SummaryThe Recreation Therapist performs a wide variety of interventions which contribute to the overall health of Veterans. The work requires professional knowledge of recreation therapy, and skill in applying a wide range of theories, principles, and methodologies in the practice of recreation therapy and to treat the physical, mental, emotional, and social needs of individual patients, groups of patients, and families; and to maintain or rehabilitate patients' physical and/or mental health.ResponsibilitiesThe Recreation Therapist assigned to PRRC-CORE and the MHICM Program serves as a member of a multi-disciplinary treatment team. The Recreation Therapist serves veterans who are receiving services from specialty mental health service programs designed for veterans with serious mental illness, including those who are dually diagnosed with serious mental illness and a substance use disorder.
The majority of the services provided are in a group format. Services are provided in the service areas on site for PRRC-CORE and MHICM and also in a variety of community settings offsite. The Recreation Therapist in this position coordinates with team members from both PRRC-CORE and from MHICM and regularly attends staff meetings to coordinate care with referring providers.
When needed or when assigned, the Recreation Therapist will meet individually with veterans to complete a Recreation Therapy assessment. This formalized assessment occurs when needed to help identify specific recreation-related modalities that may help the veteran progress toward goals related to recreation, leisure, and biopsychosocial functional deficits. The assessment is useful to the treatment planning process, and the Recreation Therapist will collaborate with the primary clinician assigned to the veteran regarding the assessment, treatment planning, and follow-up.
Together with the veteran, the Recreation Therapist will develop individualized plans with therapeutic goals and objectives to address the veteran's problems and rehabilitation goals. These plans will integrate specialized recreation therapy techniques with the total care/treatment plan for the veteran. The clinical interventions developed will be consistent with the Recreation Therapist's professional scope of practice, standards of care, and professional ethics.
The Recreation Therapist provides the necessary adapted equipment, materials, instruction, encouragement, and motivation to successfully engage with each veteran in the therapeutic process. The Recreation Therapist uses proper judgment in determining specialized approaches and appropriate therapeutic modalities. The Recreation Therapist manages difficult cases and may counsel veterans on the benefits of a positive leisure and recreational lifestyle, coping skills, social interaction skills, and community resources and services.
The Recreation Therapist will remain current as to best practice and evidence-based therapeutic techniques and interventions and skillfully apply same. The Recreation Therapist will also communicate with and educate patients, families, caregivers, and other health care professionals to facilitate the interdisciplinary treatment process. The Recreation Therapist documents behavioral observations, progress, functioning, and intervention outcomes for all individual, family, and group interactions.
The Recreation Therapist regularly reviews veterans' progress and adapts or modifies the treatment plan and intervention strategies accordingly. The Recreation Therapist must maintain a valid Driver's License and must report any accidents or traffic violations to the Mental Health Supervisor, regardless of whether occurring in the scope of employment. The Recreation Therapist must be able and willing to transport veterans in the programs served in a government vehicle as needed.
Work Schedule: Monday - Friday (8:00am - 4:30pm)Financial Disclosure Report: Not requiredRequirementsConditions of EmploymentQualificationsApplicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. Basic Requirements:1. United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.2.
English Language Proficiency. Must be proficient in spoken and written English, as required by 38 U.S.C. 7403(f).
3. Education: The following education requirements apply to the Recreation Therapist (a) A bachelor's degree or higher, from an accredited college or university, with a major in therapeutic recreation or recreation/leisure, with an option and/or emphasis in therapeutic recreation. The degree must be approved by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC); OR, (b) A bachelor's degree or higher in any field from an accredited college or university and must be a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS).
The degree must be approved by the NCTRC. If hired under this education, the certification cannot be waived. 4.
Certification: Recreation Therapist must be certified in recreation therapy as a CTRS by the NCTRC. If hired under paragraph 3b(1)(b), certification cannot be waived. NOTE: Exception.
Non-registered and/or non-certified applicants, who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements for registration and/or certification, may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate recreation or creative arts therapist, under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7405(c)(2)(B), for a period not to exceed two years. Applicants who fail to obtain registration and/or certification during this temporary full-time appointment may be terminated.
The exception only applies to positions at the GS-7 and GS-9 level. For grade levels at or above the full performance level, the candidate must be registered and/or certified. NOTE: Failure to Obtain Registration/Certification.
In all cases, recreation and creative arts therapists must actively pursue meeting registration and/or certification requirements, starting from the date of appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the unregistered and/or uncertified recreation or creative arts therapist with the written requirement to obtain registration/certification, the date by which the registration and/or certification must be acquired, and the consequences for not becoming registered and/or certified by the deadline. Failure to become registered and/or certified within two years from the date of appointment will result in removal from the GS-0638 recreation and creative arts therapist occupation, and may result in termination of employment.
NOTE: Loss of Credential. A recreation or creative arts therapist who fails to maintain the required registration and/or certification must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. Grandfathering Provision: Applicants may qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).
All persons employed in VHA as a recreation or creative arts therapist, on the effective date of this qualification standard, are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series, and grade held, including positive education, and registration and/or certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed, the following provisions apply: (1) Such employees may be reassigned, promoted up to, and including, the full performance (journeyman) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journeyman level, or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. (2) Employees who were appointed on a temporary basis, prior to the effective date of the qualification standard, may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard.
(3) Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or licensure/registration/certification, that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation. (4) Recreation and creative arts therapists who are converted to title 38 hybrid status under this provision and subsequently leave the occupation lose protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements, in effect at the time of reentry, as a recreation or creative arts therapist. Grade Determinations: Recreation Therapist, GS-11 (a) Experience.
At least one year of creditable experience at the next lower grade level. (b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: I.
Ability to adapt assessment tools and treatment interventions to address the complexity of the diagnosis or disabilities and demonstrate the clinical reasoning necessary to identify the need for further in-depth specific assessment of function and utilization of unconventional methods and techniques. II. Knowledge to independently interpret provider referrals and consults; and apply all health and safety regulations to minimize and mitigate risks in the provision of patient care and the environment of care.
III. Skill in effectively communicating and educating, in a clear and concise manner, with patients, families, caregivers, and other health care pr...
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health AdministrationLoma Linda, CA
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