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Recreation therapists

Welcome to recreation therapy services at Sunnybrook. In total there are approximately 20 recreation therapists and recreation therapy assistants working in the Veterans Centre, the Geriatric Day Hospital and in Sunnybrook's mental health program. We have a commitment to clinical education and are linked closely to the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo and the therapeutic recreation program at Georgian College. All therapists at Sunnybrook are registered members of Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (R/TRO).

It is important to note that the recreation therapy professional group has engaged in a series of qualitative research projects focused on the meaning of patient focused care in the delivery of RT opportunities. The outcome of these research collaborations is the development of a unique service delivery model that moves away from the traditional definition of recreation therapy practiced in many recreation therapy settings and instead focuses on the meaning of participation for those we serve. We have a unique sustainable patient-centred practice framework on which we have built our practice.

Program structure

Recreation Therapy professional practice and student education falls under the leadership of Leanne Hughes (416.480.5490). Students are asked to contact Leanne to set up an interview prior to the placement. Leanne then works to link the student with a recreation therapist or recreation therapy assistant whose area of practice matches most closely with those of the student.

Student internship structure

Each year our therapists supervise student internships, facilitate site visits and participate in lectures in various educational settings across the province. We offer approximately 10 student placements/ internships at our facility on an annual basis.

Recreation therapy and recreation therapy assistant student clinical education uses a preceptorship model of learning. Students participate in blocks of clinical education throughout their time as a student. Students are typically matched to a supervisor for the duration of their clinical internship.

Length of internship

Length of internships varies according to the educational institution. Although relationships exist with the University of Waterloo and Georgian College, consideration is given to students from a variety of therapeutic recreation programs. Preference is given to those institutions that support the goals and philosophy of Therapeutic Recreation Ontario.

Assessment of students

Recreation therapy students are assessed based on criteria used at the educational institution that they attend. These forms are brought with the students to Sunnybrook and completed by both the student and the supervisor. Additionally, they are responsible to complete individual learning objectives. All students are required to evaluate their clinical experience at Sunnybrook by completing a site evaluation.

Professional association information

The recreation therapy profession is overseen in Ontario by the Therapeutic Recreation Ontario. The Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association also provides regulations and standards for students and practicing clinicians across the country.

Both of these websites provide information on courses and conferences offered to clinicians and students alike.

Continuing education information for practitioners

Continuing education or professional practice credits has been established by Therapeutic Recreation Ontario. It is the responsibility of the recreation therapist or recreation therapy assistant to maintain and submit those records.

General practice structure

Recreation therapists and recreation therapy assistants work in a variety of practice settings including hospitals, long term care facilities, children's treatment centres, community day programs and private practice.

Contact information

Professional Leader, Recreation Therapy
Leanne Hughes, M.Ed, BRLS, R/TRO, CTRS

Room L1 108
2075 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario

Phone: 416-480-5490

Email:leanne.hughes
@sunnybrook.ca