Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
at Volunteers of America

Date Posted: 5/10/2019

Job Description


Residents, peers, team (social services, therapy, nursing), supervisors, and families.


Coordinate social, recreational, purposeful and spiritual activities to residents, whose needs include psychological, physical, and cognitive challenges.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • High school graduate or equivalent education.
  • Able to understand and follow procedures, work assignments, instructions, and prepare reports and documentation.
  • Computer skills are a must.
  • Ability to work with varying levels of responsiveness.
  • Able and willing to work flexible hours, such as during evenings and weekends for planned activities and special events.
  • Preference given to persons who have two (2) years experience in a health care setting.
  • Ability to utilize computers and other electronic devices for tasks such as timekeeping, in-servicing and documentation.
  • Able to meet the requirements identified in Essential Functions.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Assists in coordination of resident social, recreation, and service projects.
  • Assists with social, recreation, and service programs that provide spiritual, physical, and intellectual challenges for facility residents:
    • Researches and designs resident activity programs for Therapeutic Recreation Director’s Approval; implements approved programs that maintain viable interest and expand resident’s participation.
    • Plans and prepares supplies for scheduled activities.
    • Initiates various assigned individual and/or group activities; provides materials, instructions and supervision during activities; records attendance.
    • Evaluate resident reactions during activities, noting any unusual observations and reporting these to appropriate staff. If unsure, report to Activity Director.
  • Meet with new residents and develop and document individual resident activity plan by determining interests, abilities and needs.
  • Attend initial care and quarterly review conferences; participate in problem identification, resident goal setting and approach planning.
  • Attend IDT Conferences.
  • Documents quarterly, initial, annual and significant change in resident T.R. section of chart.
  • Assists with planning and supervision of residents during trips, outside activities and special events.
  • Assists in coordinating resident council meetings.
  • Assists in coordinating printing supply needs for activities and special events.
  • Performs assigned cleaning responsibilities of equipment and work areas.
  • Assists with the development, printing, and distribution of resident / family / caregiver newsletter:
    • Writes monthly articles regarding past and future activities.
    • Assists in obtaining articles from residents, staff and other resources.
  • Assists in coordination and supervision of volunteer staff.
  • Attend required in-services and completes assigned on-line modules.
  • Performs other duties or special assignments as directed by the Therapeutic Recreation Director.

Job Requirements

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee may encounter while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individual with disabilities to perform the essential functions:

  • The noise level in the environment is demanding.
  • Work area may be stressful; the employee is often on the move continuously, performing several job functions at once.
  • Exposure to blood, body tissue of fluids.
  • Exposure to hazardous waste materials, dust and loud or unpleasant noises.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individual with disabilities to meet these demands:

  • Employee needs ability to move continuously; may cover large distances walking through facility and is on feet consistently.
  • Employee needs to be able to use hands to write, type and document in medical records.
  • Frequently required to push and pull; occasionally required to bend, stoop, reach, crouch, kneel and balance.
  • Employee is required to occasionally lift up to thirty-five (35) pounds and to assist in moving residents’ articles throughout the facility.
  • On occasion, may be assigned to drive automotive equipment.
  • Works inside except for occasional out of doors planned activity events.
  • Ability to adapt to changes in daily work hours and schedule.
  • Vision requirements include both near and far vision.
  • Frequent resident handling.
  • Ability to keep attention on task if routinely interrupted.
  • Ability to understand a variety of concepts/approaches.
  • Ability to remember tasks/assignments for a full shift.

Safe Work Performance Expectations

The safety of employees, residents and visitors is of paramount importance to Volunteers of America. Our work place safety program will be incorporated as the standard of practice for this organization. Compliance with these safe work expectations will be required of all employees as a condition of employment. Our organization focus will hold all employees accountable for safety performance equal with quality and production expectations.

Employees will be expected to:

  • Follow correct policy and procedures for department and facility Fire/Disaster/Missing Person Plan. Know the location of fire alarms and extinguishers.
  • Follow correct policy and procedure for hand washing.
  • Follow guidelines for proper method of lifting.
  • All doorways, hallways and areas are to be kept clear.
  • Know the location and purpose of Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
  • Follow guidelines for department environment and safety measures.
  • Follow guidelines for safe handling, inspection, maintenance and storage of equipment. Report any malfunction of equipment.
  • Follow guidelines for safe handling and storage of chemicals and supplies.
  • Follow correct policy and procedure for reporting of incidents: staff, residents, etc.

EOE M/F/Vets/Disabled

Job Snapshot

About Us

Volunteers of America

At Volunteers of America, we are more than a nonprofit organization. We are a ministry of service that includes nearly 16,000 employees and more than 55,000 volunteers with a shared vision of a world where all people live in safety with social, emotional and physical well-being, spiritual fulfillment, justice and hope.

The national office is located in Alexandria, Va., part of the greater Washington, DC area. The headquarters includes executive staff and major office departments that have national responsibilities and provide support to local offices and Volunteers of America housing and senior living and care communities: communications, fundraising; public policy, finance, chartering, housing, volunteer services, program services and other operations.

Join the Volunteers of America Talent Network today and stay up-to-date on our openings as they continue to become available!

What is a Talent Network?

Talent Networks enhance your job search and application process. Whether you choose to apply or just leave your information, we look forward to staying connected with you.

Why Join?

  • Receive alerts with new job opportunities that match your interests
  • Share job opportunities through Social Media or email