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Recreational Therapist

X36

Basic Purpose

Positions in this job family are assigned responsibilities for planning, organizing, directing and conducting client therapy programs and instruct or supervise clients in recreational activities as part of a therapeutic psychiatric or medical treatment program.

Typical Functions

The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:

  • Plans and implements therapeutic recreational programs and activities for an assigned caseload of patients.
  • Conducts interviews, tests and other procedures to evaluate the patient’s needs, attitudes, interests and abilities.
  • Develops a therapeutic intervention plan based on observations, tests and other information, evaluates patient’s participation in program activities and progress towards established goals and objectives and documents response to various treatments and activities.
  • Serves as a member of a multidisciplinary treatment team that consults with other health care professionals in determining a total treatment plan and recommends changes based on individual observations and evaluations.
  • Assists in developing protocols, treatment guidelines, education materials and specialized programs for patients.
  • Serves as a community resource on recreational therapy and related health care issues.
  • Conducts various therapeutic recreation programs for clients' families and groups, including but not limited to outdoor adventure/wilderness programs (ropes courses, rock climbing, rappelling, backpacking, wilderness camping and canoeing), physical activity programs (sports, group games, dancing), creative expressive programs (dramatics, music, arts and crafts) and special events and programs.
  • Works intensively with groups and individual clients as part of their treatment program, coaching and supervising them in active sports, group games, dancing, dramatics and related activities; and participates, if necessary, to encourage participation.

Level Descriptors

The Recreation Therapist job family consists of four levels of work which are distinguished by the depth and breadth of accountability, the expertise required to perform assigned duties and the responsibility assigned for providing leadership to others.

Level I Code: X36A Salary Band: H

This is the basic level where incumbents perform beginning level professional work to build their skills in planning and conducting recreational therapy programs.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of the concepts, principles, techniques and equipment used in recreational therapy; of outdoor adventure/wilderness recreational activities; of the goals of recreational therapy and its interrelationship with other treatment programs; of the causes of abnormal behavior and behavior modification techniques.  Ability is required to supervise and plan various types of recreational activities; to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others; to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; to exercise initiative and independent judgment; and to work with mentally ill or physically handicapped clients.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy, outdoor recreation, physical education or a closely related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Level II Code: X36B Salary Band: I

This is the career level where incumbents are assigned responsibilities at the full performance level for professional level work.  Incumbents at this level will plan, direct and conduct a recreational therapy program of limited size and scope.  There are no direct supervisory responsibilities assigned at this level, but training and assistance may be provided to less experienced professional or technical staff.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level I plus the ability to motivate volunteer program aides.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a master’s degree in recreational therapy, outdoor recreation or physical education; or a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy, outdoor recreation or physical education and one year of experience in recreational therapy; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Level III Code: X36C Salary Band: J

This is the specialist level where incumbents are assigned responsibilities for performing advanced level specialized duties in therapeutic recreation and may perform supervisory duties on a limited basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level II plus the knowledge of human anatomy and physiology; of medical terminology; and of community based treatment programs.  Ability is required to interview and counsel patients and to assess physical, social and behavioral abilities.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a master’s degree in recreational therapy, outdoor recreation or physical education and one year of experience in recreational therapy; or a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy, outdoor recreation or physical education and two years of experience in recreational therapy; or an equivalent combination of education and experience; or a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and certification by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

Note:  Persons eligible to sit for the national exam provided by the NCTRC may apply and be selected, but must obtain certification within the six-month probationary period.

Level IV Code: X36D Salary Band: L

This is the leadership level where the incumbent organizes, supervises and administers the Recreational Therapy Department, including program staffing and facilities management in a major facility.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of the principles, techniques and equipment used in recreational therapy programs; of outdoor adventure/wilderness recreational activities; of the goals of recreational therapy; of the interrelationships between it and other treatment programs; of the causes of abnormal behavior and behavior modification techniques; of supervisory techniques; and of recreational therapy budgets.  Ability is required to organize various types of recreational activity; to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others; to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; and to work with mentally ill or physically handicapped clients.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a master’s degree in recreational therapy, outdoor recreation or physical education and two years experience in recreational therapy; or a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy, outdoor recreation or physical education and three years experience in recreational therapy; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Selective Qualifications

Some positions may require specific education and/or certification as determined by the employing agency.

Special Requirements

Upon appointment, incumbents designated by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services shall complete certification in one of the following required Departmental sponsored training in case management:  Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager – Adult; Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager – Child, Adolescent and Family; or Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager – Dual Certification.

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