What are the Career Exploration Hours and requirements?
Since January 2009, the RT Department has required students to complete a 60-hour shadowing experience. These hours are to be completed prior to enrollment in 4000 level coursework in the RT program. The Career Exploration Hours are designed to be split among four settings, each hosting the student for a minimum of 15 hours in each setting, that emphasizes a major employment area of the RT profession. For all hours, the student is to be involved in observation of and assistance with service delivery and interaction with participants. Students are not to be providing direct service provision but becoming aware of what skills and duties a recreational therapist might need. The point of this requirement is to make students aware of the many settings and skills incorporated in the field of recreational therapy!
Students must be supervised under the supervision of a currently Licensed Recreational Therapist (LRT) or Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) in all of the following settings EXCEPT for the flexible setting:
- 15 hours Rehabilitation setting
- 15 hours Long Term Care/Nursing Home setting
- 15 hours Behavioral Health/Mental health/Substance Abuse setting
- 15 hours Flexible setting: this setting may be completed in any program providing recreation or allied health services to persons with special needs. While supervision by an LRT or CTRS is not required, the student may elect to complete these 15 hours in a recreational therapy program under the supervision of an LRT or CTRS (e.g. if they wish to continue observation in one of the above settings).
Students are responsible for verifying the licenses of supervisors at the A, B, and C settings are current. To do this, students may access the websites below:
Career Exploration Hours will have an impact on your application to the RT program! Part of a student's admission score will include how many Career Exploration Hours have been completed. Therefore, it is vitally important that students complete and document their completion of hours. The #1 thing the RT Department is looking for in this area is that students applying to the RT program have completed all or at the very least a portion of their hours.
- Register with the Volunteer and Service Learning Center (VSLC) so you are covered by their liability insurance. Only hours completed in the flexible setting are appropriate for submission to the VSLC.
- Identify places to shadow. Begin this process early! Some locations will require students to complete volunteer training in advance. When students plan for completing their Career Exploration Hours they are well aware of all the requirements each agency will have for them. It is also recommend students complete their hours in their home communities during weekends, breaks and/or summer. Local options in Greenville are overloaded with requests from ECU students and it would be much easier for students to complete these hours at home
- Visit the RT Internship Resources website: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-hhp/rcls/rt-internship-resources.cfm (view the related links for possible agencies).
- NCTRA internships - select search database (for students), select list all
- Recreation Therapy internships - see resources drop down menu, select internship, log in (username/password listed), select list all
- Call or visit locations in your community. Below are some examples of agencies within each setting:
- Rehabilitation - Carolina Medical Center (Charlotte), Wake Medical Center (Raleigh), Bryn Marr Hospital (Jacksonville), Moses Cone Rehabilitation Center (Greensboro), Heritage Hospital, Vidant (Greenville)
- Long Term Care/Nursing Home - Sunrise Assisted Living (Raleigh), Fountains of Albemarle (Tarboro), Wilmed (Wilson)
- Behavioral Health/Mental Health/Substance Abuse - SOAR (Balsam, NC), Capitol Biofeedback (Raleigh), Central Regional Hospital (Raleigh), Walter B Jones (Greenville), Cherry Hill (Greensboro)
- Flexible Hours - Special Olympics, Victory Junction Camp, Senior Programs (not run by CTRS), Cypress Glen Retirement Center (Greenville), Greenville Recreation and Parks, Support Team for Active Recreation, Vidant (Greenville)
- Ask RT staff at the agency if they would be willing to host you. Remember that students are NOT to be providing direct service hours but assisting and observing to gain a sense of services provided in the setting!
- Be familiar with the skills you will need to learn/observe (see RT Competency Sheet in documentation paperwork below) BEFORE you begin an experience to ensure you meet the requirements.
- At each setting, when you begin your hours, have the supervisor read the letter in documentation paperwork below. Keep track of the hours and complete ALL required documentation paperwork as detailed below in 'What forms for I need to complete?'.
What forms do I need to complete?There are specific forms to be completed for each setting. Having only a VSLC timesheet is an unacceptable form of documentation for your Career Exploration Hours. Students need to complete the following:
- Career Exploration Hours Packet 1 - documentation paperwork for settings A, B and C.
- Career Exploration Hours Packet 2 - documentation paperwork for flexible setting.
- Below is an explanation of who is responsible for completing the paperwork in each of the above packets:
- Page 1 = to be given to supervisor; explains purpose of hours and what you will be doing.
- Page 2 + 3 = to be filled out by supervisor.
- Page 4 = to be completed by you and signed by supervisor.
Students must hold on to all originals of these forms and keep track of your completed hours! These documents will be requested for when applying to the RT program and added to your official advising folder once accepted.
Creekside Recreational Therapy Services
New Bern, NC 28562 252-675-2635
Creekside Recreational Therapy Services is a volunteer driven nonprofit organization serving children, adolescents, adults and families with and without disabilities, illnesses or special needs who face many different types of challenges in New Bern, NC. The Creekside RTS mission is to empower people and strengthen families by helping them to achieve their goals and to have fun while they do it. We do this by providing individual and inclusive opportunities for people of all ages and ability levels to participate in constructive recreational and educational opportunities where they can discover their strengths and unique gifts, make positive choices and are able to grow and learn the life skills they need to be successful. At Creekside Recreational Therapy Services, we believe that everyone has the potential to be a valuable member of our community.
Please contact Ms. Melissa Lewis, LRT/CTRS for Career Exploration opportunities via email (email@example.com) prior to the following deadlines: August 10th, January 10th, & May 10th to inquire about shadowing opportunities (be specific about area of interest(s) in your cover letter). Ms. Lewis requests the following materials, all professionally prepared: (1) cover letter indicating interest, (2) resume, (3) criminal background check, and (4) TWO negative TB tests (as attachments/scanned if necessary). Cover letters and resumes must be proofed and approved by the ECU Career Center prior to sending. Ms. Lewis will only respond to well-written, respectful, and professional email inquiries. Creekside may require additional information.
Day Break Life Center, Inc.
517 N. Queen St., Kinston, NC 252-527-9447
Cora Mattocks Cmattocks6@embarqmail.com
Day Break is an Adult Day Care Center serving the needs of the physically, cognitively, or socially impaired members of the community. Our objective is to provide high-quality adult day care services for physically and mentally impaired adults in a structured setting that gives caregivers peace of mind in knowing their loved ones are in a safe and caring environment. Participants benefit from meaningful social interaction, which helps to prevent premature nursing home entry; reduce fear, anxiety and isolation; and enjoy peer support. The Center offers clients a renewed interest in life and the opportunity to live with family, medical care, and social interaction. Caregivers (family members) benefit by reduced interference with their jobs, assistance with physical demands of caring for loved ones, avoiding the guilt of putting loved ones in a nursing home, peace of mind, emotional reassurance, and support meetings for family and friends dealing with loved ones who have dementia. Day Break would be an awesome experience for required Career Exploration Hours (flexible only) students. We are a small facility (24 participants), which gives a structured day filled with love and support for the people that we serve.
Please make contact with Day Break via a professional email when seeking flexible Career Exploration Hours. Include an electronic (or scanned) copies of (1) cover letter indicating interest, (2) resume, (3) criminal background check, and (4) a negative TB test (as attachments/scanned if necessary).. Please have the Career Center proof your Resume and Cover Letter prior to sending (they have appointments available). Only professional and respectful emails will be returned, so please spell check. Due dates for each semester include January 5, May 5th, and August 5th.
The Department of Recreational Therapy and Child Life at UNC Hospitals 101 Manning Drive Chapel Hill, NC 27514 919-966-4775
Contact Ms. Laurie Reddick
The Department of Recreational Therapy and Child Life (RTCL) is a dynamic participant in the patient care, teaching, research, and community service mission of the medical center. Exploration hours and internships are offered in the department, which serves pediatric patients.
Contact Ms. Laurie Reddick, MA, LRT/CTRS, CCLS, Director and Coordinator of Clinical Education prior to the following deadlines: August 10th, January 10th, & May 10th to inquire about shadowing opportunities (be specific about area of interest(s) in your cover letter). Ms. Lewis requests the following materials, all professionally prepared: (1) cover letter indicating interest, (2) resume, (3) criminal background check, and (4) TWO negative TB tests (as attachments/scanned if necessary). Cover letters and resumes must be proofed and approved by the ECU Career Center prior to sending. Ms. Lewis will only respond to well-written, respectful, and professional email inquiries. Creekside may require additional information.
Walter B. Jones Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center
2577 West 5th Street, Greenville, NC 252-830-3426
Contact Ms. Angela Bond, LRT/CTRS
The Walter B. Jones Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center is an 80-bed, inpatient treatment facility designed to treat alcohol and drug dependent adults with co-occurring psychiatric disorders. The Center provides treatment for pregnant and postpartum women and their infants as part of the Eastern Regional Women and Infants Project (EWRIP) and has the only on-site "maternal unit" in any state facility in North Carolina. The mission is to provide medically monitored detoxification/crisis stabilization and short‐term treatment, preparing adults with substance use and co‐occurring disorders for ongoing community based recovery services.
A specific application form is required as part of the process in securing an internship, practicum, and/or career exploration hours at Walter B. Jones ADATC. Follow the links below to access that information.
Walter B. Jones Forms
Career Exploration Application (15 hours)
Senior Practicum Application (40+ hours)
Senior Practicum Requirements (for RCTX 4260)
Vidant Medical Center, located in Greenville, NC has a well-established Recreational Therapy program. Call 252-847-4445
Recreation Therapy is an important part of a patient's overall rehabilitation program. Recreation therapists use leisure activities based on existing interests and skills to help patients improve their quality of life. Group and individual activities, including our highly regarded aquatic therapy program, help patients to: develop leisure skills, learn to handle stress, increase strength and coordination, improve social skills, improve motivation and self-esteem, and other quality of life measures.
A specific application form is required as part of the process in securing an internship, practicum, and/or career exploration hours at Vidant Medical Center Recreational Therapy program. In addition, every student who volunteers or works at Vidant will need to complete a comprehensive orientation program.