The Recreation Therapist assumes accountability for the provision of a program of therapeutic activities designed to meet the interests and enhance the functional abilities and self-esteem of each PACE participant. He/she oversees all programming for participants, ensuring that participants are involved in activities that are most appropriate for their psychological and physical abilities. The Recreation Therapist involves staff to provide programming according to the PACE Your LIFE mission and consistent with State and Federal laws and regulations. In collaboration with the Center Manager, he/she allocates resources for recreational activities in an efficient and economic manner to ensure that each participant achieves the highest practicable physical, mental and psycho-social well-being.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Manages the therapeutic programming in a manner consistent with State and Federal regulations, the PACE Your LIFE mission, policies and procedures, and the standards of practice established by certifying organizations. Establishes goals to enhance the recreation opportunities and quality of life for the elders served.
2. Provides oversight, feedback and training to improve the abilities of staff, family members, and other members of the Interdisciplinary Team working with elders.
3. Conducts participant surveys to design a recreational therapy program that is enjoyable and constructive to participants. Brings entertainment, quality, and wellness to the PACE Center as well as designing an activities program that meets the functional levels, needs and interests of each participant.
4. Interviews participants, interested family members, legal representatives and significant others to obtain and update information needed to develop individualized programs.
5. Completes assessments and participates in daily Interdisciplinary Team meetings.
6. Works cooperatively with members of the Interdisciplinary Team to develop, implement and evaluate plan of care. Develops activities and interventions as part of the comprehensive plan of care. Communicates concerns and responses to interventions to the Interdisciplinary Team members and to direct care staff.
7. Provides programming that reflects lifelong interests and new skills, such as music, reading, cooking, computers, health and wellness, and horticulture therapy.
8. Provides structured activities to meet the needs of cognitively impaired participants, such as music events, gross-motor games or outdoor walks. Provides one-on-one activities for those who cannot participate in group activities. Seeks ways to adapt activities so that all participants can participate, such as segmenting activities into simple steps, providing verbal prompts, physical support, demonstration and hand-over-hand assistance when one is unable to complete a task independently.
9. Engages all PACE staff to participate in activities.
10. Records progress notes in the electronic clinical record, including subjective findings, objective symptoms, observations of behavior, interventions provided to participants, and participant responses to activity interventions.
11. In conjunction with the Program Director, develops and updates Therapeutic Recreation policies and procedures that reflect the philosophy and mission of the Center, professional standards of practice, and State and Federal laws and regulations.
12. Participates in the development and management of the department budget. Presents appropriate financial requests to the Center Manager regarding the financial needs of the recreational department.
13. Hires and retains qualified, competent Therapeutic Recreation staff to provide therapeutic activities to participants to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psycho-social well-being. Conducts interviews, provides regular performance reviews, takes appropriate job actions, reviews job actions taken by subordinates to assure that staff meet qualification and performance standards, and can perform all essential functions of the job.
14. Maintains current skills and knowledge through continuing education. Applies information to job responsibilities.
a. Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in related area
a. Certification by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification or certified as an Activity Director, certified by the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals
a. Two-years experience in a social or recreational program within the past five years, with one-year, full-time employment in a therapeutic recreation program with a frail or elderly population
b. Proficiency with electronic health records, Word, Excel and Outlook preferred
c. Combination of education and work experience to meet requirements
4. Age of Patients Rendered Care:
a. Adult and geriatric patients
*** Freedom from illegal use of drugs, and freedom from use and effects of use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace.
*** Persons who have been found guilty by a court of law of abusing, neglecting or mistreating individuals in a healthcare-related setting are ineligible for employment in this position.
Knowledge and Skills:
1. Exhibits passion for the care and concern, and the overall well-being of the geriatric participant.
2. Current knowledge of standards of professional activities practice. Able to apply these principles in a long-term care setting and to establish criteria to ensure that services provided meet established standards of quality.
3. Able to develop a diverse activities program, available during days, evenings and on weekends, that is responsive to the individual participant’s needs, that provides stimulation or solace, that promotes physical, cognitive and emotional health, and that enhances each participant’s functional abilities.
4. Able to implement activities interventions that achieve treatment goals, address participant needs, link social supports, physical care and the physical environment to enhance the quality of the PACE Program.
5. Current knowledge of State and Federal laws and regulations that apply to the practice of activities in long-term care.
6. Demonstrates satisfactory level of interpersonal skills to interact with participants, families, community and government agencies, and the Interdisciplinary staff.
7. Management skills sufficient to oversee the organization of department staff, to develop budgets, allocate resources and to supervise interdisciplinary cooperation in the planning and implementation of individual participant plans of care.
8. Able to perform personnel functions, including interviewing prospective staff, conducting performance evaluations that assure staff can perform essential functions of their job, and taking job actions as appropriate. Able to apply facility policies to facts leading to job actions without regard to race, religion, age, national origin, sex, or disability.
9. Able to express self adequately in written and oral communication and to communicate effectively in an interdisciplinary care setting with participants, families, staff members, and representatives of community and government agencies.
10. Able to understand and to follow written and verbal directions. Able to effectively communicate with staff members and participants through verbal and written means.
11. Demonstrates knowledge of and respect for the rights, dignity and individuality of each participant in all interactions. Able to act as a role model for unit staff by protecting and promoting Participants Rights in all interactions with participants and families.
12. Carries out all duties in accord with the program mission and philosophy.
13. Appreciates the importance of maintaining confidentiality of participant and program information.
14. Demonstrates honesty and integrity at all times in the care and use of participant and facility property.
15. Knowledge of emergency and disaster procedures of the facility. Able to locate the nearest exit, and to understand and respond to written or oral instruction in case of an emergency.
16. Sufficient mobility, and strength to move freely through the building, to assure participant safety at all times and to assist, transfer or otherwise move participants of the facility out of danger in case of an emergency.
17. Demonstrates respect for co-workers and responds to the needs of participants by complying with facility policies on attendance, punctuality, and dress code. Able to arrive and to begin work on time and to report for duty as scheduled on all shifts, weekends and holidays.
18. Working knowledge and ability to comply with facility policies and procedures for workplace safety, including infection control procedures, application of universal precautions for blood-borne pathogens, use of personal protective equipment and handling of hazardous materials.
19. Demonstrates ability to prioritize tasks/responsibilities and complete duties/ projects within allotted time.
20. Able to respond to change productively and to handle additional tasks/projects as assigned.
21. Able to carry out the essential functions of this job (with or without reasonable accommodation) without posing specific, current risk of substantial harm to the health and safety of self and others.