loads, what is the difference. We run therapeutic groups, anger management, coping skills, etc. These are groups that take time and energy to plan and incorporate. Never make us look bad, for those of you who are frustrated you need to find the meaning of what Recreation is about don't just settle on games and movies, look for other avenues that will create meaning for clients lives. What you put in is what you get out of it. Licensure, CTRS certification these are credentials and certifications that will only make you more marketable and valuable to an institution. Being licensed, and certified, is having respect and it shows that you have an interest in your field and that you are proud of being an RT. Wipe out the negativity and show these other people that RT is just as important as PT, OT and so on!!
C. DaSilva
Friday, March 04, 2005 at 14:00:18 (CST)
THE RECREATIONAL THERAPY OF ANY LTC FACILITY MEANS QUALITY OF LIFE.WHY GIVE MEDICATIONS TO KEEP PEOPLE ALIVE AND NOT DEAL WITH QUALITY OF LIFE. WE WOULD GIVE FEWER DRUGS IF WE LOOKED AT RECREATIONAL THERAPY DIFFERENTLY.MY HUSBAND DIED.I HAD TO QUIET DOING ACTIVITIES AND RECREATIONAL THERAPY.I BELIEVE IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NURSINGHOME RESIDENTS.I WAS PAID SO LITTLE I HAD TO RESIGN AND BECOME A SOCIAL SERVICES DIRECTER.IT IS WRONG BUT, SOCIAL SERVICES IS MORE RESPECTED.TODAY I AM PAID MORE TO MONITOR THE RESIDENTS PSYCHTROPHIC DRUGS HE OR SHE PROBABLY WOULD NOT NEED IF THE NURSINGHOME WOULD HAVE A DESCENT RECREATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM..IT IS A SHAME.I NOT ONLY LOST MY HUSBAND.I LOST A CAREER I LOVED AND BELIEVED IN.MY NEEDS DO NOT MATTER BUT IT IS A SHAME HOM THIS COUNTRY TREATS THE ELDERLY.OUR CHIDREN WOULD NOT HAVE AN UNEDUCATED TEACHER.
anonymous
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 18:13:53 (CST)
THEY NEED TO STOP FACILITIES FROM BEING CHEAP AND HIRE QUALITY PEOPLE TO DO THE JOB.THEY UNDER PAY AND HAVE NO QUALITY.
anonymous
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 17:47:02 (CST)
I have been working in the RT field for about 3 years out of college. I am very discouraged with the field and feel that I am constantly defending my job to my colleagues and unfortunately myself. The real reason we can't get licensed is that RT is dispensable. We can be replaced with students, volunteers, high school graduates, Child Life, and OT. I am a therapist who actually makes a high salary. Even though I am recognized for my degree and certification, I know that there is little respect for what I do professionally at work. I can see from most of the responses to this board, that most people think licensed will bring a higher salary. This may be true, but chances are you will still feel replaceable and not respected. The salary will not change how we are viewed. Recreation therapy is extremely broad and our goals are in many ways exact to other disciplines. This makes it impossible to set ourselves aside from the rest. Licensure would be great, but RT would need to really make some divisions within the field and create quantum distinctions from social work, occupational therapy, speech pathology, physical therapy, child life specialists, teachers, creative art therapist (music, art, etc), and many more. A task that I don't see being fulfilled. This is why most RT's leave the field and go on to do above jobs, because those careers provide clear professional distinction which in most cases warrents a license.
Fed Up
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 at 02:37:13 (CST)
CTRS=Can't Take Recreation Seriously
anonymous
Monday, December 06, 2004 at 14:56:08 (CST)
I feel that Licensure is just crazy. Will this increase our salary, I think not. Sometjing needs to be done to incresae saleries not to play more money to the State.
Jason (NC)
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 at 15:09:48 (CDT)
I was licensed in the state of Utah. It did not make me a more competent therapist. I felt I was just giving more money to the state that was uncalled for. I did not get any more respect for having a license. I am for CTRS national certification only.
anonymous
Thursday, August 12, 2004 at 15:00:44 (CDT)
Maybe if many of us were to become CTRs then we would be gaining more respect versus being called Activities instead of Therapeutic Recreation. We can also show the other therapies that we too are ESSENTIAL.
alikyat
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 at 09:04:47 (CDT)
Having a college degree in Recreation Therapy sounds wonderful. Then after graduation still having to take a $300.oo exam just to be a CTRS with yearly dues is FOR THE BIRDS. WHAT A JOKE. We pay all that money to get a degree then we still have to beg our work place to pay our yearly dues. And they still won't pay us for the dues or to send us to conferences to fullfil our CTRS status. Most facilities will just hire anyone to do activities at min. wages. I personal feel like every CTRS should boycott paying their NCTRC dues next year and see what happens to the people who we really work for!!!!!!!!Meanwhile they don't do anything but rob rec therapist's of the money that we are able to make.
Lisa, Richmond-Kentucky
Tuesday, June 22, 2004 at 20:17:43 (CDT)
Having a college degree in Recreation Therapy sounds wonderful. Then after graduation still having to take a $300.oo exam just to be a CTRS with yearly dues is FOR THE BIRDS. WHAT A JOKE. We pay all that money to get a degree then we still have to beg our work place to pay our yearly dues. And they still won't pay us for the dues or to send us to conferences to fullfil our CTRS status. Most facilities will just hire anyone to do activities at min. wages. I personal feel like every CTRS should boycott paying their NCTRC dues next year and see what happens to the people who we really work for!!!!!!!!Meanwhile they don't do anything but rob rec therapist's of the money that we are able to make.
Lisa, Richmond-Kentucky
Tuesday, June 22, 2004 at 20:15:58 (CDT)
It doesn't really matter if we are licensed or not...people who are just out of highschool could probably do what we do and get paid the same. Why go through all the trouble of licensure?? Will it really matter??? I have worked in many different facilities and have not seen any working rec therapist over the age of 30-35....what this tells me is that people realize quickly that this is not a safe or secure profession. I am beginning to think that if I am going to work for NEXT TO NOTHING, I might as well go to Mcdonalds where the work is not stressful and I dont have to do much. There is no way you can make a living off a rec therapists' salary...and those statistics that you see where people are making 18-22 dollars an hour as a rec therapist, they have probably been working at that same facility for over 20 years...that is sad. Well, I personally don't think licensure will really gain us any more respect or pay.
anonymous
Tuesday, May 25, 2004 at 15:09:24 (CDT)
I think that licensure would be a great way to gain some legal representation... but I think that our profession would be taken a little more seriously if there were only one professional organization that would encompass all of the aspects of our job. That to me is a more effective way to gain the respect that we deserve for the work that we do.
anonymous
Friday, January 24, 2003 at 12:18:13 (CST)
Therapeutic Recreation specialists need to be licensed and not just certified. Most of us are serving many more patients in group settings in one month then any other discipline see in a year. Many disciplines use play or recreational settings to meet treatment goals. So maybe other disciplines are already educated about what we do and why it is so successful. I have spoken to many other disciplines and they feel CTRS's need to be licensed. At my setting other disciplines feel we are long past due. This will bring some professionalism to our discipline.
anonymous
Saturday, June 01, 2002 at 08:23:02 (CDT)
Licensure is essential for the continued promotion of TR as a valid treatment modality. It will hold clout with government and offer the necessary recognition comparable to other paraprofessions such as OT, Physio, Social Work, etc. However, Licensure and certification together is not acceptable. It would, in my estimation, be qualification overkill and put us right back in our current position of trying to destigmatize the profession as being one occupied by jocks. Having said that, might I remind everyone who have stringent views on qualifications that we are a profession of diversity. Diversity in our ranks has made the TR profession what it is today; a unique, dynamic culture of individuals from a variety of educational and experiental backgrounds that lends itself to a more vast diversity of clients whom we serve. Until we can firmly identify and establish ourselves as concrete therapeutic profession , we will always be eliminated for professions such as OT that have a distinct identity and purpose (don't forget, their model promotes the use of recreation and leisure)and many of our models utilize ADL's (distinctly an OT term) as a function of leisure and recreation. So, debate the cause for licensure, but continue to educate as many as possible to the meaning and purpose of Therapeutic Recreation.
anonymous
Tuesday, May 28, 2002 at 21:57:14 (CDT)
Licensure is a must if we are to be a professional organization as other disciplines with equal pay and equal say. We are not just certified ancillary staff who do equal or more work along with other disciplines. What are we running a charity ward with professionals who go beyond the call of duty who work hard and are appreciated but who work dirt cheap? I say we need to bill by the hour every single patient we do therapy with daily. Providing Leisure experiences is fun but doing this work out of the total goodness of our hearts without monetary rewards is not fulfilling. I say organizations are having the last laugh on us. Organizations need to have a flow experience of more dollars for CTRS's. This would show organizational appreciation for a clinicians job well done. Having CTRS's Certified AND Licenced I believe would allow us to bill patients at a higher rate and provide us with more in our paycheck. We have to go through the same if not more school training and field work experience then many other licenced programs. We need to be compensated for the many years of experience schooling and credentials we bring to an organization. TR requires special trainning. Running large groups and providing our individual programs usally requires alot of time. Time we are definitely not compensated for.Our profession becoming licensed would bring us more respect professionally from other disciplines. All states need to unite.
anonymous
Saturday, May 18, 2002 at 19:11:13 (CDT)
Licensure is a must if we are to be a professional organization as other disciplines with equal pay and equal say. We are not just certified ancillary staff who do equal or more work along with other disciplines. What are we running a charity ward with professionals who go beyond the call of duty who work hard and are appreciated but who work dirt cheap? I say we need to bill by the hour every single patient we do therapy with daily. Providing Leisur experiences is fun but doing this work out of the total goodness of our hearts without monetary rewards is not fulfilling. I say organizations are having the last laugh on us. Organizations need to have a flow experience of more dollars for CTRS's. This would show organizational appreciation for a clinicians job well done. Having CTRS's Certified AND Licenced I believe would allow us to bill patients at a higher rate and provide us with more in our paycheck. We have to go through the same if not more school training and field work experience then many other licenced programs. We need to be compensated for the many years of experience schooling and credentials we bring to an organization. TR requires special trainning. Running large groups and providing our individual programs usally requires alot of time. Time we are definitely not compensated for.Our profession becoming licensed would bring us more respect professionally from other disciplines. All states need to unite.
anonymous
Saturday, May 18, 2002 at 19:06:19 (CDT)
Licensure will only occur through the lobbying efforts of our professioanl organizations such as ATRA or NCTRC. The problem is that ATRA is tight with NCTRC who is not in favor of licensure. If Recreation Therapists have an option to become licensed then we would not need NCTRC for certification. NCTRC is not going to advocate to put themselves out of business. I believe we need licensure in the field. We are the only professioanls on the treatment teams without it. I believe that the standards to get a license should be much higher than that currently used by NCTRC. Somehow we need to test skills not knowledge.
Bill Garrison
Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 10:59:54 (CST)
I feel that licensure is a must. Over the past few years I have seen policies from HCFA and fiscal intermediaries for the population that I work with that e basically indicate that TR is only diversional in nature, therefore "Activity Therapy" is not a provided service. If a program is unable to bill for a certain service, then why should they have that professional on their team? We need to protect our profession. If HFCA is doing this to the program I work in, then what population is next?
anonymous
Friday, October 12, 2001 at 18:04:50 (CDT)
I absolutely think it's important. It makes recreationists more accountable for the work they do, those they work for and with, as well as our own professionalism. I believe it will help us all to be more focused in care planning and approach. There are some valid concerns out there though.
Brandy
Sunday, August 26, 2001 at 13:49:56 (CDT)
I feel that having a license is a very good idea. It makes therapeutic recreation more of a profession, then just "You play games". More people will hear about our profession and gain a greater understanding in what we do. I think that we also would have greater respect from others working in different fields.
anonymous
Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 18:18:15 (CDT)
Licensure / certifications in TR a Must!! With many years in this field I hear some say "anyone can perform TR" treatment sessions. I think its "a matter of Quality not Quantity". So why bother going to school and get training ? Why get yourself certified with NCTRS ? Wouldn't it be nice to feel that the treatment you provide for your consumers has a degree of excellences. Lets face it you would want the best for your loved ones wouldn't you. Things have improved over the years but have a long way to go. Be proud of the work you do.
Rose CTRS
Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 13:16:11 (CDT)
Licensure is a great idea. Have you ever looked around the table during treatment planning meetings? You are most likely the only professional without a license. Why? I do not hink we will ever see licensure for Recreation Therapists because NCTRC and ATRA would never advocate for it. If we were able to be licensed then why would we need certification?
Bill Garrison, CTRS
Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 13:36:29 (CDT)
2 Yr. Degree
anonymous
Monday, May 28, 2001 at 18:52:26 (CDT)
Since therapeutic recreation is a "no harm" therapy, licensure is not needed. It seems to me that all we are doing by being licensed is seeking a raise in pay. This is an exercise in futility. More efficacy based research will further standing among the professionals we work along side of. The high pay must be earned the old fashioned way.
anonymous
Saturday, January 20, 2001 at 00:37:54 (CST)
Recreation Professionals should have to pay a licensure like Physio and O.T. I think it's the only way to be seen as professionals, a licensure for recreation staff may also force employers to higher educated people in Recreation. In the facility I work at in Canada we just hired two Recreation Therapists, one doesn't even have a grade twelve education, and the other has a Education and Psych degree, what education do either of these people have to work in recreation. NONE as far as I am concerned. Maybe with a Licensure this practice of hiring unqualified people would be avoided. Maybe once were recognized as professionals in Canada will no longer make just a $1.40/hr more then the cleaning staff that require an elementary education.
anonymous
Friday, January 19, 2001 at 16:04:24 (CST)
If license is to be required by any facility for the TRS, should the facility be oligated to pay the college graduate in TR a professional level income(middle class standing),at the time the certification begins? If individuals are expected to pay for license every year, to retain professional status,shouldn't the livable income be comfortable enough so that the professional lives within the professional status life style? $15,000-$20,000/yr. in a town of pop. 20,000 is only surivial. So wouldn't an income of only $20,000-$30,000 in a town of pop. 30,000- 100,000 be only survivial? If facilities, ATRA, and NTRC, want TRS's to be certified, shouldn't there be an obligation to pay certified CTRS(college graduates)an income beyound survivial means!TRS's need to be financially funded the same as Occupational Therapists, pysical therapists,teachers,ect.
anonymous
Tuesday, October 31, 2000 at 19:49:54 (CST)
I work in VA in a state psych. facility and a nearby state facility hires people with general recreation degrees and they are paid more than many of our CTRS's. If we were licensed it would help, but if being a CTRS was a requirement of our position it should also help. How many of you are in positions where being a CTRS is only preferred.
anonymous
Friday, October 20, 2000 at 08:44:23 (CDT)
I think that it is a good idea, it provides a network of proessionals (possibly world wide), opportunity to run statistics on the number of professionals in the workplace and also on retention rates and where the professsionals are working.
anonymous
Monday, August 21, 2000 at 19:28:34 (CDT)
There is no excuse for not having Recreation Therapists licensed. The field of TR is totally behind our peers such as Occupational Therapists. OTs are registered with their association and they are Licensed, i.e., OTR/L The designation of "licensed" means that no one else can "safely" do a particular job without the proper training. It's about time that TR professionals were acknowledged as "trained professionals" and the public realized this training. The NCTRC is afraid to "share" any authority, but we would all benefit from licensing. CTRSs would still be willing to send their renewal money to NCTRS as well as pay for a license. As time passes, it will become more and more difficult to convince anyone that the public would benefit from "trained" TR professionals since there are more and more people doing "our jobs" each day. We cannot drag our feet any longer or we will lose our chance at advancement of our professional from licensure.
Dr. Susan Quattrochi-Tubin, PhD, CTRS
Monday, July 31, 2000 at 16:23:46 (CDT)
There is no excuse for not having Recreation Therapists licensed. The field of TR is totally behind our peers such as Occupational Therapists. OTs are registered with their association and they are Licensed, i.e., OTR/L The designation of "licensed" means that no one else can "safely" do a particular job without the proper training. It's about time that TR professionals were acknowledged as "trained professionals" and the public realized this training. The NCTRC is afraid to "share" any authority, but we would all benefit from licensing. CTRSs would still be willing to send their renewal money to NCTRS as well as pay for a license. As time passes, it will become more and more difficult to convince anyone that the public would benefit from "trained" TR professionals since there are more and more people doing "our jobs" each day. We cannot drag our feet any longer or we will lose our chance at advancement of our professional from licensure.
anonymous
Monday, July 31, 2000 at 16:22:58 (CDT)
a national issue; therefore, it will not make us more standardized as a profession. However, in many states, licensure is required for reimbursement due to the state laws on insurance, health care, etc. For some professions, licensure is nothing more than "pay your fee and get your paper" with no overseeing to protect the public from inappropriate services. For other professions, licensure is backed up by a professional board which oversees licensing issues, disciplinary issues, etc. For most professions, it lies somewhere in-between. Do we need licensure? It depends on how the state sets it up.
anonymous
Tuesday, November 02, 1999 at 16:04:19 (CST)
I agree with most responses. There are two major stumbling blocks to RT Liscensure. One is the fact that LTC needs to be more respected by the human race at large. There are intrinsic problems with that: Often people are placed in long term care and have no family that has the guts to care about them anymore... thats one of the reasons they may be there (in LTC), or they have no family. Also our society is youth oriented. Youth is worshiped and aging or the aged are feared... like with homeless people- many times society wants to turn thier heads.. I am amazed by the responses I get sometimes when I tell people what I do...many grimace like it's some kind of dirty chore. They couldn't be more wrong. We all (the human race) should be revereing the aged and we can help promote that by telling others about this concept that seems to have tragically been forgotten. Second intrinsic problem is corporate run LTC. I have always been deeply sad about how these companys try to make as much money as they can off of very old, very sick people. You all know the realities of absolute minumum care that goes on while people are lining thier pockets with cash because of it. Sure I would like to make a decent living wage for my services as an RT but what I'm talking about is corporate profit not wages. I recently spoke with a RT director that said they had double the RT staff before being bought by a huge company. Most of you probably know similar stories or are living one now- working you're butt off spreading yourself so thin and getting payed so little that's it's insane. So it's the public sentiment and the corporate profit that keeps the RT profession so low on the totem pole. Public sentiment is slowly changing and that may even begin to change the corporate profit thing someday. Liscensure and legislation have very little to do with the underlining intrinsic problems that I have explained. Im tired of hearing people blab about how they can liscense or legislated the underlining problems away. Lets get to the core of whats going on! Talk to you're fellow staffers, tell them how important RT is. Show them! Work together with them. Tell everyone you know about the problems I've mentioned. Get people talking about it. All of us are part of how this whole thing can and should get so much better. Thanks for listening and please email me you're thoughts- to drdeanman@aol.com
drdeanman@aol.com
Wednesday, June 30, 1999 at 18:36:26 (CDT)
c.t.r.s. is recognized by nursing homes inspectors in pa. The employees do not have to be certified, but it is expected that a c.t.r.s. be asked to consult the nursing home on their programs. It is still along way from actual professional practice. Nursing Homes still see activities programs as an expense that they do not want. Their programs are to read the newspaper to residents, have church services, penny bingo, old movie reruns of lawrence welk music shows, or take out to the patio to get some sun. They see it as busy time. They want the activities person to get the residents to the program. The nurses aides' do not help and are told not to help. They are told that activities are not related to nursing services. Often patients are in bed for their afternoon naps; even when nursing knows that there is a special program scheduled planned for them. Unless the Administrator of nursing backs up the activities programs, there will not be the necessary support to get residents to the programs.The general attitude is that anyone can do activities. ANYONE can call bingo or turn on the v.c.r. to show musical programs. I am talking not just about poor looking nursing homes, but very expensive nursing homes as well. The general attitude is that if we can cut expenses, have volunteers do the programs, if possible.Get people to donate their services. The nursing home industry in pennsylvania want the cheapest services that is possible to have in therapeutic recreation and do what is only needed to do to fullfill the letter of the law.Even a licensure requirement won't change their services, if the money and administration support is not in existence.
anonymous
Sunday, June 27, 1999 at 06:20:49 (CDT)
Licensure is needed. There are too many inconsistancies in this "Profession". Certification has not helped but it is the only way to measure competency at the present time. It's too bad that the states who have obtained licensure have let it slide. There needs to be standards of how practitioners treat, and there is not at this time. I feel licensure would do a better job in competecy measures, but this will only occur if those in the field promote from within and educate as to the value of competent, degreed professionals.vs the cheaper hire in those without these same skills. Too many people are turning their heads and letteng the practice of hiring unqualified individuals continue.
anonymous
Monday, April 05, 1999 at 20:17:15 (CDT)
I feel in order to be considered a professional one must have a license to practice in their field of study. I plan on becomming certified, simply because of the hard work that I dedicated to the study in the field of recreational therapy. When asked what defines a profession, a good response would be that the profession utilizes an organized body of knowledge, they have organizations and institutions, professional authority given/sanctioned by the general public, and establishes a code of ethics and standards that guide professional practice. Standards that guide a professional practice should include liscensure. The NCLEX exam is established for the nursing student to work as a liscensed nurse upon passing the exam. This exam insures that the nurse can practice those nursing skills using minimun safety standards set by the nursing profession. Furthermore, if we are to be considered a professional then all states should require licensure.
Steve McKinney, Eastern Kentucky University
Tuesday, March 30, 1999 at 17:30:19 (CST)
I currently work with a Music Therapist who is the director of our Therapeutic Recreation Department. Don't get me wrong, she does a great job, but we have different views on certain things. Our education is different in many ways: hers focusing more on music and mine more on Leisure Education. I have no incentive to get certified right now. The pay is not more and unfortunately, facilities are hiring several different "degrees" to direct T.R. Departments. I think some of our problems are because of situations like mine.....
anonymous
Sunday, March 07, 1999 at 22:21:28 (CST)
It is not until we as CTRS's are licensed that we will get the same respect/pay/reimbursements that PT/OT's get. I don't know about you but I feel that I as a CTRS get put on the back burner and labled as the "activity girl". Most facilities in PA do not respect our profession and licensure is one way to change that!
anonymous
Wednesday, March 03, 1999 at 14:14:03 (CST)
I feel that Certifacation for Therapeutic Recreation Specialist is very important to the Therapeutic Recreati on Profession as a whole
anonymous
Wednesday, February 03, 1999 at 22:41:05 (CST)
I am in favor of licensure. What really gets my nanny is that I worked very hard to get my certification. I now work in a LTC facility. The rec department has 9 staff members, only 1 is a CTRS (ME) Three people are Music therapist one is a few credits from a social worker, My boss had a few TR classes, one person has worke at the facility for 20 years doing rec and a CNA. They ALL wear a badge that says Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Please dont get me wrong, they are wonderful to work with I like them very much, The Certified Music Thereapist do a great job. BUT This is the ONLY field that allows such crossing of the paths. I cant work as a nurse, teacher, a social worker, a music therapist, a CNA or a head of department in any other field with out the proper credentials, YET WE allow anyone to do what weve been trained to do. I feel like a STEP CHILD. Something has got to change if we want valadation for our field. Thank you for this opportunity! I feel better now but these opinions need to go farther than here.
anonymous
Saturday, January 16, 1999 at 06:14:27 (CST)
It is important! We want to br recognized as profesionals,and we work along side others daily who spent long hours to earn their credentials. Those who aren't certified and are currently working the the RT field need to do so. I do feel the facility in which the individual works should pay for, or help out greatly with the costs though. It makes a facility look better to have nationally recognized certified people working for them. It also raises the pay scale and sets standards. If someone is hired without certification the facility agreement should be the person is obligated to become certified within a given amount of time, with the incentive of a pay raise after the certification is completed. It drags down the profession at times to have such a mixed bag of requirements to be a TR director/supervisor.
anonymous
Saturday, January 09, 1999 at 09:53:31 (CST)
There sure are a lot of misconceptions about licensure out there in "TR World". Licensure is not easy to get or maintain. Georgia was not successful in keeping state licensure because they could not effectively monitor the process or demonstrate that licensure would protect the public from harm (or in fact that harm to consumers was a danger from non-licensed TR practitioners). Licensure exists to protect the public, not to promote the profession.
anonymous
Thursday, December 24, 1998 at 06:27:02 (CST)

I feel that people that practice TR or RT should be certified to practice. The only probem is that a lot of hospitals will will hire some one who is not certified to not pay as much to some one who is not certified.

I feel Licensure is a way to futher promote the therapeutic recreation profession.

I believe that we who have attended universities to pursue careers in T.R. are getting the shaft as other non-licensed persons are hired to fill our positions. I believe that federal funding cutbacks will severely hurt our profession bringing back to the dark ages.

Healthcare is changing and becoming more rigid. As it changes we need to step up and meet the challenges by licensing our professionals. We have a valuable service to offer and many payers are not willing to buy our services unless they know what they are getting. Licensure helps meet that need.

No. No license unless Long Term Facilities have to start hiring CTRS or licensed TR's as directors or coordinators. (that is in NYS). At the present time there are very few positions that require a certification let alone a license for activities/recreation therapy. We need to get the states and JCAHO to require facilities to employ certified RT's to provide leisure services.

The reason I feel this is because recreation specialist are more qualified than people without degrees or qualifications. It will also give recreation specialist a better education, more credialtals and a better method to judge how someone is qualified.

While it would be ideal for the CTRS to be a licensed professional, it seems to be the most crucial for CTRS's working in medical settings.

If we as CTRS want to be considers competent therapists, if we want to be treated as a distinct therapy like OT, PT, & SLP, if we want to pursue reimbursement, we need to have the same certification and licensure requirements as PTs, OTs and SLPs. Furthermore, we need to distinguish ourselves from those who are practicing RT/TR and taking credit for the educational experience they do not have. Furthermore, we need to separate ourselves from individuals considered Activity Professionals, who are trying to say they are capable of doing the same things as CTRS.

Licensure makes the profession more accountable, marketable and opportunity to increase salaries.

It's not only desired, but absolutely necessary!!

important to be licenced to be recognized as an important member of the therapy team. To have the same rights and respect as other diciplines!

Why do we need two different certifications, one from NYSRPS and NCTRC?

Certification does not necessarily guarantee proficiency. It would be better to spend our efforts on developing resources to keep practioners up to date. Certification is a kind of job protecting strategy that shifts focus from the job of developing the knowledge base.

Granted certification has helped the profession of TR. But, I think NCTRC needs to get their act together and be consistant with recertification. CEU information has always been in a gray area not knowing what NCTRC would count as eligible CEU's. NCTRC has to realize that all CTRS's can't afford the big National conferences that only offer all TR sessions. We rural CTRS scramble for CEU's that meet their expectations and our job expectations, which usually aren't the same. Thanks

I feel that having a licensure or certification makes Rec. therapy more creditable and it proves that the people providing the service "real" professionals.

I agree with being certified but I question licensure. Is it the Health Insurances dictating or is it the professionals in the field? the licensure will weed out the bad therapists and make reimbursement better.

I believe that we need a governing body who will represent us into the future of healthcare. This representation should include standards of practice and protecting and advocating for the professionals. I believe that licensure brings additional respect from the community, as it is more readily recognized and respected. In my interactions, I have found that health care professionals do not understand what it means to be a CTRS or what it takes to maintain current certification. Whichever road we choose to take us into the future, we need to advocate our services.

 

 

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