Therapeutic Recreation - Rehabilitation Unit

Therapeutic Recreation Session

All therapeutic recreation (TR) sessions are 30 minutes in duration with the exception of community re-integration. Each patient is seen a minimum of once a day by a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).  All of the TR interventions are goal oriented and aimed at improving the patient's level of functioning.

One-to-One Therapy Sessions

A therapist will work with a patient individually using recreational activities to address specific goals the therapist and patient have developed together. The patient may participate in both group and one-on-one sessions.

Group Therapy Sessions

Group therapy sessions are intended to create an opportunity to address multiple therapeutic interventions simultaneously among a group of individuals. Group sessions include anywhere from 3-8 individuals depending on the goals for the group. For example, a stroke patient with right-sided weakness working on fine/gross motor skills, strength and endurance could also benefit from a group of individuals working on communication/social skills pending whether or not the patient's speech was affected and the severity of their speech deficit.

Fine/Gross Motor Skills

Fine/gross motor therapeutic intervention techniques are used to regain dexterity, strength, mobility, range of motion, and endurance. Activities addressing fine/gross motor skill are those that encourage the use of body movements to complete an activity. For example, playing cards, casting a fishing pole, and putting/chipping a golf ball are functional activities for patients to improve their fine/gross motor skills.

Cognitive Skills

We utilize numerous recreational activities to help a patient improve their cognition. Cognitive activities may address problem solving, sequential thinking, following single/multiple step directions, attention to task, and memory.  For example, if a patient has short-term memory deficit, they may participate in a card game of concentration.

Leisure Education/Awareness

Leisure education/awareness is provided to educate each individual about the possibilities of leisure/recreation during and following their hospitalization. We highly encourage all therapeutic recreation patients to resume their leisure lifestyle if possible and/or explore new possible interests to continue to be active in order to decrease the possibility of re-hospitalization. We do this by evaluating their leisure interests and adapting them to the patient's capabilities. Leisure education/awareness allows the patient to become aware of the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle and is a great self-reflection tool. It also allows the patient to become more aware of the possibilities after discharging from the hospital.

Community Integration

These sessions provide the patient with an opportunity to practice the skills they have been working on in therapy, while in the community. These skills may include car transfers, ambulating community distances, wheel chair mobility, communication, money management, etc. This is also an opportunity for family members to learn skills necessary to assist the patient once they return home.


Pediatric rehabilitation is for any child from the age of four to eighteen who has a learning and/or physical disability resulting from illness, injury, or congenital causes. As an example, a pediatric recreational therapist will use age appropriate games, activities to strengthen muscles, increase range of motion, and improve coordination, memory, and attention span. Therapeutic play is utilized to enhance physical, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning. Community re-integration is also practiced to allow the child to return to previous interests within the community while under supervision of a therapist.

Bariatric Surgery

Therapeutic Recreation provides a treatment session to patients before and after bariatric surgery, the goal of the treatment session before surgery is to discuss the patient’s current level of movement and work with them on ways to incorporate more movement post surgery into their daily leisure lifestyle. After bariatric surgery we meet to see if they are met the goals and talk to them about things they may be still struggling with and problem solving ways to help.

Acute Care Units


The role of therapeutic recreation on oncology is similar to the role of TR on the rehabilitation unit. However, interventions used on the oncology unit also include relaxation techniques to reduce pain and anxiety, and stress management.


Therapeutic Recreation provides interventions for patients on the Pulmonary Unit. Patients on the Pulmonary Unit may be ventilator or oxygen dependent and diagnosed with a variety of lung-related diseases and disorders. Patients are provided with leisure education, relaxation techniques, cognitive skills, communication/social skills, and endurance building activities.

Acute Referrals

Referrals for therapeutic recreation can be made for patients on any of the acute units (i.e. ICU, Cardiac, Antepartum, Neuroscience, etc.). The recreation therapist can be helpful in improving the patient's endurance, cognition, and emotional well-being through the use of their leisure interests or general recreational activities.

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