RT Blog

Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

10 Worst Meeting Offenses

Here is an article I found on the web today. It is something we RTs and others can learn from. Here it is for your reading:

"10 Worst Meeting Offenses"
By Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder.com writer

Unfortunately, meetings are not an expendable part of corporate America. They are, however – or at least they can seem like – a colossal waste of time. (Unless, of course, food is served.)Mind-numbing as they may be, meetings are necessary. If conducted efficiently, they’re useful and can help you stand out in the workplace. Though you might be making all the right meeting moves, there are always folks who struggle with the concept of “good meeting behavior.” There are always those who talk out of turn, snap their gum loudly or spin in their chairs while others are speaking.Whether you’re the meeting leader or just a participant, prevent yourself from being “that guy” and never make these meeting mistakes:

1. Being Unprepared. Participant: If you receive an agenda or support material beforehand, read it. Or, contact the leader of the meeting and ask for some background info. Figure out what you’ll be able to bring to the table in a discussion. Leader: Make sure any technical aides are working – have a back-up plan if they aren’t. Confirm your meeting room; make sure it’s big enough for all attendees to fit comfortably and prepare the room beforehand so you aren’t wasting people’s time. Always provide an agenda or support material in advance.

2. Showing Up Late. Participant: Whether you’re in a meeting with two people or 200, get there on time. Being late will damage your image and show your disrespect for others’ time. Don’t expect others to review what you missed if you are late.Leader: Don’t call an “important” meeting and then make everyone wait for you to stroll in at your own convenience. Worse, don’t forget about the meeting altogether and leave your co-workers waiting for you.

3. Being a Meeting Hog. Participant: Don’t talk just to talk – plan to speak when you have something useful to say. If you’re asked to say something, be conscious of how much floor time you’re taking to make a point. Be blunt, be brief and be done.Leader: It’s your job to facilitate proper flow of conversation. If there’s someone hogging the floor, it’s up to you to keep track of the time and let others have a turn.

4. Sitting Silently. Participant: Refusing to participate will earn you a label you don’t want: Either as someone who lacks creativity or who can’t get things done; or your colleagues might get the vibe that you think you’re too good to offer your input. Engage in conversations, even if it’s only to share one suggestion. Otherwise, don’t bother showing up.Leader: Encourage participation. Don’t hand attendees a topic and let them run with it – lead the conversation and motivate others to get involved. If no one volunteers, take it upon yourself to ask people for their questions, comments and opinions.

5. Expressing Rude Body Language. Participant: Sleeping, sighing, slouching in your chair, hair tossing/touching/smoothing, spinning in your chair, leaving the room, eating loudly and making rude gestures or facial expressions are all distracting, rude and disrespectful. Leader: Manage those who are being rude. Don’t put anyone down, but don’t tolerate disrespectful behavior.

6. Conducting Sidebar Conversations. Participant: Having a side conversation is possibly the rudest thing you can do in a meeting. Even if you’re discussing the topic at hand, save sidebar conversations for after the meeting.Leader: If you notice attendees chitchatting, ask if there’s a question or concern – this turns the attention back to the meeting’s issues, and lets everyone know sidebar conversations aren’t tolerated.

7. Arguing or Putting Others Down. Participant: Disagreements are fine – as long as they’re appropriate. Don’t make others (i.e., the boss or your co-worker) look bad. Don’t contradict them, expose their mistakes in a condescending way or ignore their points altogether. If you have something to debate, do it in private and don’t waste everyone’s time.Leader: There’s no need to discredit others’ ideas or comments just because you are leading the meeting. Be professional when you disagree.

8. Leaving Your Cell Phone On. Participant: Cell phones shouldn’t even enter the boardroom, but if they do, turn them to vibrate mode. Interrupting meeting progress with your calls is distasteful and disrespectful. If you’re expecting an obligatory phone call, either skip the meeting or let everyone in the room know in advance the call might happen and excuse yourself quietly when (and if) it does.Leader: Same advice - leave cell phones out or turn them off.

9. Chewing Gum. Participant: The smack, crackle and pop of your gum are annoying, not to mention rude and unprofessional. Get rid of it.Leader: You want attendees to pay attention to you, not your gum-smacking.

10. Shutting Down After the Meeting. Participant: Forgetting what you heard in the meeting is counter-productive. Hold onto support materials, and if you still have questions or concerns, contact the leader.Leader: Tie up all loose ends in the meeting. Reach a consensus if necessary; otherwise, summarize effectively to answer any and all questions.

Note to self: Post these tips in meeting rooms.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Position Openings in Community RT

Heather Sedketzeck, CTRS, today posted these openings:

RT Solutions, Inc. is seeking a CTRS for two (2) full-time, salaried positions with insurance and 401 K. One position would serve Marion, Hendricks, Johnson and Hamilton County areas and the other would serve Putnam, Clay, Vigo and Vermillion Counties in Indiana.

The position is for a home-based therapist to deliver services to clients with developmental disabilities. We serve clients of all ages and abilities!

RT Solutions offers competitive pay and a supportive work environment! For more information about our company, please check out our website at: http://www.rtsolutionsinc.com/

If interested, please send your resume to: Heather Sedletzeck at heatherctrs@bizma.rr.com

Heather J. Sedletzeck, CTRS, PresidentRT Solutions, Inc.812-231-1765812-878-6872http://www.rtsolutionsinc.com/

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Source for Depression & Physical Activity Research

My July 23rd post on exercise and depression research didn't contain the source for the article. I have found it and am passing it on.

"Efficacy of Physical Activity in the Adjunctive Treatment of Major Depressive Disorders: Preliminary Results," appeared in Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 2007, 3:8. The lead author is Alessandra Pilu.

Results of the study showed that physical activity seems to be a good adjunctive treatment in the long-term management of patients with Major Depressive Disorders.

For those who use the IU Library, Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health is available online.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Final List of Email Etiquette Tips

Here is the final list of email etiquette tips from the American Nurse Today article by Kathleen Pagana, Ph.D., RN. A thought -- RT professors may wish to share these with their students.

The last list of email etiquette tips follows:

* Don't forward messages with pages of "mail to" information before the content. Delete all extraneous information before you forward it.

* When responding to a question, include the question in your response. A response without the question may confuse the reader.

* Don't forward inappropriate messages. Such as jokes in bad taste or chain letters.

* Try to keep to a single topic. This makes it easier to respond and to file.

* Be proactive in your responses. Do everything you can to stop the exchange of emails. If you think your response will prompt a question, answer it.

* When sending an email to multiple addresses use "BCC." People don't like having their email addresses broadcast to the public.

* Use your auto-responder when you aren't available. Then people won't wonder why you haven't replied.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Research on Exercise and Depression

Exercise May Help Relieve Depression: Exercise may help relive depression in women for whom other treatments failed to work, a small Italian study published in the journal Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health indicates.

Depressive symptoms in women who participated in the study’s supervised exercise program were significantly reduced compared with a control group of women who didn’t exercise but just took medication. Among other reasons, the finding might be attributed to exercise’s effects on certain brain chemicals associated with depression. (Reuters, 7/19/07)

Vicki Scott on ATRA Ballot

I just received my ATRA ballot. Indiana's own Vicki Scott is running for Treasurer. We've had great leadership within ATRA from our Hoosier state and I'm really pleased Vicki is on this year's ATRA slate. I know all Hoosiers who belong to ATRA will support Vicki.

Job at Logansport -- Apply by Friday

From Bridget L. Lawson, CTRS, RT4:

Job Title: Rehabilitation Therapist 4 Location: Logansport State Hospital Annual Minimum Salary $27,820.00

Job Description Duties Incumbent provides rehabilitation services in a state institution, hospital or community center through planning, organizing and conducting individual treatment programs in a specific area such as occupational therapy, recreation, music and vocational services. These services are designed to raise the function level of patients/residents, enabling them to remain in the community, or if hospitalized, to return to the community.

Representative duties may include:•Serves as a member of an interdisciplinary treatment team and participates in the development of individual patients’/residents’ treatment plans;•Assesses individual patient/resident interests, needs, skills, and limitations to provide input into development of appropriate treatment plans and training programs;
•Plans and directs various rehabilitative activities for individual and group participation in accordance with treatment plans;•Stimulates patients’ interest in activities to encourage their participation and progress;•Advises and reinforces patients on acceptable social behavior;•Prepares and maintains monthly reports, progress reports, and daily documentation as necessary;•Supervises, trains, and coordinates activities of non-professional and lower level direct care staff;•Evaluates patients’/residents’ progress as measured against treatment goals and objectives;•Performs related work as required Job Requirements•Specialized knowledge of purposes, principles and practices of providing rehabilitation services usually with emphasis on recreation, music, vocational or occupational therapy;•Working knowledge of causes, symptoms, and limitations of various mental and developmental disabilities and methods of rehabilitation;•Ability to provide input into development of individual treatment plans integrating rehabilitation programs into an interdisciplinary approach to treatment;•Ability to effectively communicate with individuals of all functioning levels and to lead individual and group activities;•Ability to train, supervise, and coordinate work of lower level professionals and paraprofessionals;•Ability to evaluate patients’/residents’ progress and to make recommendations regarding effective rehabilitation activities.

Responsibilities General instructions and caseload responsibilities are provided by supervisor prior to the course of work. Unusual treatment or program problems are discussed with supervisor and work is reviewed for effectiveness of treatment methods and soundness of judgment in providing input into treatment plans. Recommendations regarding individual treatment plans involve the application of general rehabilitation methods to individual treatment plans.

Qualifications Bachelor's degree from an accredited college required. Course work in any one of or a combination of the following subject areas required: Adaptive Physical Education, Art Therapy, Dance Therapy, Horticultural Therapy, Music Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Education, Recreation, Rehabilitation Counseling, Special Education, Therapeutic Recreation, Vocational Rehabilitation, or a related area. Additional Comments Work involves the assessment and selection of standard therapy methods for input into specific individual treatment plans. Incumbent follows applicable laws, regulations and guidelines related to protection and treatment rights of patients. Uses professional judgment in assessing patients’ needs and in tailoring treatment plans to individuals.

Benefits The State of Indiana offers a comprehensive benefit package which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement plans and accrued leave. Equal Employment Opportunity The State of Indiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Please apply before: 07/27/2007 at http://www.in.gov/jobs/

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mental Health Parity Bill May Pass by Year's End

The mental health parity bill sponsored by Reps. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., and Jim Ramstad, R-Minn., will likely pass the House of Representatives by the end of the year, said Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., who chairs the subcommittee that held the first hearing on the bill. Kennedy said he intends to champion his bill over one sponsored by his father, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., which has won support from businesses. Kennedy said he is open to compromise once the bills are passed and House and Senate negotiators meet in a conference committee. (CongressDaily, 7/12/07)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Position Opening in Evansville, IN

Program Director, Welborn Baptist Foundation, Active Living Evansville, Indiana, August 31, 2007. Seeking a Master's-degreed person in related field, with 5 years' relevant experience, to lead foundation's development and promotion of a healthy community initiative (including obesity reduction/prevention efforts).

For additional information about the position, go to http://www.welbornfdn.org/WBF_Foundation_news.htm or contact 812-437-8260 or info@welbornfdn.org.

New Fitness Book

Information from the NCPAD Book Corner a a new publication: Fitness and Exercise Sourcebook, 3rd Edition

Fitness and Exercise Sourcebook, 3rd EditionSutton, Amy L. (2007)Detroit, MI, Omnigraphics, Inc.The Fitness and Exercise Sourcebook is a resource for both those who are just starting an exercise program as well as veteran exercisers who may be seeking additional guidance or motivation. The book contains information on the role of exercise in chronic disease prevention, weight control, bone health, and mental health, aerobic and strength training exercise basics including exercise myths, tips on choosing a fitness facility, home equipment, everyday recreation as exercise, exercising away from home, healthy diet, water intake, and information specifically for athletes. The last section of the sourcebook discusses physical activity for people with specific concerns, conditions, or disabilities. Additionally, the book gives suggestions on overcoming barriers, staying motivated, sticking to your program, and working out with family and friends. Chapter 60, "Staying Motivated to Exercise through Goal Setting," has been reproduced from NCPAD and can also be found on our website at http://www.ncpad.org/exercise/fact_sheet.php?sheet=80. A glossary of fitness terms and directory of fitness resources are included as well.

To order, contact Omnigraphics, Inc. at info@omnigraphics.com or 800-234-1340 or go to http://www.omnigraphics.com/product_view.php?ID=864.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Email Etiquette Tips

Here are some more tips from Pagana's "E-mail Etiquette" article:

* Keep the message concise. Try to keep the entire message viewable without scrolling.
* Be sure your email includes your address, email address, and phone number.
* Double-check the recipients before sending the message. Without a check, you may send your email to the wrong persons.
* Avoid overusing "Reply All." Don't annoy others by sending messages they don't want to read.
* Check grammer and spelling before sending an email. Run a grammer and spell check but also proofread because the wrong word may be spelled correctly.

Still more email etiquette tips to follow....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Email Etiquette Tips

Here are a few of the email etiquette tips from Kathleen Pagana that appeared in the July, 2007, issue of American Nurse Today:

* Don't send confidential information. Remember your message can be forwarded to anyone. So make sure you would be confortable seeing your message on the RT Blog!!
* Don't use all uppercase or all lowercase letters. Using all uppercase letters looks like you are shouting and using all lowercase letters looks like you are lazy.
* Made your subject line specific. A message with the generic "Hi" doesn't help the message's reader priortize the message. So let the reader know what it is about.
* Include a greeting and close. You are communicating with a person, not a computer.
* Keep a business tone. Don't ever respond with anger or with inappropriate language.

I'll plan to send along additional tips on later posts.

Friday, July 13, 2007

When Not to Use Email

According to an article by Kathleen D. Pagana in the July, 2007, issue of American Nurse Today, we should use the telephone or snail mail, not email, for the following subjects:

*Sending a thank you note
*Resigning from a job
*Discussing confidential or sensitive information
*Sending urgent information without follow-up (Computer glitches do happen.)
*When you need an immediate response (Use the phone.)

Pagana also offers 17 tips for email etiquette that may be of help to RTs. I'll plan to pass these along at a later date on the RT Blog. In the meanwhile, happy Friday the 13th!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It is National RT Week

National Recreational Therapy Week is July 9 - 15, 2007. Happy RT Week!

Position Paper Available from NCTRC

NCTRC has published a position paper entitled “NCTRC Position Paper on the Legal Regulation of the Practice of Recreation Therapy.”

The NCTRC paper advocates the legal regulation of RT practice. I certainly support this position.

Within the paper a number of terms are defined, including recreaton therapy. The definition put forth in the paper follows:

"Recreation therapy: a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions based upon the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions. The purpose of the RT process is to improve or maintain physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning in order to facilitate full participation in life."

Is this a good definition of RT? It seems good as far as it goes but it lacks any mention of optimal health and wellness -- or health promotion. What do you think?

You may go to the NCTRC website, http://www.nctrc.org/ to download a copy of NCTRC's position paper.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Epilepsy Increases Risk of Suicide

Research reported by the BBC (7/3/07) indicates people who have epilepsy are generally three times more likely to die as a result of suicide than the general population, a study in the journal Lancet Neurology indicates. The risk of suicide is at its highest within six months of diagnosis, according to Danish researchers, and falls as time goes by. There may be a number of factors that affect the relationship between suicide and epilepsy, including a reduction of an overall quality of life in many people with the disorder, the researchers said. The results underscore the importance of reducing the stigma that’s still often associated with epilepsy.

It is therefore important that RTs do everything they can to reduce the stigma that is often associated with epilepsy.

2008 ATRA Mid-Year Cancelled

The announcement found below was posted on the ATRA Blog on Tuesday, July 3, 2007:

"The 2008 Mid-Year Professional Issues Forum, which was scheduled for March 2008 in Tulsa, OK, has been cancelled. Due to changes within the Association, the Board of Directors has decided to cancel this event. "

I just read the announcement today. My initial reaction is that the cancellation is a surprise. Many of us put our hearts, efforts, and financial support into founding ATRA. I have a personal investment in our professional organization (Founding Member, Past President, Past Board Member) and I would like to know more about why the decision was made. I hope today's ATRA leaders will soon be informing us ATRA members about the decision.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

ATRA Conference Mailing Out

ATRA has sent out a mailing on the ATRA Annual Conference to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 9 - 12, 2007. The theme of this year's conference is "Investing in our Profession."

Visit the ATRA website for details. The address is www.atra-tr.org/continuingeducation.htm

University of Florida Offers Online RT Course

I just received a card announcing that Professor Bob Beland will be teaching an online course, "Program Planning for Therapeutic Recreation." Bob has been on faculty at the University of Florida for over 28 years where he has won teaching awards.

For more information, contact:
(352) 392-0578 est 1279

Monday, July 09, 2007

Post on Why University RT Programs are Closing

I posted the following message on 07-09-2007 at 9:50 PM on Charlie Dixon's RT/TR Directory bulletin board at http://www.recreationtherapy.com/board/ubbhtml/Forum2/HTML/000952.html about University TR programs closing through out the country. Here is what I posted:

Many valid ideas have been presented as to why universities have dropped their professional preparation programs in RT. These include: the possibility of a poor job market (but I have not seen data to support this);low pay for RT professionals;and a lack of a clear understanding of just what RT is and why it should be valued.

I believe the short answer as to why schools have done away with RT curricula is that RT is not valued to the extent that it should be. How do we correct this? How do we get others to value and respect RT? First, RT must clearly define itself (Is it a health/wellness profession or a recreation profession?) The profession has done a poor job of defining itself. Second, RT must present a clear message of what it is about using many means -- but keeping in mind that we live in an age of technology. Technology must be used to tell our story. Improving the ATRA website would be a good start. Third, "Quality Endures" should be the credo for university RT programs. RT faculty must be respected as scholars by their faculty colleagues from other academic disciplines if the profession is to be valued within the academic community. RT faculty also must act now to improve RT curricula. RT curriculum standards are too low today. RT professionals need to actively demand that university RT professional preparation programs provide the kind of preparation needed to be a valued member of the health care team. In sum, RT will do well in higher education if RT is seen as a valued profession with scholarly university faculty who present strong curricula to prepare future professionals.

Do you share my view? If so, please comment on this post on the RT Blog. If you don't agree, what is your view? Again, please comment on this post on the RT Blog. Or you may wish to go to the RT/TR Directory bulletin board to post your thoughts.

RT Position Open in Dayton, Ohio

The message below was posted on the RTI listserve. It is from Christina Fern, CTRS,
Adjunctive Therapy Department, Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare - Dayton, Ohio, Campus.

Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare in Dayton, OH has a full time recreational therapist position open working with adults 18 and older with severe mental illness. This position is open to any RT with an undergraduate degree in Recreational Therapy and is eligible to sit for the CTRS exam. For more information, contact the Human Resources department at (937) 258-0440 ext. 6215 or send general questions to Christina Fern at Fernc@mh.state.oh.us or (937) 258-0440 ext. 6244.

Alcohol Abuse is Common, Treatment Isn't

About one-third of Americans abuse or become dependent on alcohol at some point during their lives, although only about one-quarter of these people ever receive treatment, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates. Columbia University Medical Center researchers found that the groups with the highest prevalence rates were men, whites, Native Americans, younger and unmarried adults, and people with relatively low incomes (From a Reuters report on 7/3/07).

RT can play a major role in the treatment of alcoholism by helping clients to develop healthy activity patterns and develop healthy relationships.

Mental Illness in America

1 in 4 American adults live with mental health problems each year. With proper treatment and support, most people with mental illnesses live productive lives at home in their communities(Archives of General Psychiatry, June 2005). RTs can do much to speed the recovery of those who are mentally ill.

RT Position Opening

The message that follows regarding a job opening was received from Heather Sedletzeck.

RT Solutions, Inc. is seeking a CTRS for a part-time position with the potential to work full time in the Marion, Hendricks, Johnson and Hamilton County areas in Indiana.

The position is for a home-based therapist to deliver services to clients with developmental disabilities. We serve clients of all ages and abilities!

RT Solutions offers competitive pay and a supportive work environment! For more information about RT Solutions, please check out the website at: http://www.rtsolutionsinc.com/

If interested, please send your resume to: Heather Sedletzeck at heatherctrs@bizma.rr.com

Heather J. Sedletzeck, CTRS, PresidentRT Solutions, Inc.812-231-1765812-878-6872

Alaska Wild and Wonderful

The old Hoosier RT just returned from a vacation trip to Alaska. It was a wonderful trip in a state with so much natural beauty. I would recommend a visit to our 49th state if you have not yet made the trip.

By the way, I have now visited all 50 states in the United States. I have found that each has something special about it. We are so lucky to live in the USA!