Cultural Competence

canstockphoto4393116I had taken a course in Multicultural counseling during my graduate school studies.

Based on my recall, multicultural has two aspects:

  1. Have a basic understanding of a culture: In example some well-known things about Appalachian culture consists of: poverty, coal-mining, hardworking, church-based, and moonshine to name a few.
  2. Don’t have stereotypes about that culture based on limited understanding: The person you meet from Appalachia will not be 100% coal-miner, living in poverty, drinking moonshine.


  • We as human beings (and Rec therapist practitioners) will never truly know what it is like to have had another person’s life experiences, ethnic background, and cultural experiences. None of us can completely understand what it is like from their experiences.

Be genuine:

  • Having culture-blocking glasses isn’t realistic and authentic. In example, if a person says, “I don’t see skin color,” it would appear inauthentic.


Some suggestions on multicultural care:

  • Point out that you (the practitioner) are aware of cultural differences and acknowledge that you don’t have a complete understanding of her (or his) culture.
  • Specifically ask if there is anything you’d need to know about their culture and background so you can provide the best care.  They’ll probably tell you important things.

Take a class on a specific culture or take a multi-cultural course.

  • Let’s pretend you’re a person of Appalachian culture and you get your first job in Louisiana. There will be some cultural differences. The people/ customers/ patients who you provide services for in that area will be predominately of that culture. Take a course to learn more about that culture.
  • “Vets” have a culture, too. They have their own set of words and shared experiences. Recreation therapists who seek to work at a V.A. hospital might want to consider studying Veterans or take a class. I’m sure the V.A. provides training.
  • Religion and faith: It could be beneficial to take a course to learn about a different religious culture if you work in a setting where many people have a different religion, faith, or belief.

Multicultural benefits:

  • I was recently reading a book on creativity. I regret to say that I’m not able to recall the source or I would pay attribution. The author had pointed out the creative benefits for having a multicultural team. People from the same culture and background often saw problems from one view. The teams that had multicultural mix of people were often able to solve a problem quicker due to their mixed experiences.

Ethical and legal concerns:

We, Recreational Therapists are in the helping field.  We have an ethical responsibility to provide service for any patient in need of services despite their culture.

Here are sme of the ATRA Code of ethics that relate to cultural competence:

Principle 1: Benefice: bring about the great benefits to patient.

Principle 2: Non-maleficent: protect them from harm (which I’d add could include harm from discrimination) while respecting their decisions.

Principle 4: Justice: provide services despite race, gender, age, culture, sexual orientation, disability, or illness.

Danny’s comments: a person who is not able to adhere to the justice code may not be well-suited to be a Recreational Therapist.

Principle 9: Competence: this would include cultural competences.

Principle 10: Compliance with laws and regulations. Refusing services based on culture could be a legal concern. There have been times when a professional has been held legally accountable because they have referred a client/ patient to someone else for services due to race, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.



Additional resources:

Peter Shankman’s podcast is awesome. He embraces his ADHD.

I’m a big fan of canstockphoto12951122 (author of Zombie Loyalist).

Peter has a podcast about ADHD and he seeks to find the gift in it, and not a seeing it as a curse.

I really like his mindset.

There have been people throughout history who have taken their limitations (lemons) or problems and found success (better fruits) from embracing it.  One of my personal favorites examples is when Michael Johnson (Olympian during the London 2012 Games) complained that Oscar Pstorisu had an “unfair advantage” in the race. I’m certain many people found humor that an Olympian would think a person with a disability had an unfair advantage. I’ve also heard that artists have been inspired by their depression to write songs, create masterpieces, and do many things, however, I can’t think of an example at the moment.

Back to Peter Shankman – follow his podcast about ADHD here:

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin vetoed a RT bill to regulate recreational therapy

canstockphoto20266462entucky Governor Matt Bevin vetoed a bill that would have allowed for Recreational Therapists to be licensed.

I [Danny Pettry] personally believe that most people are good people who want to do good deeds. I don’t think anyone who works as a recreational therapist would intentionally do harm to a student/ client/ patient.

The license helps to protect people from unintentional harm.

A recreational therapist has been trained to work with people with various disabling conditions and illnesses. Furthermore, a license recreational therapist would have been required by law to meet requirements indicating that an individual has met the minimum requirements to practice.

I sure hope no individual is unintentionally harmed by anyone working in Kentucky as a Recreational Therapist.

Danny’s advice: keep persisting Kentucky. and Go Cats!

Read about it here:

Audio Penpals

Jerry is one of my good friends from Canada.

He told me about a new radio show called Audio Penpals and I asked him for permission to share about it here at my blog because I thought it was inspiring.

Audio penpals is a radio program that gives a voice to and empowers people who have disabilities.

The program plays on CJLO, which is Concordia University’s one and only radio station!

Audio penpals AIRS ON: FRIDAYS // 4 PM – 5 PM

Here is a link for the show:

Here is the link to their facebook page:

Specializing and Rec Therapy

The Rec Therapist can specialize in several areas.

The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) offers five advanced specialty certifications above and beyond the CTRS credential. Their speciality certification acknowledges those CTRS who have expertise knowing and training, in:

  • Behavioral Health
  • Physical Medicine and Rehab
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Community
  • Geriatrics

Here is a link to a neat article featured at kaptest about primary care physicians vs. specializing that RTs might be interested in reading:

LATbelt – for transfers

Disclaimer: Danny Pettry is not an affiliate of LATbelt. Danny Pettry will not receive any profit from this product.


Chris Glibert PT, DPT is a a school-based physical therapist.
He I felt the need for an alternative transfer solution between the two main types of dependent transfers that he has seen in the local school districts.


As a result, he created LATbelt


Hoyer lifts were very expensive and time consuming to use. Additionally, they were typically too cumbersome to use in school restrooms and classrooms. They have poor mobility and can be overwhelming for new staff members. Lastly, when we did utilize them for toilet transfers, we would still need to pick up the patient manually to remove the sling from underneath their bottom.


The other frequent transfer I saw was a two person dependent transfer in which staff members would grip a student by their arms and legs and transfer them from a wheelchair to another location such as a toilet, mat table, gait trainer, stander, etc. Not only is this type of transfer inappropriate, it poses a high liability and injury risk for both staff and student. Unfortunately, poor body mechanics on the staff side, along with low toned patients, do not make a good combination. I felt that this dependent transfer could be more standardized to improve safety for staff and students. The LATbelt is a simple solution that provides gripping handles for safe transfers. It also can double as a gait belt, via quick-release buckle, for more ambulatory patients. It works great for toilet transfers as it does not cover the crotch as other slings do.


It is currently utilized in school districts throughout the United States and internationally. However, we feel that is has strong implications for home health care, skilled nursing facilities, community use, hospitals, hippotherapy, and obviously recreational therapists in the community.


Here is another small blurb I have been sending to schools:
The LATbelt is an innovative patent pending transfer device developed specifically by a school-based physical therapist to improve safety during transfers in the school setting. It is currently being utilized by school districts throughout the United States and being required for all transfers by risk management administrators.


The LATbelt has the ability to save your local districts thousands of dollars in workers compensation claims and/or liability costs. It is generally agreed that assistive devices, such as the LATbelt, should be utilized by school personnel when transferring students.


The LATbelt standardizes the transfer process and helps improve safety for both students and staff.


It is a cost effective ($149) solution to improve efficiency and compliance with student transfers. Educational aides have reported an easier time with transfers along with improved confidence during transfers to wheelchairs, changing tables, toilets, standers, and gait trainers. It was designed to work effectively in the small confines of classrooms and restrooms along with community outings, such as field trips.
Simple, Quick, Safe Lift and Transfer device.

Designed specifically for muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injuries.

  • Standardizes the transfer process
  • Lightweight, portable, easy to use
  • May reduce injuries, improve compliance, enhance ergonomics
  • Works great for toileting transfers
  • Less than 20 seconds to put on and take off
  • Safe for patients and caregivers
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Only $149
For more information or to purchase, please visit

Introduction to Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation

Here is a message from: Jonette Passmore:

I will be offering the 8 hour introduction class Saturday, July 29, 2017 at the new Total Health Warm Water Pool 999 W. 12th.

The class will meet 10 am – 6:30 pm (will have lunch break, are welcome to bring lunch and eat there, will have time to leave for lunch).

You will be in the class room and in the pool, so bring suit, Dri-fit shirt (will have some available for sale if don’t have one) and towels.

There are shower facilities available so bring any toiletries needed if plan to shower before leaving.

Please send checks made out to Jonette Passmore, mail to 181 Colvin Center, Dr. Tim Passmore, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.  Checks will not be deposited unless the class makes.  You can also pay through PayPal.

If this is your preference contact me so I can send you the link.  If have any questions email me at

Minimum of 8 participants for class to make.

$125 for class includes book

Must be paid and registered by June 30, 2017 5:00 pm

The Real Rec Therpist [a new blog]

Kevin G. is a CTRS who is blogging in rec therapy.  He has 17 years experience. He hopes his blog will be good for the “newbies” in the profession.

I love his blog. I found his latest two entries, one on coaching, and one on gratitude to be very useful.

Quick shout out – hey there Kevin, Thanks so much for writing your blog and sharing with the world (and us RTs) your thoughts and experiences.

Here is a link to his blog:


Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough to Success and Recreation Therapy


Photo Credit: (C) 2017 by CanStockPhoto

Disclaimer: My Breakthrough goal is to put together an inspirational book about recreation therapy. That is the #1 reason why I decided to attend BTS and I am so glad I did.

I attended Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough to Success (BTS) last week in Philadelphia. I purposely attended because I have a breakthrough goal to put together a book of inspirational stories about recreation therapy outcomes.
Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough to Success (BTS) has a lot in common with Recreation Therapy.
Canfield’s BTS workshop is geared towards helping people identify their real dreams and purposes in life and to go for them.
Recreation Therapy is a service for people with illness or disabling conditions (in example: trauma from abuse, physical trauma like head injury, Alzheimer’s Disease, eating disorders, cancer treatment, and so much more.) The RT works under the supervision of an attending physician as well.
The rec therapy process consists of assessing an individual (patient’s) strengths and area of needed improvement (the treatment).
GOAL-PLANNING (with very well-written and measurable objectives)
The rec therapist works with the patient to create a written goal. (Big goal – goal planning).
The rec therapist is a trainer/ coach. The rec therapist systematically and purposely provides (recreation and activity-based interventions) to help the patient with treating illness and promoting the highest independent functioning skills.
Recreation therapy interventions consist of many things that were taught by Jack, including: humor therapy, interpersonal/ social interaction and skills, relaxation skills training, animal-assisted therapy, horse-therapy, meditation, yoga, guided imagery, team-building, self-esteem building, self-expression/ creativity, physical exercise, a balanced lifestyle, positive thinking, and so much more.
VALIDATION (for us in the helping field) – which I imagine 100% of people at BTS are.
I found Jack’s BTS to be very validating for people who are helping positions (not just RTs, but teachers, mentors, coaches, and others).
The rec therapist provides an evaluation on the date determined during the goal-planning phase to check if goals and objectives were met or if the goals and objectives to be revised.
Successful outcomes of rec therapy are often in these five domains, much like Jack Canfield’s 7 areas for balance:
· Social outcomes: Increased interpersonal skills, increase social connections, increase social support, increase friendship.
· Physical outcomes: Increase physical strength and endurance. Overcome physical limitations.
· Cognitive outcomes: Improve thinking skills.
· Emotional outcomes: Increase self-esteem, increase relaxation, decrease symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety.
· Personal outcomes: Personal goals.
Those are my thoughts. Thanks for reading.
Contact me if you want.
Danny Pettry My personal email: