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standards of practice

 

 

The ATRA Standards for the Practice of Recreational Therapy & Self-Assessment Guide, published in 2013 (revised in 2015), consists of 12 standards and the Self-Assessment Guide (SOP/SAG).  The manual was written in a format that provides a comprehensive description of recreational therapy practice, consistent with requirements of accrediting and regulatory agencies and quality recreational therapy practice. Each of the 12 standards include of a rational, structure criteria, which reflects the parameters of practice  (facilities, resources etc); process criteria, which focus on the provision of services (practitioner-patient/client interaction, intervention strategies, etc.) and outcome criteria, which reflects the achievement or change in patient/client condition (improved functional level, satisfaction, etc.) resulting from recreational therapy practice.

 

The Self-Assessment Guide includes the data collection instruments, methodology and scoring worksheets to be used to evaluate compliance of recreational therapy practice with the standards and criteria and to determine opportunities to improve compliance.

 

 

The information posted provides the reader with an overview of each of the standards and the rationale for each standard to provide the reader with a general awareness of scope and breadth of the standards of practice.  Not posted are the structure, process and outcome criteria for each standard.  These structure, process and outcome criteria further define requirements and implementation of the standards and are essential components of the standards for recreational therapy practice.  

 

The Standards of Practice Committee recommends every recreational therapy professional have a copy of the ATRA Standards for the Practice of Recreational Therapy & Self-Assessment Guide and attend trainings provided at conferences to enhance their knowledge and increase their compliance with the standards and criteria. 

 

Increased compliance with the ATRA SOP-RT will improve the consistency and predictability of outcomes achieved through recreational therapy practice and will improve patient/client functioning, independence in life activities and patient/client and other stakeholder’s satisfaction with recreational therapy.

 

The ATRA SOP is considered to have a high degree of validity, and the self-assessment guide is considered to have reasonable reliability when data collection, for assessment of compliance, is controlled. The internal consistency of the SOP standards and criteria with regulatory requirements and standards of regulatory and accreditation agencies is considered to be very high. It has been demonstrated through several compliance training workshops that, when recreational therapists use the Self-Assessment Guide and data collection instruments to evaluate compliance and develop compliance improvement plans, compliance with all of the standards is achievable and significantly improves the quality of recreational therapy services provided. Those who have received training on the rationale for the standards and criteria and how to use the Self-Assessment Guide, to assess compliance with the SOP, give the ATRA SOP very high ratings for satisfaction and confidence related to quality recreational therapy practice in compliance with accreditation standards and requirements of regulatory agencies. 

 

The 12 standards reflect levels of service provision for recreational therapy professionals to implement in a variety of settings. The Standards will assist the recreational therapy professional in assuring the systematic provision of quality recreational therapy services.

 

Standard 1: Assessment.

The recreational therapist receives and responds, consistent with standards, regulatory requirements and policies for the setting, to requests, including referrals and physician orders, for assessment and treatment; and conducts an individualized assessment to collect systematic, comprehensive and accurate data necessary to determine a course of action and subsequent individualized treatment plan. Under the clinical supervision of the recreational therapist, the recreational therapy assistant, commensurate with qualifications, assessed competency and defined clinical supervision, assists the recreational therapist in collecting systematic, comprehensive and accurate data.

 

Standard 2: Treatment Planning.

The recreational therapist plans and develops an individualized treatment plan that identifies goals and evidence-based treatment intervention strategies. The recreational therapy assistant, commensurate with qualifications, assessed competency and defined clinical supervision, helps the recreational therapist to plan and develop the individualized treatment plan.


Standard 3: Plan Implementation.

The recreational therapist implements an individualized treatment plan, using evidence-based practice, to restore, remediate or rehabilitate functional abilities in order to improve and maintain independence and quality of life as well as to reduce or eliminate activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition. Implementation of the treatment plan by the recreational therapist is consistent with the overall or interdisciplinary patient/client treatment program. Under the clinical supervision of the recreational therapist, the recreational therapy assistant leads activities and engages patients/clients, individuals and/or groups, to achieve treatment goals and objectives.

Standard 4: Re-assessment and Evaluation.

The recreational therapist systematically re-assesses, evaluates and compares the patient’s/client’s progress relative to the individualized treatment plan. The treatment plan is revised based upon changes in the interventions, diagnosis and patient/client responses. Under the clinical supervision of the recreational therapist, the recreational therapy assistant assists in the evaluation of the individualized treatment plan.


Standard 5: Discharge/Transition Planning. 

The recreational therapist develops a discharge plan in collaboration with the patient/client, family, significant others and treatment team members in order to discharge the patient/client or to continue treatment and aftercare, as needed. Under the clinical supervision of the recreational therapist, the recreational therapy assistant assists in the development of the discharge plan.

 

Standard 6: Prevention, Safety Planning and Risk Management. 

The recreational therapist systematically plans to improve patient/client and staff safety by planning for prevention and reduction of risks in order to prevent injury and reduce potential or actual harm. The recreational therapy assistant, commensurate with qualifications, assessed competency and defined clinical supervision, helps the recreational therapist to improve patient/client safety and to plan to improve safety and risk management.

 

Standard 7: Ethical Conduct.

The recreational therapist and the recreational therapy assistant adhere to the ATRA Code of Ethics in providing patient/client treatment and care that are humane and professional.

 

Standard 8: Written Plan of Operation.

Recreational therapy treatment and care is governed by a written plan of operation that is based upon the ATRA Standards for the Practice of Recreational Therapy, state and federal laws and regulations, requirements of regulatory and accrediting agencies, payers and employer’s policies and procedures as appropriate.

 

Standard 9: Staff Qualifications and Competency Assessment.

Recreational therapy staff meet the defined qualifications, demonstrate competency, maintain appropriate credentials and have opportunities for competency development.

 

Standard 10: Quality Improvement.

There exist objective and systematic processes for continuously improving patient/client safety and for identifying opportunities to improve recreational therapy treatment and care and patient/client outcomes.

 

Standard 11: Resource Management.

Recreational therapy treatment and care are provided in an effective and efficient manner that reflects the reasonable and appropriate use of resources.

 

Standard 12: Program Evaluation and Research.

Recreational therapy staff engages in routine, systematic program evaluation and research for the purpose of determining the appropriateness and effectiveness of recreational therapy treatment and care provided.

 

Want to know more?

Learn about the history of the Standards of Practice here.

 

 

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