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.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Need for More Strong M.S.Programs in RT

I have long believed that for RT practice to continue to make significant strides there needs to be a large number of master clinicians who work at an advanced practice level.

Master clinicians in RT are skilled professionals who develop and test new theory-based techniques for application in clinical practice. These techniques then are picked up by others who employ the techniques in working with their clients.

Not all master clinicians have to hold master's degrees (some may gain advanced clinical skills by working in the field under highly skilled clinicians). Most master clinicians however should be trained in university graduate programs in RT.

Professor Jennifer Piatt of Cal State University Sacramento has been engaged in discussions with professionals and educators in California on the topic of the development of strong master's degree programs in RT in her state. I was really pleased to know of the efforts of Jennifer and her colleagues.

There are some who believe that the master's degree should be the entry-level degree for RT. This, to me, would be ideal. Many of our sister professions have moved to having the master's degree as an entry-level degree. Some even require practice doctorates.

I do not believe that there are enough quality RT graduate programs. I would like to see the development of a number of strong university master's degree programs in RT that have a clinical focus -- so that master clinicians can be produced to serve as leaders for clinical practice in the profession.

What do you think? Do we need master clinicians to advance clinical practice in RT? Do you believe we need more quality university graduate programs to prepare master clinicians?


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