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Recreational Therapy and Child Life

UNC Hospitals has been a pioneer in providing recreational therapy programs, initiated in 1956 by the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry. In 1974, the Department of Recreational Therapy and Child Life was established to extend the service to serve other patients within the institution. Recreational therapy services are initiated by a physician order for assessment and treatment. A recreational therapist conducts an individualized assessment of the patient's physical, mental, emotional and social functioning to determine needs, interests and abilities. An individualized treatment plan is developed and implemented to reach planned treatment outcomes. The primary focus of recreational therapy is to restore or improve the patient's physical, cognitive, emotional and social functioning through the use of interventions structured to reach treatment goals.  Recreational Therapy staff also assist other members of the health care team to create a positive and therapeutic environment by helping patients to relieve anxieties and stress associated with hospitalization.

The Department of Recreational Therapy and Child Life is a dynamic participant in the patient care, teaching, research, and community service mission of the medical center. All Recreational Therapy staff at UNC Hospitals are licensed by the North Carolina Board of Recreational Therapy Licensure and certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification.  Because of its support of the department over the years, UNC Hospitals has been recognized for excellence in recreational therapy. UNC Hospitals' Department of Recreational Therapy and Child Life has received the Distinguished Department Service Award from the Therapeutic Recreation Division of the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Society in 1985, the Organization/Institution Award from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association in 1988 and the Excellence in Education Award from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association in 1996.


 

 

 

 

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