Transdisciplinary care and collaboration among team members is necessary and essential to maximize patient outcomes. Collaboration is the most effective when professionals understand the unique role of each discipline. This is potentially more difficult when disciplines overlap in some services provided, or when an individual on the team is dually-certified. In pediatric care settings, this is often the case for Recreational Therapy (RT) and Child Life (CL). Victoria Cooper, CTRS, MS & Heather Porter, CTRS, PhD at Temple University conducted a review of the literature to highlight the benefits of transdisciplinary care and current evidence-based research in acute pediatric RT and CL services. This review also summarized similarities and differences between the two fields based on profession-based documents. Findings indicate 28 unique areas of RT practice. These include: 18 grey areas (items found in both RT and CL profession-based documents with shades of differences); 8 items found in one profession that are highly likely to occur in both professions; and 31 areas of similarity. Items of similarity do not raise concern, as the items appear to be common among many healthcare professions, such as developing a therapeutic relationship and conducting an assessment. Differences stem from underlying principles of each profession. A manuscript containing the details of this study is currently being written for publication to disseminate the findings and provide suggestions for strengthening RT evidence-based research in pediatric acute care, along with suggested opportunities for collaborative research. In the meantime, ATRA sections will be developing setting and population-based competencies, which will also help in further defining our unique areas of practice.
How do you collaborate with child life specialists & other related disciplines? How do you define your role as a Recreational Therapist if you work in a pediatric setting with Child Life Specialists? Do you also hold a child life certification? Please share your thoughts and comments.
Blog Post by Victoria Cooper, MSRT, CTRS, Adjunct Instructor at Temple University, PA