ATRA benefits

I’m a lifetime member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association.

I feel ATRA is the leading organization for promoting the interests of recreational therapists.

Disclaimer: I am not an elected official for ATRA. I am not a paid spokesperson for ATRA.

My Request: please join this professional organization. Your membership fees will go towards promote and advocating for our profession. Once you’re member, go a step more and volunteer with one of the groups.

Go to this link to join ATRA: https://www.atra-online.com/welcome/become-a-member

I volunteer my own time to help ATRA with several parts, including:

  • Reviewing Peg Connolly Scholarship applications
  • Training Peg Connolly Scholarship winners at previous conferences
  • Assisting with the Peg Connolly Scholarship program
  • I’m on the Public Policy team with an emphasis on Mental/ Behavioral Health
  • I presented at three ATRA conferences: Chicago, Pittsburgh, and D.C.
  • I write articles for the ATRA newsletter from time to time.
  • I’m a member of the pediatric and mental/ behavior health treatment networks, which I assist.

PLUS – I’ve made so many great connections with friends because of ATRA.

What are you doing to do for your profession?

Go to this link to join ATRA: https://www.atra-online.com/welcome/become-a-member

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Some Tips on Earning More in Recreational Therapy (a book review).

© Can Stock Photo / tang90246canstockphoto11452270

© Can Stock Photo / tang90246

A book review of Brian Tracy’s (2012) book, Earn What You’re Really Worth: Maximize Your Income at Any Time in Any Market.

By: Danny Pettry

Source:

Tracy, B. (2012). Earn what you’re really worth: maximize your income at any time in any market. Philadelphia, PA: Vanguard Press

Disclaimer:

I [Danny Pettry] do not promise that you’ll earn any additional income from this book review. I am reviewing a book by Brian Tracy on the topic of income. Please note that I do not offer any guarantees for Recreational Therapists.

 

The Author and the Book:

 

Brian Tracy is well-known in the self-development field. I’ve read several of his books in the past, including: Goals! and Eat that Frog! I was browsing the library for leadership books when I accidently found this book and decided to check it out.

I often check out books based on recommendations of other authors. Several of my favorite authors had praise for this book, including:

I know with a list of recommendations from that group that I had to read this book.

Tracy (2012) has 12 chapters with useful tips. This review will cover a brief overview of the chapter and provide practical information for recreational therapists.

 

  • Chapter 1: the new normal

 

The main concept: Change is always happening. There is always new information. Competition is strong.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Be prepared for change. Work at improving your own set of skills to be competent for when change happens. Continue to invest in yourself and your own career. Money is often fault for in the competitive world of healthcare services. Be sure to be a professional who is using evidenced-based practice to demonstrate outcomes. Those services that are not producing outcomes are going to get discontinued.

 

  • Chapter 2: your personal service corporation

 

The main concept: Everything about “you” is a corporation. It consists of your own life mission and goals, personal values, work ethic, skills, abilities, and traits. It is valuable to have your own personal service corporation in gear.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Recreational therapists are often self-aware of who they are and what they want to do. This is why they decided to become a recreational therapist. Be sure to make your own name (insert your name here) a personal brand of excellence.

 

  • Chapter 3: increase your earning potential

The main concept: Be competent in your job. Produce the results that the job requires. Do the most important (big jobs) first on your daily to-do list. Invest your own time on becoming better. Continue to improve your own skills and competencies.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Make sure your recreational therapy services are bringing about measurable results. Here is a sample generic idea of this: Patient has x ability before services (able to sit in chair and participate in social activity for 30 minutes).  Patient participates in recreational therapy services (which appears to be playing cards, but it is strength building).  Outcomes after services: patient now has 2x ability (ability to sit up for the full hour). Results get payment. No results mean no payment. Be sure to invest and prepare for your own future too. What skills might you need in five or ten years?

 

  • Chapter 4: capitalize on your strengths

The main concept: There are certain things you do well. There are other things you might struggle with doing. The focus here is to really develop those skills that you do well, which are marketable. These are the skills that give you a leading edge.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Become a specialist in the area that you do well. It could be assessments, program planning/ goal writing, an intervention, measuring outcomes, documentation. Be the best you can be in the area that you’re already doing well. You could become a paid consultant or trainer in that area.

 

  • Chapter 5: get the right job

The main concept: Be self-aware of the job you really want to have. This is the perfect dream job. Be prepared to get that job. Do what you must to be the best person for the job. Go talk to someone that has the job you want and ask them questions on how they got there.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Recreational therapists are pretty self-aware that they want to be a Recreational Therapist. However, they may have future goals. They might want to become a Manger/ program director, a consultant, works with a certain population, or become an educator. Develop the skills you need to become what you want. Take a person out to lunch who is already working in that job and ask them some questions.

 

  • Chapter 6: the future belongs to the competent

The main concept: Those who produce results get the job and keep the job. Be competent in communication: written (typing documentation, emailing, writing official reports), speaking: to groups, patients, customers, and other people). Be a good listener to find out what they (boss, customers, patients) need and deliver it/ produce it/ create it, make it happen.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Identify the competencies needed to be in the top of your field. Consider getting specialty certifications. Continue to grow and develop your competencies. The skills you have today might not be the skills you’ll need in the future. Stay current of what is happening in the profession.

 

  • Chapter 7: double your productivity

The main concept: Identify the jobs and tasks that must be completed. Make a list of those responsibilities. Do the biggest, toughest, or most important ones first. Be disciplined to work hard and get the job done.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Identify what your employer wants you to do and do it. Manage your time well. Constantly be productive and producing. Of course, on your own leisure time, be sure to identify areas you want to grow and improve. Constantly work on improvement there too. Be disciplined to go the extra mile, learn more, and specialize.

 

  • Chapter 8: practical project management

The main concept: Do projects one at a time. Be sure to identify the results that are needed or the outcomes. Write it down and outline it. Decide who on the team is going to be helping is responsible for each part. Lead the team to success.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: What project are you working on? Danny Pettry: One of my big projects this time of year is the Holiday Play. We start the first day of November. What is the play going to be? What kids in the program will do which part? Who will help with costumes? Who will help with make-up? Who will help the kid learn the lines? Who will help with rehearsals? About mid-December, we deliver a wonderful holiday performance for patient families and administration. We plan ahead to identify therapy treatment goals for each kid as well (interpersonal skills, cognitive skills, affect regulation skills, self-esteem) and many other skills that are measurable and accomplished via the holiday performance. Recreational therapists can do projects and develop their own leadership skills.

 

  • Chapter 9: put people first

The main concept: People are important. Develop your interpersonal skills to the best they can be. All people want to feel validated, important, and worthwhile, included, affirmed, and have some sense of control in their own lives.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Recreational therapists work in the human service field. They are probably pretty apt towards having good people skills. As a reminder, be friendly to all people you meet (at work) and in your personal life too. I doubt any RTs need that reminder. One day any person (neighbor, the facility maintenance/ Gardner, etc.) might have what you want or need. Ethics reminder: that we never take anything or use patients for our own gain.

 

  • Chapter 10: powerful problem solving and decision-making

The main concept: Be an effective problem solver. Identify the problem. Identify the solutions. Seek feedback from others. Implement.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: This sounds a lot like the Recreational Therapy process. Assess the situation (identify the target problem). Collaborate with the treatment team to get therapy goals. Implement the recreational therapy interventions to get the problem-solved. Evaluate the outcomes. Recreational therapists are can be very marketable in other professions too with their ability to go in and assess a situation, prepare a plan, implement the plan, and evaluate the results. That same process could be used for rec therapists for personal self-development as well.

 

  • Chapter 11: get paid more and promoted faster

The main concept: This chapter focuses on dressing for success. Being able to ask for what you want (like a pay increase). It has a large focus on continuing to learn and grown and double your professional knowledge and skills.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Recreational therapists can continue their education in many ways (like my online program DannyPettry.com). NCTRC requires recreational therapists to earn continuing education units that are based on TR knowledge areas. However, do not limit yourself to that alone. Continue to grow and develop other skills (above and beyond that what is required for certification) that could enhance your skills and knowledge as well.

 

  • Chapter 12: perception is everything

The main concept: Develop the right mindset. Gain and demonstrate a positive mental attitude. Be grateful. Meet new people. Continue to develop your skill set.

 

Thoughts for Recreational Therapists: Learn about improving your own attitude (even if you already have a positive attitude). Continue to meet people (professional conferences), attend and participate in your own town or county local events. Advocate for Recreational Therapy on your own time (public speaking) and you’ll also be getting your own name out there.

Conclusion

 

Tracy (2012) offered a lot of tips that are useful towards getting the job a person really wants to have (often which has a higher salary) or getting paid the maximum salary possible. Tracy’s suggestions are fairly simple. They consist of denying the job you want and the salary you want. Identify what skills, knowledge, and competencies are needed for that position. Gain those skills. Be a hard-working person who produces results and outcomes. Over deliver by doing more than what you’re expected. Demonstrate a positive attitude. Be people friendly. Network and grow. Go for it.

 

Bibliography:

Tracy, B. (2012). Earn what you’re really worth: maximize your income at any time in any market. Philadelphia, PA: Vanguard Press

Bulletproofing Recreational Therapy

A book Review of Stephen Viscusi’s (2008) book, Bulletproof your job

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Licensed permission to use image from (c) CanStockPhoto

  • Viscusi, S. (2008). Bulletproof your job: 4 simple strategies to ride out the rough times and come out on top at work. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Book Review By: Danny Pettry

            Politicians often say, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu” to argue the importance of being involved. Those people who are not at the table and not involved risk having their services being “cut” and discontinued by those people that are involved.

Recreational therapists need to be involved and have a seat at the table to bulletproof their job. However, the focus of the profession is not about saving our own jobs. It is about the people that receive recreational therapy services. Our job in being involved consists of making sure people (consumers of recreational therapy) are getting the greatest outcomes. The focus is on ensuring and advocating that consumers are getting access to these cost-efficient recreational therapy services that are bringing about functional outcomes.

Health care services cost a lot of money. Those services that are not bringing about measurable outcomes are deemed not necessary. Those services risk being cut and discontinued. Recreational therapy has evidenced-based research that supports what we do. It is vital that recreational therapists are involved, having a seat at the table, and active in advocating for the consumers of recreational therapy services.

Stephen Viscusi (2008) points out four strategies people can use to keep their job. This book review outlines Viscusi’s four simple strategies and provides additional focus for those people who are professional Recreational Therapists to be involved (at a national public policylevel)

Viscusi’s (2008) four simple strategies to bulletproofing a job consist of being:

  1. Visible;
  2. Easy;
  3. Useful; and
  4. Ready

Recreational therapists could apply Viscusi’s (2008) four simple strategies in order to advocate for our professional services and the outcomes that they help achieve.

 

Being Visible

            Viscusi (2008) points out the importance of being seen. Viscsi argues that this means seen doing the right things. Appearance must be professional. Employee must show up on time for work (or early) and do extra. The employee must be consistently hardworking, providing real value to the company. The employee is seen as going the extra mile to volunteer to lead special projects.

Recreational therapists do a lot of these already. They are passionate, genuine, enthusiastic, positive, polite, considerate, good listeners.

Some tips for Recreational Therapists to be visible:

Get involved in public policy with the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). Be a leader and volunteer to take initiative to organize efforts (at a state level for your own state and on a national level). Be present (by having a seat at the table) by participating in public policy. Send ATRA an email and ask how you can help with public policy in your state and at a national level.

 

Being Easy

            Viscusi (2008) points out the importance of being easy. This concept is based on being easy to get along with opposed to being the difficult employee. Difficult employees whine, complain, and make things miserable for others. Employers are more likely to get rid of difficult employees.

Recreational therapists as a whole often demonstrate the characteristics of being easy-going.  These concepts consist of being calm and collect, having a positive attitude, being flexible, and agreeable.

            Some tips for Recreational Therapists on being easy:

Get involved in your professional organization: The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). Apply your easy-going skills towards making new connections and networking with other professionals. Demonstrate a positive attitude and volunteer to help the professional association with tasks.

 

Being Useful

            Viscusi (2008) argues that being useful is a key to keeping a job. This consists of doing more than what you’re expected to do. Sometimes they call it “going the extra mile.” It is doing “extra credit” work when you already have a solid A+ grade. Being useful is about helping the company reach goals. It is the opposite of blaming and making excuses when job responsibilities are not completed. It is quite easy for a company to le employees like this go.

 

Some tips for Recreational Therapists on being useful:

Become a specialist. Go above and beyond your entry-level Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential. The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) offers five specialty certifications, including: behavioral health, physical medicine and rehab, developmental disabilities, geriatrics, and community. Specialists provide additional value to the company. A person with the specialization could be sought out for advice in their area of expertise. They could assist with training others in the company.

 

Being Ready

            Viscusi (2008) argues the importance of being prepared and ready. Changes happen all the time. Anything can happen. People that are prepared are the ones who are going to come out on top. Those people that are not prepared are going to be the ones that are left behind or let go.

Some tips for Recreational Therapists to be ready:

Our world is changing. Health care is changing as well. Recreational therapists need to be knowledgably of what is happening in the world, in health care, and in their own profession. Consider going the extra mile to earn a graduate degree or a doctorate. One change our profession is facing is the shortage of qualified people to teach undergraduates and graduate students.

 

Conclusion

            There are things a single individual person can do to bulletproof her (or his) own job. Viscusi (2008) did an excellent job arguing how being visible, easy-going, useful, and prepared can be beneficial.

Recreational therapists as a whole could apply Viscusi’s (2008) concepts to bulletproof the profession. There is an old story about four bulls and one hungry tiger. The tiger could easily take out any one single bull. However, the four bulls put their back tails together. They form a circle and watch out for each other. The tiger is not able to get any one single bull when they have their horns out and form a circle. The tiger gets them when they are alone.

Recreational therapists are more vulnerable when they are alone. However, they do not need to be alone. We have a professional association that forms a circle. However,  recreational therapists must join the circle (the association) in order to be involved.

Recreational therapists can be:

  • Visible when they are part of a group association
  • Easy-going by working with others in the profession and building a network of professional friends.
  • Useful by volunteering to work on the many roles and responsibilities of the national association.
  • Ready for what changes happen next. The association will spread the knowledge through their email network to those involved.

 

Bibliography

  • Viscusi, S. (2008). Bulletproof your job: 4 simple strategies to ride out the rough times and come out on top at work. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

 

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Danny Pettry is a full-time practitioner. He has provided services for children with abuse-reactive needs at a psychiatric residential treatment facility since 2002. Pettry has graduate degrees in Mental Health Counseling (Linsey Wilson College, Columbia, Kentucky, 2012) and Recreational Therapy (Indianan University, Bloomington, Indiana, 2006). Pettry is a lifetime member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). Pettry is not a hired representative, elected member, or spokesperson for the association. This blog is written by Danny Pettry (an individual).