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Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services

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National Recreation Therapy Service

Work at VA as a Recreational Therapist or Creative Arts Therapist

VA Recreation Therapists and Creative Arts Therapists support the VA’s Mission by providing services throughout the VA healthcare system. These services are provided in acute, outpatient, and home based services.  Several delivery methods of therapy are available which include in person and tele health options.

The VA is the largest employer of Recreation Therapists and Creative Arts Therapists in the nation. Therapist interested in a VA career can submit application materials for any given open Recreation Therapy and Creative Arts Therapy position whenever such a position is open to the public. Open positions are posted on the USAJobs and VA Careers websites.

Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based medical treatment programs to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, or emotional well-being—sometimes all three.

VA offers recreational therapy opportunities to specialize in a variety of care fields:

  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Chronic illness
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Geriatrics
  • Psychiatrics
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • General medical and surgical

A Recreation Therapist and Creative Arts Therapists are assigned to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation service line. They perform specialized treatments of complex physical and/or cognitive diagnoses. Therapy consists of individual and group treatment, which may be done in a clinical setting or in the community. 

To join VA in this role, you must possess at least a bachelor’s degree, and certification through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) confirms that, as a certified therapeutic recreational specialist.

Recreation Aid / Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant:

Recreation Therapy Assistants carry out a variety of assignments that require a practical knowledge of the recreation therapy activities or programs to which they are assigned. This practical knowledge, combined with skill in the maintenance and use of recreation materials and equipment, is used in providing support and assistance to recreation therapists by performing limited aspects of recreation therapy work, and by working with patients / residents in well-organized and carefully monitored recreation therapy activities. 

Recreation Therapy Internship Program

VA Health Care Systems offer internship opportunities in the summer, spring, and fall semesters for students who are pursuing a degree in Recreation Therapy. Interns will be placed in an internship experience with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Interns are supervised by a CTRS and progressively experience the full-time responsibilities of a Recreation Therapist. Students will have an opportunity to learn from a variety of therapists in various populations.
Recreation Therapist helping a Veteran do Pullups

Serve those who served

There’s nothing more meaningful than helping national heroes lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Because our enrolled Veterans are guaranteed treatment through achievement of their goal, you have the chance to form long-lasting relationships with your patients and receive deep appreciation from the brave men and women who have served our country.

Enjoy outstanding benefits

We offer competitive salaries, nationwide job transfer opportunities, outstanding benefits and more. With one active, full and unrestricted state license, you can practice in any U.S. state or territory. Our extensive bundle of employee benefits includes:

  • Paid vacation that begins accruing on your start date, paid sick leave with no limit on accumulation and 10 paid Federal holidays.
  • Affordable group health insurance plans, including dental, vision and long-term care.
  • Term life insurance, with family and additional coverage options available.
  • Health care and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • Liability protection through the Federal Tort Claims Act, which provides immunity from personal liability for damages arising from medical malpractice or negligence.
  • The Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS): a three-tier retirement plan composed of Social Security, FERS basic benefits and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
  • Tuition reimbursement.

Recreational Therapist are always needed at VA

Recreational Therapist are always needed at VA.  Whatever opportunity you’re looking to explore as a Recreational Therapist, we have a way to get you exactly where you want to go, both professionally and personally