I made this to get an idea of who’s engaged online in our field. I want to know who’s speaking up, who’s getting what done – the kind of people I want to connect with, and who know what’s going on in our field. Not all of the blogs below are exclusively dedicated to RT – there were actually more blogs not updated in the past year than were. Does everyone need a blog? Not if you don’t want to! However, for those in smaller communities, or who are the only RT at their facility, I feel like blogging (or at least reading/engaging with other RTs blogging) would be an exciting opportunity to learn* and connect, and even teach! YOU surely know something that another RT doesn’t – share the knowledge!
*Just as a disclaimer, I’m not presenting any of the information in the blogs that follow as fact/law, replacement of clinical knowledge, etc. This is to connect with others in the profession, see other perspectives, and perhaps gain ideas or inspiration for future application.
Current Bloggers in Recreation Therapy
You’ll notice I give each of the blogs in this category a tagline. They did not ask for these taglines, and are entirely my own opinion. However, they are all meant in good humor, and if anyone has an issue, feel free to leave a comment below and I can address any concerns.
Playfully Practical – Julie Lagosz
The “Young One We’re All Rooting For” blog
I refrained from using “newbie,” but just barely. Why is this young one first on the list? Because she most exemplifies what today’s blogging environment is like. She’s got attractive graphics, an organized layout, posts that are very “pinnable,” and she’s got a ton of tags that will help others find what she’s writing about. Also, she’s still in school.
Not even graduated, and look at her contributing to the profession! I put her first, because if you are thinking about making a blog, this is closest to what is successful in the blogging world, regardless of topic, and this blog has a lot of potential. I had the pleasure of introducing myself to Julie over Facebook message, and got to talk with her a little bit about what she hopes to do with her blog. Girl is ambitious, and deserves to hear from and be supported by others in the field for what she’s doing.
Rec Therapy Today – Danny Pettry, M.Ed, M.S. CTRS
The “CSPAN of Rec Therapy” blog
To be clear, the descriptor for this blog is not negative! Danny Pettry has had this for less than a year, but already boasts an impressive amount of content. This is because he is posting multiple times a day with anything RT related in the news, in legislation, in research, and personal experiences. Is it the fanciest? No, but neither is CSPAN. This blog is doing the grunt work of finding current events and relevant content that nobody else is, on a consistent basis, and I applaud anyone willing to be a trailblazer.
RT Wise Owls – Temple University
The “Answer to All of Your Evidenced-Based Problems” blog
Not only do they have almost 30 pages of archived studies/reviews themselves (organized by categories!), they also have a super-handy page giving you steps to start employing EBP AND links to a large (20+) number of related open-source websites. Can you always see entire studies? No, life would be much too easy. However, making an account at somewhere like Mendeley* would allow you to save that abstract in case you get access later.
*I’m not endorsing Mendeley, but I do use it because it’s free, easy to connect with other researchers (hit me up if you join, my network is sparse!), and even easier to just drop things into your library (no entering citations!)
Hoosier RT – “Hoosier RT”
The “History Lesson You Didn’t Know You Wanted” blog
As far as I know this gets the longest running blog award, having been started by Hoosier RT at a time when MySpace was the most visited site on the internet, we were already sick of Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day,” and I was finishing up my first year in middle school. Today the posts are mostly position openings, but stroll down the rabbit hole of archives and you’ll find quips of wisdom and holiday celebrations sprinkled throughout a sense of what the profession’s culture and trends were 3, 5, even 10+ years ago.
Craig Hospital Blog– Craig Hospital
The “Goody-Two-Shoes” blog
I’m going to be blunt here for a minute. I feel like Craig is kind of the golden child of RT; rec therapy is a central part of their practice and they do SO MANY COOL TRIPS and have access to what seems like ALL THE THINGS. It’s easy to look at their outings and fancy adaptive equipment and want to throw your hands up because you could never do this kind of stuff with your clients (or is that just me?).
Did you know Craig started as a tent colony in 1907? I sure didn’t. Further, there is no mention of therapeutic recreation on their timeline until 1975, some 68 years later. If that is indeed when it actually started, they’re now in their 42nd year of perfecting this (and maybe it’s been longer and it just didn’t get mentioned). I would hope they are as good as they are after that amount of time. Another perspective, their program started before ‘recreation therapist’ was even included in the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles” (assuming this is a BLS predecessor?) So, be happy for them. Learn from them. They didn’t start out with a world-class program, this took time.
Bradford Woods Blog – Bradford Woods, affiliate of Indiana University
The “You Really Need To Visit To Understand” blog
While the blog is more “what’s going on” around this 2,300 acre Outdoor Center of IU’s School of Public Health, anyone who’s involved in adventure or equine modalities could gain some nuggets of knowledge perusing around their website. Their commitment to universal design allows success with clients of all ability levels, and varying degrees of health. Having volunteered there one summer during a camp specifically for kids treated at a particular children’s hospital, I think the most valuable thing to do is just visit and ask questions if you have the chance, even if it’s just for a day.
Good Shepherd Rehab Blog – Good Shepherd Rehabilitation
The “More Useful Than You Thought It’d Be” blog
OK, so I’ve only seen one article by a CTRS here, who also happens to be a physical therapist. A bit of a stretch, yes? However, looking through this blog you’ll also find occupational therapists, RNs, M.Ds, PhDs, MPHs, and the topics they’re writing on are things CTRSs also deal with. Dancing for Parkinson’s? Right up our alley. Working with someone who has MS? Want to do art and not sure where to start? Hit these people up and just ask questions. Apply to our field. You probably have something to teach as well.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
In no particular order.
Remember how Danny Pettry’s blog has been up for less than a year? Well he’s also had this website for 10 years now. Based on the welcome video and the courses page, you can see what’s NCTRC approved and get some other free goodies as well.
These guys also have NCTRC certified credits, at what looks like very reasonable prices.
Rec Therapy Blogs not Updated in the Past Year
I include the blogs below because while they may not be current, they still have relevant information and treatment ideas that could be useful for a variety of areas.
So, now that you’ve perused a few…
What do you think? Does this make you want to start your own blog? Are these resources helpful? Do we need more of this, or is our time better spent on other things? I’d love to hear from others, whether it’s a compliment, critique, or something else.
Next post I’ll talk about why I’m even doing this and some current ideas of where I want to go with my recent blog-makeover.