In this module you heard about careers in two somewhat similar but very different career fields. Please think about these fields and then compare and contrast careers in recreational therapy and athletic training, address how these careers are the same and how they are different. Specifically, you should describe how you think they are most different and most similar, in terms of their scope and practice. Scope and practice refers to the specific work the professionals engage in. While you may mention educational or other lifestyle differences, you must address aspects of scope and practice to earn full credit for your response. Your answer should consist of two paragraphs. Be sure to use specific details or examples in your response! Be sure to refer to the syllabus for writing expectations as well as the rubric, below, for overall grading expectations.
Describes how the 2 careers are different and the same in scope and practice.
Meets expectations discusses specific similarities and differences in scope and practice 5pts
Describes similarities not differences or vice versa 2.5 pts
Describes differences and/or similarities but not in regard to scope of practice
Submission reflects college level writing standards, sentence structure, paragraph construction, grammar and spelling are appropriate.
Adheres to standards no glaring errors, includes citations 5pts
Few writing errors or mistakes. (if missing citations -2)
Does not meet minimum expectations
Recreational therapy is a field that utilizes activity based (recreation) interventions to improve or maintain various aspects of an individuals health in order to improve their overall well being. Similar to the way we saw Occupational therapists working with patients in a multimodal way so do recreational therapists. Therapy includes incorporating treatments or therapies geared towards their physical cognitive, emotional, and social functioning. This might involve the use of games, sports, arts and crafts, dance, drama, music, field trips and more. RT's are not to be confused with guidance counselors or recreation workers. RT's are trained to incorporate the use of recreation into a treatment or therapy to get the patient back to a state of wellness (not just for fun). These therapists will often incorporate recreation that the individual enjoys to psychologically engage the patient and get them to particpiate in therapy at the same time.
Bachelors (minimum) or higher with a concentration in recreation therapy.
· Bachelors (minimum)
· Coursework includes: Life cycle, Anatomy and Physiology, Abnormal Psychology, Kinesiology, Medical terminology
· minimum of 14week/560 hours internship
· certification: NCTRC provides the certification exam for RT's (CTRS is the certification "certified therapeutic recreation specialist")
Post Graduate Training
Internship (560 hours) if not include in bachelors program. There is also the opportunity to specialize in several areas (see below).
Every 5 years there are continuing education requirements that must be met to maintain certification. *note that not all states require a license for this field.
· Adaptive Sports and Recreation
· Behavioral Health
· Community Inclusion Services
· Developmental Disabilities
· Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation
Athletic facilities, schools , rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, residential care facility, special education, mental health and substance abuse treatment centers, hospitals, clinics, military/veterans.
Median pay in 2017 for this career path was reported to be $46,000 a year.
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who are trained to provide services such as primary care, injury prevention, intervention, emergent care, rehabilitation, education and diagnosis of injuries and medical conditions . Although many AT's work with athletes their practice is not limited only to athletes in sports. Athletic trainers can work in a variety of therapeutic settings with patients of many ages. AT's are trained in a medical model, which means the foundations they learn are based in science and medicine. They are similar in approach to physical therapists and will experience classroom and clinical training as part of their education. This is one way that Athletic trainers are different from personal trainers with whom they are often confused. AT's have a more rigorous educational path and certification requirement. In addition they are trained to diagnose injury, treat and rehabilitate it as part of a healthcare team.
Masters degree (some Bachelor's degrees are entry level but the majority of practicing AT's have masters degrees and soon it may be a requirement)
There are bachelors degree programs in existence but the field on the whole is moving towards requiring a Masters degree in the next few years so to be competitive in the field a Masters is preferred and may soon be required. In order to sit for the boards (BOC- Board of Certification exam) one must graduate from a CAATE (Commission on accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited program.
Here is a link to search for programs: https://caate.net/find-programs/
According to the National Athletic Trainers Association, students in an AT program have formal instruction in the following competencies:
· Evidence-based practice
· Prevention and health promotion
· Clinical examination and diagnosis
· Acute care of injury and illness
· Therapeutic interventions
· Psychosocial strategies and referral
· Health care administration
· Professional development and responsibility
Post Graduate Training
There are doctoral programs in Athletic Training, although it is not required to practice those who wish to teach or go into research may choose this path.
There are also residencies in certain specialty areas that can be done post graduation if one wishes to specialize and increase your knowledge in an area to gain exposure and make one more competitive in the job market. See the listings below.
CAATE Approved Residency Specialty Areas
· Prevention & Wellness
· Urgent & Emergent Care
· Primary Care
· Behavioral Health
· Performance Enhancement
More information on residencies can be found here: http://caate.net/residency-programs/
Athletic facilities, schools (University or secondary schools), rehabilitation centers, hospitals, clinics, along side sports teams (travel) or training facility, performing arts centers, military, occupational health.
Average income in the field is $55,000 and according to BLS the job growth is projected to be high for this area, growing 21% from 2014-2024.
Supplemental Online Links
These links and content may be of interest to you as a supplement to all you are learning in this module.