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Blog entry by Danny W. Pettry II, Director of Continuing Education at Rec Therapy Today®

Week # 2 in 2022. Goal: 52 blog entries before end of 2022.

Skate or die!

(C) Canstockphoto – permisstion to use

That was the skateboarders rallying cry. I (Danny Pettry) was an avid skateboarder for many years.

Death happens to everything. Nothing lasts forever. I’m not actively skateboarding in my early 40s.

There are a lot of things I don’t do anymore like use a rotary dial phone or VCR.

Innovate or die is a great concept for business

Sometimes the new innovations terminated the old ways of doing things.

Here are some examples:

  • Netflix replaced Blockbuster.
  • Facebook replaced Myspace.
  • Amazon replaced the Mega Malls
  • Digital cameras replaced Kodack. 
  • Indoor plumbing replaced outhouses
  • Internet news replaced newspapers.
  • Electricity (lightbulbs) replaced candles.
  • Horse and carriage was replaced by automobiles.
  • Smart boards replaced dry erase boards that replaced chalkboards.
  • Digital downloads replaced Compact Discs (CDs), which replaced Cassette Tapes, which replaced 8tracks, which replaced Vinyl Records.
  • My touchscreen smartphone replaced my flip-phone when it broke and I couldn’t fine the same replacement. I had to upgrade.
  • Live professional conferences have been replaced by online platforms like zoom, gotowebinar and teachable (during the covid pandemic).

Video DID NOT Kill the Radio Star

“Video Killed The Radio Star” by the Buggles was the first music video played on Music Television (MTV) in 1981. However, people still listen to the Radio. People today are listening to radio stars by FM and XM.

YouTube may have killed MTV, but music persists.

I (Danny Pettry) can recall watching many MTV videos in the late 80s to mid-90s waiting for my favorite to play missed a one-time replay of a NoDoubt [band] Christmas song (mid to late 90s) an worried I’d never hear it again. I didn’t hear that song again for about a decade when I found it on Youbue.

Today kids can play their favorite music video anytime they want through youtube.

Sometimes the old way persist:

  • Email didn’t replace snail-mail.
  • People still paint despite photography being introduced.
  • People still wear analog watches after digital watches were created.
  • Note: I (Danny Pettry) prefer analog clocks. I like to see my time this way.
  • People still read paperback books despite having access to ebooks and kindle.
  • People still collect vinyl records despite Apple’s thousands of songs in your pocket.
  • People ride in carriages pulled by horses from time to time in downtown Huntington, West Virginia.

Some of the old ways that must persist:

  • Ethics and professionalism must continue.
  • Professional conference need to resume and continue. 
  • Research and Evidenced-based practices must continue.
  • Professional organizations need to continue and grow membership.

What about Recreation Therapy Innovation?

Worldwide changes happen all the time.

Go now or get left behind in the world of changes.

We don’t want to miss the opportunity to innovate.

The time to act is now. Don’t miss the bus. 

Innovation is important for our profession: Recreation Therapy.

Recreation Therapy is an important service.

We Recreation Therapists don’t want to see our profession become the old Blockbuster Videos.

We as a profession must continue to innovate and grow.

Examples of staying stagnant.

  • Apple II computers (from 1977) wouldn’t be effective in 2022.
  • Physicians with a 1985 Medical Doctorate degree won’t be effective if they’re still using 1985 practices. It’s important for doctors to continue their education.

Recreation therapists must continue learning and growing and adapting.

Danny Pettry’s three (3) suggestions for Innovation in Recreation Therapy:

  • 1.) Join our national professional organization: The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). Your money spent on ATRA membership is an investment in our association. Imagine if 100% of the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) were a member of ATRA. The professional association’s budget would increase. That money goes towards advocating and promoting interests for consumers (patients/ client) of recreation therapy services as well as promoting interests of us Recreation Therapists. Membership is a professional tax. A small number of professionals pay the annual membership fee for the association that represents the overall interests of our professon.

Disclaimer: Danny Pettry is not an elected ATRA board member. Danny Pettry is not a hired spokesperson for ATRA. Danny Pettry is a Lifetime Member of ATRA who volunteers time and money to support ATRA efforts.

  • 2.) Continue your education. Continue your career. Continue your success. Become a knowledgeable person. Consider taking a college course (which could count towards your recertification pending the course meets professional knowledge areas). Read our professional journals. Attend a conference in an allied profession (which could count towards Continuing Education (CE) requirements (pending courses meet professional knowledge areas). A recreation therapist working in physical rehabilitation may want to attend a conference for Physical Therapists to gain knowledge. A Recreation Therapist working in a Behavioral Health setting may opt to attend a conference for Mental Health Counselors and/or Social Workers.
  • 3.) Research the benefits. The benefits of Recreational Therapy are endless (or so the T-shirt says). Research helps prove outcomes. Today organizations want to know that the services they paying for (in example Recreation Therapy) are providing specific outcomes. Evidenced-based practices are firmly grounded in research that supports the outcomes. As a reminder: Do NOT independently conduct research on your clients or patients. Our patients are there for treatment and not be tested. Research requires informed consent as well. How can you do research? Contact your local college or university with a Recreation Therapy degree program. Seek out the professors and ask how you can help with research projects.

Take online self-study courses through Rec Therapy Today here:

==> Click here to learn about the best-selling online CEU bundles at Rec Therapy Today.
Danny W. Pettry II is the director of continuing education at Rec Therapy Today.